Citation: 2021 RLLR 53
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: October 27, 2021
Panel: S. Seevaratnam
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Amedeo Clivio
RPD Number: TC1-04681
Associated RPD Number(s): TC1-04721
ATIP Number: A-2022-01594
ATIP Pages: N/A
REASONS FOR DECISION
 The claimants, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX(principal claimant) and his partner XXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX (associate claimant), claim to be citizens of Mexico and they are claiming refugee protection pursuant to sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).1
 The principal claimant alleges he fears returning to Mexico as a member of a particular social group, a bisexual. The associate claimant alleges he fears returning to Mexico as a member of a particular social group, a gay man. They fear persecution from their homophobic community. The claimants also fear returning to Mexico due to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) who they believe work in collaboration with the corrupt police and the Mexican government. The claimants are two young men in a same-sex relationship since 2015.2
 The panel has carefully considered the Chairperson’s Guideline 9 on Proceedings Before the Immigration and Refugee Board Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, prior to assessing the merits of this claim.3
 The details of the allegations are outlined in the principal claimant’s (PC) Basis of Claim (BOC) Form4 and the associate claimant’s (AC) Basis of Claim (BOC) Form.5 A synopsis of the allegations is as follows.
 XXXX (PC) testified that his father, in 2007 or 2008, started working as a – XXXX XXXX XXXX in Mexico City.6 He explained that his father started storing electronics, weapons, and other valuables in their garage.7 The PC stated that his father was a corrupt XXXX XXXX who maintained links to the CJNG cartel.8 He stated that in 2013, members of the cartel, disgruntled with his father, came to their home in search of him. When they were unable to locate him, they kidnapped his older brother XXXX.9 Later, his father secured XXXX release from the cartel, but he arrived home severely bruised.10 XXXX explained that XXXX was clearly beaten and tortured. The claimants fear similar reprisals.
 The PC stated that his father left the XXXX XXXX in 2015, for reasons unknown.11 However, his father continued to work with the cartel XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX.12
 XXXX testified that his father dislocated his elbow when he caught him smiling at a young male in public.13 The PC explained that on another occasion, when he was about 15, he and his friend XXXX went to workout at a gym behind their school. As they exited the gym, a police cruiser drove by and noticed them exchanging a kiss. XXXX stated that he and XXXX were immediately taken in the police cruiser, reprimanded for their conduct, and held overnight in detention at the police station. They were warned not to engage in same-sex amorous behaviour.14
 XXXX (AC) explained that his family members are traditional and religious. He explained that the community is homophobic. Both claimants testified that they tried to keep their sexual orientation a secret in Mexico in order to avoid becoming victims of violence perpetrated by members of society.15
 The AC stated that he was attracted to a male classmate who rejected his advances. This led to him being verbally abused, bullied, and ostracized at school among his peers.16 On another occasion, at age 14, the AC was walking hand in hand with his boyfriend. They were threatened by passengers in a vehicle driving by and became the potential victims of a physical assault.17
 Both claimants testified they have suffered numerous acts of discrimination in several aspects of their lives which they believe amount to persecution. They explained that the police in Mexico reflect the homophobic society and protection is unavailable for bisexual or gay men within Mexico. They fear physical and verbal abuse by society. They believe they are at a grave risk of suffering violence if they were to disclose their sexual orientation.
 On December 12, 2018, the claimants were pursued by members of the CJNG cartel.18 The criminal cartel shot twice in their direction, but the claimants were able to escape.19 Fearing for their life, they fled their country of nationality and sought refuge in Canada. 20
 The panel finds the claimants to be Convention refugees. The panel’s reasons are as follows.
 In Exhibit 5, the claimants have provided copies of their passports issued by the government of Mexico.21 In addition, the associate claimant has provided a copy of his Mexican electoral voter’ s card.
 The panel finds the claimants to be nationals of Mexico. The panel is satisfied with their identities as members of the LGBTQ community.
