Successful Refugee Claim for a family from Colombia

IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE BOARD

– REFUGEE PROTECTION DIVISION –

Reasons for the decision in a Hearing under the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, concerning
XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX

Toronto, Ontario

November X, 2015

BEFORE:   XXXXXXX

 

APPEARANCES:
Yuliya Dumanska

Lawyer for the claimants

 

 

DECISION

 

[MEMBER: This is the decision for XXXXXXXX, the principal claimant,
hereinafter referred to as the claimant, XXXXXXXXXXX who claim to be citizens of Colombia. They are
claiming refugee protection in Canada pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee
Protection Act.
In accordance with Section 167, paragraph 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act the
Refugee Protection Division appointed XXXXXX to be the designated representative for the minor
claimants for the purposes of this refugee claim.
These claims were heard jointly pursuant to Rule 55 of the RPD Rules. The claimant’s husband
and children did not advance their own claim and they rely on the claimant’s basis of claim.
I find that you are nationals of Colombia as was established by way of your testimony and the
supporting documentations that you filed including your passports.
For the reasons that follow I find that you are persons in need of protection based on the violence
that you and your family members have experienced at the hands of the various paramilitary groups in
Colombia.

The panel notes that you have tendered various records in Exhibit 4 in support of the ongoing
proceedings against the paramilitary group, specifically the leader that was responsible for not only
displacing your family, taking your land and the killings of your uncles, grandfather and mother.

So taking into account in your particular circumstances I find that your allegations that you and
your family members have been targeted, the loss of your various family members, the coercion that your
family experienced as well as your displacement to be credible.

I found you to be a credible and a trustworthy witness. Your testimony was consistent, there
were no contradictions, inconsistencies or omissions. You testified in a forthright manner. I believe what
you have said and presented at this hearing.
I accept your reasons for not claiming in the United States. I also accept your explanation for
delay in leaving Colombia.
Basically the determinative issue here was state protection.
The law is clear that there is a presumption that a state is capable of protecting its citizens and
that the claimant may rebut that presumption by providing clear and convincing proof of lack of state protection in their country of nationality. You are not required to risk your life to seek ineffective protection of a state, merely to demonstrate that it is ineffective.

In perusing the objective evidence in Exhibit 3, the National Documentation Package, I
acknowledge that on the issue of state protection the evidence was mixed. The documentary evidence in
the NDP package indicates that the conflict between the government and the various paramilitary groups
and guerrilla groups is ongoing in Colombia.

Illegal armed groups and other organized crime groups have committed numerous human rights
violations that included but is not limited to kidnapping, forced disappearances, intimidation of judges
and various members of the government including prosecutors and witnesses, infringements on citizen’s
privacy rights, restriction of freedom of movement, violence against women, harassment, intimidation and
killings ofteachers, trade unions.

Also illegal armed groups continue to be responsible for most instances of forced displacement in
the country is found at Exhibit 3, Item 2.1. The government of Colombia is making (inaudible) efforts to
address the ongoing challenging resulting from the criminal actions of the guerrillas and the paramilitary
groups in Colombia.

The efforts are still ongoing and the government is working on consolidating security gains by
expending state presence in several areas that are considered to be the most conflict-ridden areas in
Colombia and there is evidence to show that the various illegal groups have lost thousands and members
due to combat, capture and desertion. ]

*****************

[So, for those reasons I find that you have established with clear and convincing evidence that the
authorities in Colombia are unable to provide you with state protection and having considered your
personal circumstances I find that you have demonstrated on a balance of probability that you face a
personalized risk to your life should you be required to return to Colombia and no viable internal flight
alternative for you exists.

Consequently I find that you and your family members are persons in need of protection and I
accept your claims.
The hearing is now concluded.]

This is an excerpt from a decision of the Refugee Protection Division of Immigration and Refugee Board. Paragraphs with any information that would identify the claimants have been omitted.

If you require a  great objective consultation of an immigration or refugee lawyer, please contact Yuliya Dumanska at 647-724-3657.