He went to Canada to escape violence in Mexico but found death instead

The vicitm’s family seeks to repatriate the body but they have to pay 12 thousand Canadian dollars that the Mexican consulate in Montreal has denied to pay for them. 

After fleeing violence in southeastern Mexico, Sebastián González Díaz sought refuge in Canada, where he found death. Now his family seeks to repatriate the body to its place of origin, but it costs them 12 thousand Canadian dollars that the Mexican consulate in Montreal has denied to pay.

On December 27, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the Mexican government will never eliminate economic resources for the repatriation of corpses of nationals and reaffirmed that this is a responsibility of the Mexican government.

“It is our responsibility to care for those who lose their lives in another country, Mexicans will be taken care of. It is the responsibility of the consulates and there should be no conflicts due to lack of budget”, AMLO said.

“Let this remain as an instruction, as a memorandum: all the funeral expenses of migrants are borne by the government of the Republic,” AMLO stated on December 27 at his daily morning press conference.

Now, María José Barragán demands the Mexican president to keep his word and provide her family with the economic resources necessary to bring the body of her husband, Sebastián González Díaz, from Montreal, Canada, to Tabasco, México (AMLO’s homeland by the way)…

The consul of Mexico in Montreal, Alejandro Estivil, notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) that the case, was pending instructions, since the authorized amount in these types of situations is $ 1,800 USD.

According to diplomatic sources, the problem with the instruction of the President of the Republic, which he issued as a verbal memorandum, stating that there is a defined regulation on the repatriation of bodies of Mexicans who die outside the country.

“The rule has to be modified and so far no official communication on the matter has reached diplomatic representations,” said a source from the Foreign Ministry.

In accordance with current regulations, financial support is provided when a Mexican dies outside the country, as long as his relatives demonstrate that they are in a condition of vulnerability and cannot cover the repatriation expenses.

A Mexican diplomat, who asked to declare in terms of anonymity to avoid reprisals, said that the problem with a large number of nationals is that they get involved in car accidents, working accidents, or other situations, and some insurance companies cover expenses until repatriation, but in most cases, the consulate covers all expenses.

To avoid abuse, the Mexican consular authorities do not make cash payments to the family, they pay the bill directly to the funeral home.

When a migrant dies in his attempt to irregularly enter the United States, the Mexican authority does cover the cost of repatriation of the body, due to the circumstance in which the incident occurred.

Resultado de imagen para sabastian canada
Sebastián González Díaz

Sebastian’s story

Sebastián González Díaz had a year living in Montreal, Canada, where he arrived accompanied by his wife, María Barragán, and their two little daughters, today six and four years old.

The 25-year-old was living in Cancun, Quintana Roo, city which he fled because of violence.

He arrived in Canada and made a request for refuge for he and his family, which was accepted by the Canadian immigration authority.

The González Barragán family was living under the protection of the Canadian immigration authority, which provides financial support to those who are waiting for the refuge to be granted or not.

Last June, Sebastian had news that his brother had been killed in Cancun.

“This family arrived in Montreal in a very complicated situation. Sebastian had depression and stress that was not treated, ”said Emiliano Ortega, a Mexican radio broadcaster in Montreal, who is also dedicated to supporting the Latin American immigrant community in that part of the country.

“When Sebastian got a job, the money provided as government assistance was withdrawn. However, the problem for this family started… by the end of November, Sebastian had lost his job, so he again requested government support, but it was denied,” Emiliano Ortega said.

“Sadly, in the end, this young man decided to take his own life , on December 25”, the radio broadcaster continued.

“He left his wife and two daughters in distress because he was the home provider. María José does not speak English or French, neither do the girls. They lost the apartment where they lived, and now they live with a friend who has only one bed, a table with two chairs , ”added Emiliano Ortega during a broadcast.

After Sebastian’s death, the body was taken to the morgue, where it remained until December 30.

The consulate of Mexico in that region said that, in order to cover the total cost of repatriation, first of all, they have to determine if this is a case of economic vulnerability or not.

The consulate did not completely disregard the matter though. Sebastian’s body remains, since December 30, in a funeral home that consular staff helped to contact.

Consul Alejandro Estivil sent an “extra urgent” communication to the Mexican Foreign Ministry to explain that Mrs. María José Barragán went to the consulate to request that the Mexican government comply with the entire cost of repatriation of the body to its place of origin, this in compliance with what President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised on Dec. 27th.

He even commented that Gustavo Alcocer, deputy visitor of the Human Rights Commission of Tabasco, called the consulate to request information about the case since Sebastian’s family asked this institution for support.

Besides, for religious reasons, the family does not authorize the body to be cremated.

Consul Alejandro Estivil has requested instructions from the Mexican Foreign Ministry on how to proceed in this case, because the cost of repatriation is $12,000 Canadian dollars (about US $ 8,000), when the authorized amount is only $1,800 USD, in cases of proven vulnerability.

The body of Sebastián González will have to remain at the funeral home until Sunday, January 5, when the family must get the money.

Canada based radio broadcaster Emiliano Ortega, said that economic support support is being sought through organizations, and a Church, and that the family has been able to raise about $2,800 Canadian dollars, but their goal is to obtain 12 thousand.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom