Applicants faced risk more serious than that faced by average Honduran

Federal court | Immigration

REFUGEE STATUS

Applicants faced risk more serious than that faced by average Honduran

Applicants were citizens of Honduras and they claimed they feared criminal gang. Applicants’ family owned prosperous clothing business and principal applicant owned two other businesses. Applicants claimed that they were repeatedly threatened by gang. Principal applicant’s wife was abducted at gun point. Police officer was involved. Applicants made claim for refugee protection. Board concluded that applicants, as victims of crime, did not fear persecution under one of convention grounds and claim under s. 96 of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Can.), failed. Board found that applicants did not face personalized risk under s. 97(1)(b) of Act since other citizens of Honduras who were economically successful faced threat of extortion. Applicants’ claim for refugee protection was refused. Applicants applied for judicial review. Application granted. It was crucial to conduct individualized inquiry as to nature of risk faced by applicants before determining whether risk was one that was prevalent or widespread in that country. It was not sufficient to conclude that risk of criminal activity encountered by person was generalized because population at large or important segment of population was subject to same risk. Instead of focusing on fact that wealthy people were frequently targeted by gang in Honduras, board should have looked to applicants’ particular situation. Applicants were not simply at risk of theft and extortion because they were successful, but were also repeatedly threatened, shot at and subject to kidnapping attempts. Applicants faced risk more serious than that faced by average Honduran. Board’s decision was unreasonable because it did not properly conduct required individualized inquiry.
X, Re (Jun. 5, 2014, F.C., Yves de Montigny J., File No. IMM-12628-12) 241 A.C.W.S. (3d) 188

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