To raise awareness and support in the hope that public outcry will bring results that official procedures have not.
This is an issue of human rights abuse, inhumane treatment and negligence of the San Ignacio Police, Belize.
- Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, P.C., M.P.
PETITION TO THE House of Commons in Parliament assembled
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to the following:
THAT Jeffrey Donald Furgala, a Canadian citizen, who resided in Calgary, Alberta, was on vacation in Belize from January 8, 2013 to Saturday, January 26, 2013.
While visiting in San Ignacio, Belize, he was detained, for his own safety, by police. No charges were laid.
Surveillance tapes of the police station clearly showed that Mr. Furgala required immediate medical attention. He was left unattended, for approximately nine hours, and was found in a coma on the morning of Sunday, January 27, 2013 in a jail cell.
He was handcuffed, while in a coma, and taken to the San Ignacio Hospital and later transferred to the Karl Heussner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where he underwent emergency compassionate surgery and was placed on life support until the family arrived from Canada. He was removed from all life support and succumbed to his injuries at 11:15 p.m. on January 29, 2013.
An autopsy report received March 26, 2013 was absent of information from a toxicity report. A request for results of the toxicity report was met with resistance; in fact, the Ministry of Health in Belize refused to release any medical information concerning his condition. A request was made to Foreign Affairs, Ottawa, for the results of said toxicity report. On April 15, 2013, officials in Ottawa responded that their colleagues in Belize would attempt to make an official request for this report.
Mr. Furgala’s death occurred as a direct result of the negligence and inhumane treatment while in the care and custody of the San Ignacio Police.
THEREFORE, your petitioners request the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to have the Canadian Government require the Belize Government:
1. To provide a toxicity report to the Furgala family.
2. To request that a coroner's inquest or the equivalent of that in Belize be conducted;
3. That all human rights violations be itemized and reported to the appropriate international agencies and organizations.
4. To request a copy of the surveillance tapes from the San Ignacio police station, unaltered and in their original format, from Saturday January 26 2013 at approximately 9:30 pm to and including Sunday the 27th at 7:30 am.
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