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All Countries Nigaragua

2020 RLLR 17

Citation: 2020 RLLR 17
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: February 3, 2020
Panel: Kevin Fainbloom
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Elizabeth Jinsook Kim
Country: Nicaragua
RPD Number: TB8-25737
Associated RPD Number(s): TB8-25768
ATIP Number: A-2021-00540
ATIP Pages: 000111-0000113


DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: These are the reasons for the decision into the refugee claims of [XXX] and her husband, [XXX]. The claimant, the principal claimant, [XXX], is a citizen of Nicaragua, her husband, [XXX], is a citizen of both Guatemala and Nicaragua. They claim refugee protection pursuant to Section 96 and 97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[2]       The allegations of the couple are contained in the Basis of Claim form narrative, I’m going to briefly summarize those allegations.

[3]       After the couple were married, the, they lived in Guatemala. In Guatemala, in [XXX] 2016, the principal claimant was robbed at gunpoint, this was an extremely traumatic event for her. The couple decided to relocate to Nicaragua, which they did in 2017. In [XXX] 2018, the principal claimant and her husband both became involved in the demonstration against the Ortega regime. Not only were they involved in protest, the principal claimant also shared articles and videos on her Facebook page and also expressed her support of the opposition to the Ortega regime. She began to s-, receive suspicious anonymous phone calls in [XXX], mid, late [XXX] 2018. During these calls, at one point, she was called a traitor. She also began to receive threatening text through her phone. She was involved in protest on [XXX], in which people were, were shot at. She continued to receive threatening text messages and phone calls after the demonstration. [XXX], her husband, also participated in demonstrations in Managua and he too began to receive threatening text messages. The problems became more severe in the country and they began to look for a way to get out of the country. They applied to come to Canada as, as visitors, however, their applications were denied. They went into hiding. On [XXX], 2018, the principal claimant’s sister received a notice for her and her husband to attend court the following day, accusing them of altering public order, participating in demonstrations and so on. The couple fled Nicaragua, travelled to Guatemala. However, the principal claimant was unwilling to remain in Guatemala, as she had been quite traumatized by the armed robbery that had occurred in 2016 and her presence in Guatemala was worsening her symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. So, the couple made their way to Canada, made a refugee claim upon their arrival and they’re now fearful of returning to, to Nicaragua.

[4]       Having considered the totality of the evidence before me, the Panel finds that the principal claimant, again that’s [XXX], has established that, that she is a Convention refugee pursuant to Section 96 of IRPA.

[5]       Her husband, [XXX], as a dual citizen, must establish a well-founded fear in both Nicaragua and Guatemala.

[6]       As he’s provided no evidence to support any fear of returning to Guatemala, his claim fails.

[7]       The analysis of the claim is as follows.

[8]       First, with respect to their identities, the claimants’ identities as citizens as, as the gentleman’s dual citizen of Nicaragua and Guatemala, and [XXX] as a citizen of Nicaragua, was established by the documents on file, which include copies of their passports.

[9]       With respect to credibility, I have no significant concerns.

[10]     Firstly, I, I thought they were able to describe their involvement adequately in terms of the questions they were asked during the hearing and most significantly, there’s a number of, of, I thought, quite strong documents to corroborate their allegations. These documents include photos taken at the demonstrations, they include copies of the threat letters they received, includes the two summons for the couple to appear in court, there are a number of corroborative statements provided by friends who were aware of their situation in Nicaragua. There’s also a, a number of medical documents to corroborate [XXX] post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis, as well as issues with anxiety and the documents indicate it’ s, this is both from the robbery but it’ s also her, her situation has been made more serious by the events that occurred in Nicaragua.

[11]     So, in, in consideration of both the oral and the written evidence, on a balance of probabilities, I accept their allegations as to what occurred to the couple in Nicaragua to be credible. Given that I accept the credibility of their allegations, the documents before me make it clear that there’ s an objective basis to their fear of returning to Nicaragua. The government’s response to the [XXX] 2018 protest has been quite severe, heavy-handed and many people have been killed and many more have been arrested and exiled.

[12]     I’m just going to briefly look at the, the DOS report, that’s Item 2.1 of the Nicaraguan Package. It notes that President Ortega ordered police and parapolice forces to put down with violence peaceful protests. The government’ s excessive response included the use of lime, live ammunition and snipers. As of late [XXX] 2018, the conflict of less le-, had left at least 325 people dead, more than 2000 injured, hundreds of illegally detained and tortured and more than 52,000 exiled in neighboring countries. Beginning in [XXX] of that year, the government, the Ortega government, instituted a policy of exile, jail or death for anyone perceived as opposition. The document notes that human rights deteriorated significantly during 2018 and so on.

[13]     So, the, the documents make it clear that there’s an objective basis to their fear of returning to Nicaragua now that they’ve been labelled, involved in the protest, now that the authorities believe they’re involved in the protest, they are in danger in Nicaragua. And clearly IFA and state protection is not a relevant issue, as it’s the State that they are afraid of and there’s no information that the State does not have complete control allo-, over and of, all of Nicaraguan territory.

[14]     So, for these reasons, I find the principal claimant, [XXX], to be a Convention refugee pursuant to Section 96 of IRPA.

[15]     As I stated at the outset of the decision over her husband as a dual citizen of Guatemala, he needs to establish that he has a well-founded fear of each country that he is a citizen of. He was asked if he had any reason to fear returning to Guatemala, he indicated that he has no reason to fear returning to Guatemala.

[16]     So, there’s no evidence before me that the-, this gentleman has a well-founded fear of persecution in Guatemala or that there’s a reason why he is a person in need of protection due to what might happen to him in Guatemala.

[17]     So, given there’s an insufficient amount of evidence to find otherwise, I conclude that he is not a Convention refugee and he’ s a person-, not a person in need of protection by virtue of his citizenship in Guatemala and a Jack of evidence that he would be persecuted or harmed in that country.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-