 The panel is guided by the leading jurisprudence on the issue of credibility. Maldonado22 stands for the principle that when a claimant swears to the truth of certain allegations, this creates a presumption that those allegations are true unless there is reason to doubt their truthfulness.
 The panel has carefully assessed the totality of the claimants’ sworn viva voce evidence, their personal and country condition documents corroborating their testimony, specifically the information they have provided in their Basis of Claim (BOC) Forms and narratives,23 the letter detailing the circumstances faced by XXXX (PC) by his stepmother, XXXX24 photos,25 and country conditions regarding LGBTQ people in Mexico and the CJNG cartel.26
 The panel finds the claimants to be credible and trustworthy witnesses. Their oral testimony was candid and straightforward. Accordingly, the claimants have established their subjective fear of persecution based on their sexual orientation and membership in a particular group, family of a corrupt XXXX.
WELL-FOUNDED FEAR OF PERSECUTION
 The panel has sought guidance from reliable and reputable documentary evidence regarding the current plight of bisexual and gay men in Mexico.
 The US Department of State (DOS) Mexico Country Report on Human Rights 2020 states as follows:
According to the OHCHR, in the first six months of the year, there were 25 hate- crime homicides committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons. Federal law prohibits discrimination against LGBTI individuals. A Mexico City municipal law provides increased penalties for hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Civil society groups claimed police routinely subjected LGBTI persons to mistreatment while in custody. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was prevalent, despite a gradual increase in public acceptance of LGBTI individuals, according to public opinion surveys. There were reports the government did not always investigate and punish those complicit in abuses, especially outside Mexico City. On July 24, Mexico City passed a local law to ban LGBTI conversion therapy. A CNDH poll conducted in 2019 found six of every 10 members of the LGBTI community reported experiencing discrimination in the past 12 months, and more than half suffered hate speech and physical aggression. In July the federal government’s National Commission to Prevent Discrimination wrote a letter condemning the Roman Catholic diocese of Mexicali for inciting homophobia by calling for anti-LGTBI protests.27
 LGBT+ people have strong legal protections, but they are not uniformly enforced.28
 A Response to Information Request (RIR) on the situation of sexual and gender minorities finds that according to sources, machismo is still embedded in Mexican culture, which increases homophobia and discrimination against sexual minorities.29
 Sources indicate that most sexual minorities have experienced physical acts of violence or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.30
 A Response to Information Request (RIR) on the situation of sexual minorities including in Mexico City states as follows: The website of the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduria General de la Republica, PGR) cites the President of the National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (Consejo Nacional para Prevenir y Eliminar la Discriminación, CONAPRED) as stating that in Mexico, [translation] “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity continues to be a structural phenomenon with extensive social roots”. In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative from the Executive Commission of Attention to Victims (Comisión Ejecutiva de Atención a Victimas – CEAV), a federal agency that supports those who have been victims of a federal crime or whose human rights have been violated (Mexico n.d.a), stated that crimes against sexual minorities are [translation] “constant … and in many cases are motivated by prejudices”. Sources indicate that despite an increase in public tolerance of sexual minorities, discrimination against sexual minorities was prevalent.31
 Agencia EFE cites LGBT organizations as stating that [translation] “‘persistent homophobia has been promoted in large part by members of the Catholic Church”.32
 In an article dated May 15, 2020, in Reuters, titled “Mexico sees deadliest year for LGBT people in five years,”33 states that in 2019, 117 members of the LGBT community were killed which is a one third increase from 2018 and the highest since 2015.34 The article further states that the victims were found handcuffed, stabbed repeatedly, and in public places.35
 The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States that promotes and protects human rights in the American hemisphere describes in a November 2015 report on violence against LGBT persons in the Americas, among other states, Mexico.36 For instance, same-sex couples showing public displays of affection are also a frequent target of police abuse and arbitrary detention by state agents – often with excessive use of force or verbal abuse- because of what is considered ‘immoral behavior’ in public spaces.37
 Counsel’s documentary evidence package highlights numerous incidents of murder committed upon innocent members of the LGBT community solely motivated by society’s homophobic attitudes.
