Osman Fernando de León Reyes, a 29-year old Guatemalan man, is facing deportation from Surrey next week. His lawyer is seeking a judicial stay order from the Federal Court of Canada to urgently stop his deportation so that Mr. Reyes is not separated from his family and not deported back to imminent danger in Guatemala.
Mr. Reyes has two Canadian-born children, Diahanara aged eight and Dilan aged three. His wife, Heidy Stephany Pinto Zepeda, is a permanent resident and works in the cleaning industry. She is extremely distraught about the separation the family will face as a result of his pending deportation. “I love my husband,” says Heidy Stephany Pinto Zepeda. “I am so sad and disappointed that Canada is taking away my husband from my life and my kids’ lives. He is a good man and a lovely father, and I fear for his life if he is deported back to Guatemala.”
Mr. Reyes is currently living with mental health issues in relation to the traumas he has experienced. Mr. Reyes came to Canada in 2007 to seek asylum after he was kidnapped in Guatemala as the result of his mother’s work in the federal government’s National Audit Office. Miriam Reyes Barreira, Mr. Reye’s 54-year old mother, worked for more than fifteen years on corruption cases as one of the federal government’s head accountants and audit officers. After revealing corruption and diversion of funds by a number of municipal mayors, she survived three assassination attempts on her life. Ms. Barreira also escaped to Canada in 2013, where her case to remain in Canada is pending.
Mr. Reyes’s kidnapping is well-documented and verified. A medical report confirms he was severely beaten during the kidnapping with trauma to his left rib cage, a fractured clavicle on his right side and bruises all over his body and face. A police report also confirms that the family had to pay a substantial ransom for his release. Several years later, Mr. Reyes’s best friend was murdered. Consequently, the family moved within Guatemala for safety until they managed to flee to Canada at separate times.
According to Natalie Blair, a registered nurse who has worked with him, “with the threat of deportation looming, his health is being compromised and is at risk.”
The entire family is desperately seeking justice and urging the Canadian government to allow Mr. Reyes to remain in Canada permanently with his family where he can live without fear.