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Mexican journalist in B.C. fears for life if deported after exposing corruption

VANCOUVER - A Mexican journalist who blew the whistle on corrupt officials in her homeland is pleading with the federal government to let her stay in Canada and says she will be persecuted if sent back.

Karla Garcia Ramirez, a mother of two children, fled to B.C. as an asylum seeker in 2008 after uncovering shady dealings in a government ministry.

Since her arrival Ramirez wrote a book that exposes what she alleges to be corruption at the highest levels of the cultural agencies of the Mexican government, and received help from two B.C. universities.

Ramirez told a news conference she left her native country because she was the target of verbal and physical intimidation and has faced new death threats since authoring the book.

But the Immigration and Refugee Board denied her application for refugee status and she is now applying to the Canadian government to let her stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Alexander Dawson, director of Latin American Studies at Simon Fraser University, says he believes Ramirez's life and the well-being of her family is in danger if she's forced to return because vendettas are often carried out in Mexico with impunity.

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