 Several articles in counsel’s documentary package find as follows:
On April 8, 2019, three young gay men were violently beaten for defending themselves against homophobic insults uttered by their aggressors in Guadalajara.38 One of the young men suffered traumatic brain injury.39
On February 5, 2019, a primary school teacher, who worked in Puebla, was found stabbed to death in his home for being gay.40 His close friends described him as a committed and sensitive person.41 In addition to teaching, he was a dance coach, a costumer for a youth group who was dedicated to humanitarian efforts and charity causes for children in Puebla.42
On July 26, 2018, a gay pageant winner was tortured and assassinated in Veracruz.43 The media report indicates that the gay queen was found half nude with signs of torture wearing a barbed-wire necklace.44
On June 19, 2018, three LGBT activists were murdered after being kidnapped from a bar in a popular tourist spot Taxco which is between Mexico City and Chilpancingo.45 Images from the local press suggest that the men were shot in the back of their heads and tortured before they were killed.46
 Sources indicate that most sexual minorities have experienced physical acts of violence or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.47
 On the issue of education, sources indicate that “sexual minority students reported discrimination and harassment based on their gender identity or sexual orientation at school and that the use of homophobic slurs in school is common.”48
 This is similar to the experiences of the AC, XXXX who was verbally abused, bullied, and physically assaulted for being gay. In addition, XXXX experience of being detained by the police overnight for a kissing his friend XXXX is corroborated in the media reports.49
 The National Documentation Package (NDP) for Mexico states that,
In 2013, the state of Nuevo Le6n passed the Law to Prevent, Address and Eradicate Discrimination and Harassment and Violence in Schools. However, the representative from Fundaci6n Trans Amor noted that educational institutions have refused to enforce it. In 2019, Desastre, a Mexican news website on LGBTI issues, reported a case of two lesbian students facing harassment and physical aggression at a University in Nuevo León, wherein the school responded by suspending the two victims. 50 [footnotes omitted]
 The NDP further sates,
According to the national study on LGBTI discrimination in the workplace by CEAV [Comisi6n Ejecutiva de Atenci6n a Victimas], and Fundaci6n Arcoiris [Fundaci6n Arcoiris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual], which was completed by 3,451 respondents across the country, 30 percent of respondents reported that being LGBTI was an obstacle to employment occasionally, 21 percent said frequently, and 10 percent said always, while 30 percent estimated that it was never an obstacle. The report states that some employers ask job candidates questions about sexual orientation, pregnancy, and HIV status.51 [footnotes omitted]
Other sources indicate that sexual minorities experience discrimination in the workplace …… “many” LGBTI people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity at work out of fear that it will have a negative impact on their career.52 [footnotes omitted]
In the 2018 national study on discrimination of LGBTI people in the workplace by CEAV and Fundación Arcoiris, 43 percent of respondents reported being harassed, bullied or discriminated against in the workplace….53 [footnotes omitted]
For respondents who disclosed their gender identity to their boss, 66 percent reported “total support” and 25 percent reported “rejection.”54 [footnotes omitted]
 Sources indicate “that sexual minorities reported experiences of discrimination related to their gender identity or sexual orientation when accessing medical services.”55
 Accordingly, the panel finds that the PC is at risk of persecution due to his membership in a particular social group, a bisexual. The AC is at risk of persecution due to his membership in a particular social group, a gay man.
Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG)
 The US Department of State (DOS) Mexico Country Report on Human Rights 2020 states as follows:
Impunity and extremely low rates of prosecution remained a problem for all crimes, including human rights abuses. The government’s federal statistics agency estimated 94 percent of crimes were either unreported or not investigated. There were reports of some government agents who were complicit with international organized criminal gangs, and there were low prosecution and conviction rates in these abuses.56
Organized criminal elements, including local and transnational gangs, and narcotics traffickers, were significant perpetrators of violent crimes and committed acts of homicide, torture, kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking, bribery, intimidation, and other threats, resulting in high levels of violence, particularly targeting vulnerable groups. The government investigated and prosecuted some of these crimes, but the vast majority remained in impunity. 57
 The current NDP highlights the use of family members by cartels to settle scores or silence individuals. This is relevant to the claimants’ fear because of XXXX father who commenced his links with the CJNG during his career as a XXXX Item 7.13 indicates as follows:
Meanwhile, the fact that Coronel was now viewed as a traitor by his former associates in the Beltnin Leyva family, led to the murder of his 16-year-old son, Alejandro, in April 2010.58
The CJNG is also believed to be responsible for serious atrocities, including the rape and murder of a rival’s alleged 10-year-old daughter in 2013, and the filmed murder of a man and his young son, killed by detonating explosives strapped to their bodies.59
Building further enmity between the CJNG and Sinaloa, Ivan and Jesus Alfredo Guzman, the youngest sons of “El Chapo” Guzman were kidnapped when they ventured into CJNG’s Jalisco turf in August 2016.60
 While NDP item 7.12 states:
In August 2016, two of the sons of Sinaloa Cartel leader, Joaquin Guzman Loera, alias “El Chapo,” were briefly kidnapped by the CJNG.61
 The evidence establishes that cartels routinely use family members as a weapon and tool against those they wish to harm and intimidate, as a way to punish what cartels view as noncompliance or defiance.62
 Accordingly, the panel finds that the claimants also face a serious risk of persecution due to their membership in a particular social group, family of corrupt XXXX XXXX. Thus, the claimants have established the objective basis for their well-founded fear of persecution.
 There is a presumption that except in situations where the state is in complete breakdown, the state is capable of protecting its citizens. To rebut the presumption of state protection, a claimant must provide clear and convincing evidence of the state’s inability to protect its citizens.63
 A Response to Information Request indicates that in in 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Naci6n, SCJN) “issued a ruling that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.”64
 According to sources, machismo is still embedded in Mexican culture, which increases homophobia and discrimination against sexual minorities …. Sources state that in smaller towns and rural areas, there is less acceptance than in cities.65
 With regards to societal attitudes in Mexico,
Diario de Yucatan, a newspaper based in Yucatan, reported in May 2019 that a couple was denied service at a restaurant in Monterrey for being gay; according to the source, the couple entered the restaurant holding hands and were told to leave because it is a “family environment.”66
Sources indicate that most sexual minorities have experienced physical acts of violence or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.67
 The 2021 Freedom in the World report for Mexico states that,
Mexico’s justice system is plagued by delays, unpredictability, and corruption, which often lead to impunity for perpetrators of crimes.68
Widespread bribery, limited capacity, and weak coordination undermine the lower courts’ and law enforcement’s integrity. According to a December 2020 government report, the vast majority of crimes committed in 2019 went unreported, largely because underpaid police were viewed as either inept or in league with criminals. When investigations were conducted, only a tiny handful of crimes ended in convictions.69
Mexicans are subject to the threat of violence at the hands of multiple actors, including individual criminals, criminal gangs that operate with impunity, and police officers who are often susceptible to bribery. A missing-persons registry which continues to grow despite increased government efforts in recent years reflects an epidemic of enforced disappearances. Mexicans in police or military custody are at risk of torture by the authorities and must also navigate a prison system that respects neither due process nor physical safety.70
 In the NDP for Mexico,
Sources state that sexual minorities have reported cases of violence or aggression by the police and of being detained for their LGBT status…. According to a report on discrimination of LGBTI people regarding access to justice and security by the CEAV and Fundación Arcoiris, 31 percent of transgender women respondents and 15 percent of homosexuals said they had been detained because of their LGBTI status.71 [footnotes omitted]
According to sources, the government does not adequately investigate crimes against sexual minorities.72
The report on discrimination against LGBTI people regarding access to justice and security notes that “the high percentage of people who don’t report the aggressions or crimes is alarming,” and indicates that the two main reasons for not reporting are mistrust and alleged inaction of the authorities.73
 The claimants emphasized that despite the ruling by Mexico’s Supreme Court, in 2015, progress has been slow. They testified that the reality the LGBT people face daily are primarily a homophobic society accompanied by a homophobic and corrupt police force.
