May 24th, 2012
Figueroa, who has been in Canada since 1997, was once a youth member of the University Student Union that was supportive of the FMLN political wing in El Salvador, which has recently been categorized as a “terrorist” organization. Fleeing El Salvador with his wife, Jose was a peaceful student having never taken part in any attacks or fighting between the guerrillas and oppressive government forces.
Recently many supporters of the Salvadoran refugee were outraged by a federal adjudicator’s ruling that he be deported because of his membership in what the government has only recently called a “terrorist organization”. This issue created a significant amount of media attention to not only Jose’s story, but to the larger themes surrounding his case, and those of many other innocent refugees in Canada. Among his public and most vocal supporters, noted UBC professor Jerry Spiegel, recently stated that the FMLN was emphatically not a terrorist group.