Death in Cuba | A Laval resident asks for help from Ottawa to repatriate her father’s body

Death in Cuba | A Laval resident asks for help from Ottawa to repatriate her father’s body
Death in Cuba | A Laval resident asks for help from Ottawa to repatriate her father’s body

The family of a man who died on vacation in Cuba, who discovered with astonishment that the body of another deceased had been repatriated to the country, calls on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, imploring her to do everything to help him. help find the remains of Faraj Allah Jarjour.


Published at 2:45 p.m.

Updated at 8:15 p.m.

Esther Dabert

Special collaboration

“We didn’t get a response. Where is he ? Is he in Cuba? Isn’t he in Cuba? We don’t know,” protests Faraj Allah Jarjour’s daughter, Miriam.

“I paid everything I was told. I did everything I had to do to get the body and in the end I didn’t get it. »

Since Friday, when the family was made aware of the exchange, Karam, Miriam and their mother have been in the dark and claim to receive no support from Canadian authorities.

Global Affairs Canada assures that it has regular exchanges with the family, which the latter denies. Miriam Jarjour claims to have always been at the origin of the calls and emails “always without result or response”.

“There is just the member for Laval [Annie Koutrakis] who called me. She told me: “We will try to do the maximum, we will speak with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see what we can do”, she explains.

“My team and I are in direct contact with the family and will continue to offer our support until the remains of their father and husband are repatriated,” confirmed the MP. Global Affairs Canada is working closely with Cuban authorities to quickly repatriate Mr. Jarjour’s remains in order to bring an end to this situation as this family deserves. »

For the moment powerless, those close to Faraj Allah Jarjour are launching an appeal for help. “I’m honestly destroyed. I’m trying to contact the media, maybe there is someone who will help me by sending a message to Mélanie Joly. Maybe she will help us,” adds Miriam Jarjour.

A tragic vacation

It was on March 22, while on vacation in Cuba, that Faraj Allah Jarjour died of a heart attack while swimming in the sea with his daughter, Miriam. “I started shouting for everyone to come and help me,” she says.

Without medical assistance, the family laid the body of the sixty-year-old on the beach before his son, Karam, came to provide first aid. It was only 45 minutes later that a doctor came to their aid. “When she arrived, she told me that he had died,” she adds.

For more than eight hours, until midnight, the father’s body remained lying on a deck chair, under the sun, before a vehicle came to take him to the hospital in Havana.

Miriam Jarjour then claims to have contacted the consulate to begin procedures to repatriate the body. “When I showed up there, she told me: ‘We can’t do anything, you have to go back to Canada and call the number I gave you with this email because you have to pay $10,000 for transport the body.” »

The wrong body

After several weeks of waiting, the family finally received a call from the funeral home on Friday. “They said they had received the body and were going to take it to the laboratory to prepare it. I said, “Okay, but can we get some pictures to see if it’s really my dad’s body?” » The funeral home refused, specifying that the body had to be prepared first.

It was a few hours later that the son, Karam, was contacted again by the funeral home. “They asked if our father had hair, a tattoo, if he was from Santa Lucia, but no,” says Miriam. That’s when the family realized it wasn’t the right body.

Annie Koutrakis, MP for the Vimy constituency, then informed the family that the body of the unknown man had been identified. This is a man of Russian nationality whose remains were quickly returned to his country.

It remains to be seen where Faraj Allah Jarjour’s is located. “I wonder if they didn’t burn it in Cuba,” asks his daughter.

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