 The NDP74 and the documents submitted by the claimant75 make clear that there is widespread discrimination against the LGBTI community, and the state (police) is complicit in the hate crimes perpetrated against members of the LGBTQ community. The documentary evidence highlights the lack of the availability of effective protection for members of the LGBT population. It is evident that state protection is not forthcoming for the claimants due to their sexual orientation.
 In these circumstances, it is clear and convincing evidence that the state is unable or unwilling to protect the claimant. Accordingly, the panel finds that the claimants have met their burden of proof, on a balance of probabilities, and that the presumption of state protection has been rebutted.
 Given the corruption among police officers, and the government of Mexico, the PC testified that protection would not be forthcoming. XXXX testified that his father was co- operating with the CJNG corrupt practices. Accordingly, these criminal gangs are able to exert power and control among the complicit security forces. Thus, state protection is an illusion.
 Objective documentary evidence states that, “[s]ources report that the various police forces in Mexico at the municipal and state level lack human and material resources in order to properly investigate crimes committed in their jurisdiction.”76
According to National Survey on Victimization and Perception of Public Security (Encuesta Nacional de Victimizaci6n y Percepci6n sobre Seguridad Publica) the ENVIPE 2019, 93.2 percent of all crimes committed were either not reported or not investigated. The same source lists the following reasons given by respondents for not reporting a crime:
- 63.2 percent blamed the police, giving the following reasons: reporting a crime was a waste of time, lack of trust in the authorities, difficulties and length of the process, the authorities’ hostile attitude, or the fear of being victims of extorsion.
- 36.2 percent of victims gave other reasons to not report a crime, such as fearing the aggressor, the crime being not important, or lacking proof.
Regarding trust in law enforcement institutions, in 2019, 55.2 percent of the respondents thought that the federal police was corrupt, while 60.6 percent had the same perception of the Attorney General’s Office, 64.1 percent of the state police, 65.5 percent of the state Attorney General, 67.9 percent of the municipal police and 68.4 percent of the judges.77 [footnotes omitted]
The CJNG has proven itself ready to challenge the government directly. CJNG forces have ambushed police killing more than 15, targeted federal police in ambushes in which five died, and even downed a Mexican military helicopter in a direct confrontation.78
 The US Department of State (DOS) Mexico Country Report on Human Rights 2020 states as follows:
Significant human rights issues included: reports of the involvement by police, military, and other government officials and illegal armed groups in unlawful or arbitrary killings and forced disappearance; torture by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions in some prisons; arbitrary arrest and lengthy pretrial detention; violence against journalists and human rights defenders; serious acts of corruption; impunity for violence against women; violence targeting persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons; and the existence of the worst forms of child labor.79
 The Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG) is a criminal group that has evolved as a result of killings, captures and rifts in older cartels. It is known for its aggressive use of violence and its public relations campaigns. Despite the capture of certain top leaders, it is now Mexico’s foremost criminal threat and appears set to continue expanding.80
 In April 2015, the CJNG killed 15 Mexican police officers during an ambush in Jalisco state, one of the single deadliest attacks on security forces in recent Mexican history. The group was also blamed for an attack in March 2015 that killed five federal police. Additionally, Mexican officials have previously indicated that the group possesses highly sophisticated armament, including machine guns and grenade launchers were used to conduct the March 2015 attack. In May 2015, the group continued its deadly streak, shooting down a military helicopter on May 1 and launching a wave of violence across Jalisco.81
 According to an Amnesty International report 2020/2021, titled Mexico State of the World’s Human Rights finds that, “[e]nforced disappearances by state agents and disappearances committed by non-state actors continued to be a concern; those responsible enjoyed almost total impunity.”82
 Mexico. World Report 2021: Events of 2020 indicates:
