Toronto Sun, Oct. 16
What does a refugee claimant have to do, exactly, to lose the right to privacy in Canada?
Especially when the public’s right to be protected from communicable diseases, like AIDS, could be compromised as a result.
As reported by the Sun’s Alan Cairns on Friday, Waldo Llano, 34, has the AIDS virus.
And a history as a male prostitute.
He used fake I.D. to enter Canada as a refugee claimant in February 2004.
And his history in Florida includes charges of soliciting prostitution, domestic battery, being drunk and disorderly and driving under the influence.
Now, does that sound like someone with the potential to spread the AIDS virus here in Canada? It certainly does to us.
Llano was arrested two weeks ago in Toronto and is now in the Toronto West Detention Centre.
And yet, federal officials have refused to identify him publicly and warn anyone who may have had sexual contact with him to get tested for the AIDS virus, arguing it would violate his privacy rights. Incredible.
Under Canadian law, refugee claimants are not automatically barred from entering Canada if they have the AIDS virus. (Those seeking to immigrate to Canada permanently may be deemed medically inadmissable, depending on the state of their health.)
But even refugee claimants can be deemed medically inadmissable and denied entry to Canada if it is determined they are likely to be a danger to public health or public safety.
Given Llano’s history, what reasonable person wouldn’t reach this conclusion?
In that context, we can’t understand why he’s still here. Beyond that, why are the feds so concerned about protecting his privacy and not, apparently, about protecting the public from someone who is clearly a risk to spread the AIDS virus?
And why do the rights of Canadians so often seem to come last in these sorts of controversies?
And another thing . . .
We just bet U.S. President George Bush is quaking in his boots after getting a stern warning from PM Paul Martin on Friday that Canada is losing patience over softwood lumber. When will Martin understand that you can’t repreatedly poke your neighbour in the eye, and then ask him for a favour?
Federal officials are refusing to warn the public about the HIV status of a Cuban criminal and fake refugee citing his privacy rights, the Sun has learned.
The Canada Border Services Agency was alerted recently that Waldo Llano, 34, not only admitted having the AIDS virus, but also had a history as a male prostitute and may have had sex with many partners while living in Canada for 18 months.
Llano disclosed his HIV status to federal officials after his arrest in Toronto two weeks ago.
Government officials have rejected suggestions by an informant that they should warn anyone who may have had sex with Llano to see a doctor because of privacy laws.
That refusal came despite the fact that Llano — a repeat criminal who is wanted in Florida for parole violation — used fake ID to enter Canada as a refugee in February, 2004.
When asked about Llano’s case yesterday, border agency officials refused comment, citing privacy issues for refugees.
“If your information is correct, I can’t talk about him . . . If a refugee is arrested, if they are in detention . . . there is nothing I can divulge,” spokesman Anna Pape said.
A source who requested anonymity told the Sun that Llano used a fake name — Jorge Pena Lara — to get into Canada and declared himself as a refugee from Cuba. In fact, Llano came to Canada from Miami, Fla., where he lived for at least 10 years.
Llano was fingerprinted and photographed at the Canadian border but officials did not check with the RCMP or the FBI, the source said, adding: “What kind of stupid system is this.” The fake Lara was released and came to Toronto. Within months he had shacked up with a Toronto woman — who does not understand the implications of HIV and may have slept with several other people, the source said.
And on one occasion, the source said, Llano bit a neighbour during a fight and drew blood. It isn’t known if the neighbour is aware of Llano’s HIV status.
“He was living as Jorge Pena Lara, Cuban refugee claimant and upstanding citizen,” the source said.
Llano lived in west Toronto and worked in construction.
“Apparently if you come here from Cuba and claim refugee status, you are golden, no matter what . . . even if you’re a bum and gave a fake name,” the source said.
The source is now concerned that Llano will not be extradited to Florida and will make bail in Canada.
Florida records show an arrest warrant was issued for Llano Jan. 30, 2004 — days before he came to Canada. Llano had skipped parole less than one year into a three-year community supervision sentence for two counts of aggravated assault relating to an attempt to run down cops during a car chase.
Miami-Dade County arrest records show he has a lengthy criminal record. His charge sheet starts in August, 1997, when he was charged with soliciting prostitution when he allegedly approached an undercover male cop and said “let’s f . . . ,”offering sex for $10.
Over the next four years he amassed charges of being drunk and disorderly, domestic battery and three separate counts of driving under the influence. The courts suspended his driver’s licence on two occasions.
But it made no difference to Llano. He was charged with drunk driving again after he caused a three-car crash.
On April 15, 2001, Llano tried to run over a Florida cop after police boxed in his vehicle during a car chase.
CAN’T BE EXTRADITED
He amassed further charges in 2002 and 2003, among them reckless driving and driving under the influence.
He is being held in the Toronto West Detention Centre.
A source in Canada suggested that federal officials cannot extradite Llano to Cuba, nor can they arbitrarily extradite him to the U.S. Unless Florida demands his extradition, a costly and lengthy extradition hearing looms. One Florida police officer suggested to the Sun that Llano stay in Canada.
“He’s all yours. We don’t want him back,” the officer said.