The criminal justice system routinely fails to provide justice to victims of violent crimes and human rights violations. Only 1.3 percent of crimes committed in Mexico are solved, the nongovernmental group Impunity Zero reports. Causes of failure include corruption, inadequate training and resources, and complicity of prosecutors and public defenders with criminals and other abusive officials. A 2018 reform intended to give prosecutors increased independence has not been properly implemented, local human rights and rule-of-law groups report.83
However, prosecutors and police neglect to take even basic investigative steps to identify those responsible for enforced disappearances, often telling families of the missing to investigate on their own. The CNB reported that over 7,000 people disappeared in 2019. That year, the Attorney General’s Office opened only 351 investigations into disappearances and prosecuted only 2.84
 Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI) 2020, indicates that,
At the state level, the judiciary is totally bound to the local executives. All the governors that have been accused of fraud and corruption have been able to escape trial. Furthermore, there have been very few cases where corruption by a party, union, Congress leader or functionary is brought to justice, despite rampant corruption. 85
The situation has worsened dramatically in those places where the drugs war is intense. The situation has been aggravated by the number of people in those regions that have been disappeared. We do not know if they were abducted by criminal gangs, the army or the police. The most recent estimate is that 37,000 people have been disappeared.
As a consequence of impunity and the fact that official forces are in many cases involved in criminal acts, people who are victims of crime rarely report the crime to the police. People are afraid that as the police may be involved, they will be victimized again or because they feel it is useless. 97% of crimes go unsolved and thus unpunished.86
 The report further indicates that, “[h]uman rights advocates have consistently expressed concern about a lack of accountability for rights abuses committed by members of the military, including torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions.”87
 Counsel’s country condition package highlights a media report which indicates an entire police department in Mexico’s state of Chihuahua was arrested due to corruption.88
 The panel finds that the claimants fear persecution or serious harm at the hands of organized criminal group, CJNG. Therefore, based on the objective and current documentary evidence,89 the claimants cannot avail themselves of the protection of the authorities. The security forces are complicit.
 The National Documentation Package (NDP) for Mexico90 and the documents submitted by the claimant91 make clear that the state is ineffective and in these particular circumstances, there is clear and convincing evidence that the state is unable or unwilling to protect the claimants. Accordingly, the panel finds that the claimants have met the burden of proof, on a balance of probabilities, and the presumption of state protection has been rebutted.
INTERNAL FLIGHT ALTERNATIVE (IFA)
 The Federal Court of Appeal established a two-part test for assessing an IFA in Rasaratnam and Thirunavukkarasu: As per Rasaratnam,
(1) “the Board must be satisfied on a balance of probabilities that there is no serious possibility of the claimant being persecuted in the part of the country to which it finds an IFA exists”92 and/or the claimant would not be personally subject to a risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment or danger, believed on substantial grounds to exist, of torture in the IFA.
(2) Moreover, the conditions in the part of the country considered to be an IFA must be such that it would not be unreasonable in all the circumstances including those particular to the claim, for him to seek refuge there.93
 The claimants bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that they would be persecuted on a Convention ground, or subject personally, on a balance of probabilities, to a risk to life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment94 in all of Mexico.
 The claimants faced verbal abuse throughout their youth at school and within their community due to entrenched homophobic attitudes. The claimants testified that given the homophobic attitude of Mexican society, reinforced by the Catholic church, the police, and the state authorities, they would not be able to live safely and openly as a bisexual and gay couple in Mexico. The claimants testified that they intend to spend their future together and they have taken the preliminary steps towards arranging their marriage in Canada.
 The AC testified that. as a XXXX XXXX he has travelled to a variety of regions within Mexico. He stated that the treatment of gay men and the homophobic attitudes prevailed.
 The objective and reliable documentary evidence from a variety of reputable and current sources indicates that a viable internal flight alternative is unavailable for the claimants, a same sex couple.95
 Having carefully considered the totality of the evidence, the panel finds that there is a serious risk of persecution throughout Mexico.
Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)
 Documentary evidence indicates that the cartel has expanded rapidly, and the CJNG now has some sort of presence in every part of Mexico, except Sinaloa and the Golden Triangle of heroin production. 96
 On the issue of the geographic spread of the CJNG in Mexico, the documentary evidence indicates that there is no greater evidence to support the notion of the CJNG as highly resilient and powerful organization than to chronicle its rapid geographic spread throughout Mexico. In a relatively short rise from 2010 to early 2018, the CJNG developed a documented presence in 24 of 32 Mexican states; when including alliances and small cells the count includes all 32 Mexican states.97
 A Response to Information Request states that according to the Assistant Professor, cartels use family networks and private investigators to track people, as well as property records in the US and Mexico and placing GPS trackers on cars.98
The Assistant Professor stated that in order to extend their influence beyond their areas of operation, cartels rely on the “representation” they have in other areas.99 Reports that the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generaci6n, CJNG), a splinter group of the Sinaloa Cartel, has developed “strategic alliances” with groups in other regions, including Los Zetas and Gulf Cartel splinter groups along the Gulf Coast.100
 The claimants stated that the police are complicit and would enable the cartel to find them.
 The RIR further finds that the Assistant Professor stated that a large debt or a personal vendetta could motivate a gang to track someone outside their area, and that gangs can use “corrupt law enforcement agents” to obtain information about people they pursue.101
 Documentary evidence indicates on the CJNG cartel indicates as follows:
Area of influence: present in 27 Mexican states and “asserts control over the ports of Veracruz, Mazanillo, and Lazaro Cardenas.” It has a presence in every part of the country, and is the “dominant criminal actor in Jalisco, Nayarit and Colima, at the port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan, in the eastern state of Veracruz and in the oil-rich central region of Guanajuato, Puebla, Querétaro and Hidalgo”
Alliances: Tijuana Cartel Nueva Generation, a faction of the Juarez Cartel.102
 Accordingly, the objective documentary evidence before the panel indicates that there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout Mexico from the CJNG. As a result, there is no viable IFA where the claimants could reside without a risk to their lives or their safety.
 Having carefully considered the totality of the evidence, the panel finds that there is a serious risk of persecution throughout Mexico. Thus, given the particular circumstances of the claimants, a same-sex couple and having family ties to XXXX father, a former XXXX XXXX having worked in alliance with the CJNG, the claimants are known to the organized criminal cartel and their corrupt counterparts within the police force, thus, an internal flight alternative is unavailable.
 The claimants, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, and his partner XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX have established that there is a reasonable chance of persecution, based on their sexual orientation if they were to return to their country of nationality, Mexico, today. They have also established that there is a reasonable chance of persecution due to their membership in a particular social group, family of corrupt XXXX, if they were to return to Mexico today.
 Therefore, the panel finds the claimants to be Convention refugees.
(signed) S. Seevaratnam
October 27, 2021
1 The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c.27, sections 96 and 97(1).
2 Exhibit 2, Basis of Claim (BOC) Form -TCl-04681, Narrative, at para. 17.
3 Chairperson ‘s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, Guidelines issued by the Chairperson pursuant to paragraph 159(1)(h) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Effective date: May 1, 2017.
4 Exhibit2, BOC Form -TCl-04681.
5 Exhibit 3, Basis of Claim (BOC) Form – TCl-04721.
6 Exhibit 2, BOC Form -TCl-04681, Narrative, at para. 8.
7 Ibid., at para.9.
8 Ibid., at para. 2.
9 Ibid., at para. l 1.
10 Ibid., at para.12.
11 Ibid., at para.16.
13 Ibid., at para.13.
14 Ibid., at para.3.
16 Exhibit 3, BOC Form – TCl-04721, Narrative, at para.5.
17 Ibid., at para.6.
18 Exhibit 2, BOC Form -TCl-04681, Narrative., at para.18.
19 Ibid., at paras. 18-19.
20 Exhibit 1, Claim referral information from CBSA/IRCC.
21 Exhibit 5, ICAC-Scheduling ready package dated June 8, 2021.
22 Maldonado, Pedro Enrique Juarez v. MCI (F.C.A., no. A-450-79), Heald, Ryan, MacKay, November 19, 1979. Reported: Maldonado v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration),  2 F.C. 302 (C.A.); 31 N.R. 34 (F.C.A.).
23 Exhibit 2, BOC, received March 8, 2019.
24 Exhibit 7, Disclosure received October 21, 2021, Package 1, Personal Evidence, 3 items 7 pages, items 1-2.
25 Exhibit 10, Disclosure received October 21, 2021, Package 4, photos of the claimants in Mexico and Canada, 23 pages.
26 Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages.
27 Exhibit 4, National Documentation Package (NDP) for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 2.1., s. 6 – Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
28 Ibid., item 2.8, s.F4.
29 Ibid., item 6.2, s.2.1
31 Ibid., item 6.4, s.2.
33 Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages., item 13, at p. 44.
36 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 6.1.
37 Ibid., at p.20.
38 Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages., item 15, at p. 56.
40 Ibid., item 17, at p. 62.
41 Ibid., at p. 30.
43 Ibid., item 18, at p. 64.
45 Ibid., item 19, at p. 66.
47 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 6.2, s. 2.1.
49 Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages, item 11, at p. 41.
50 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 6.2., s. 2.1.
51 Ibid., item 6.2, s. 3.
55 Ibid., S. 4.
56 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 2.1. s. Executive Summary.
58 Ibid., item 7.13, at p.5.
59 Ibid., at p.13.
60 Ibid., at p.17.
61 Ibid., at item 7.12.
63 Canada (Attorney General) v. Ward,  2 S.C.R. 689, 103 D.L.R. (4th) 1, 20 Imm. L.R. (2d) 85.
64 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 6.2, s. 1.2.
65 Ibid., S. 2.1.
68 Ibid., item 2.8, s. F2
70 Ibid., s. F3.
71 Ibid, item 6.2, s. 6.
72 Ibid., S. 7.
74 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021).
75 Exhibits 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages.
76 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 7.18, s. 3.1.
77 Ibid., S. 3.3.
78 Ibid., item 7.17, s. State Confrontation.
79 Ibid. item 2.1, s. Executive Summary.
80 Ibid., item 7.12 at p. 1.
81 Ibid., at p. 2.
82 Ibid., item 2.2, s. Enforced Disappearances.
83 Ibid., item 2.3, s. Criminal Justice System.
84 Ibid., s. Disappearances.
85 Ibid., item 1.10, s. 3.
87 Ibid., s. F.3.
88 Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages, item 7, at p.30.
89 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021).
91 Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21 items, 117 pages.
92 Rasaratnam, Sivaganthan v. MEI (F.C.A., no. A-232-91), Mahoney, Stone, Linden, December 5, 1991. Reported:
Rasaratnam v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration),  1 F.C. 706 (C.A.), at para 9.
93 Thirunavukkarasu, Sathiyanathan v. MEI (F.C.A., no. A-81-92), Heald, Linden, Rolland, November 10, 1993. Reported: Thirunavukkarasu v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration),  1 F.C. 589 (C.A.); (1993), 22 Imm. L.R. (2d) 241 (F.C.A.).
94 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27 as amended, section 97(1) (b) (ii).
95 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021); Exhibit 6, Country Conditions, received October 12, 2021, 21
items, 117 pages.
96 Exhibit 4, NDP for Mexico (September 29, 2021), item 6.12., Geography.
97 Ibid., item 7.17., at p.27.
98 Ibid., item 7.15, s. 4.2.
102 Ibid., item 7.18, s. 2.1.2.