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Gay Nicaraguan
refugee ordered to leave Canada

Gay Nicaraguan
refugee ordered to leave Canada

Canada's board of citizenship and immigration has ordered a gay Nicaraguan man to immediately return to his native land after two years of living in Toronto while trying to seek asylum.

Alvaro Orozco, 21, said he fled Nicaraga when he was 12 because of harsh sodomy laws and abuse from his father for being gay.

"I was so scared," he said in the May 22 issue of The Advocate. "I remember going to church--my family is Catholic--and many times I heard the priest say that gay people will go to hell. It was then I knew I had to leave, that I couldn't grow up here. I couldn't wait until I was 18."

Orozco hitchhiked through Central America, Mexico, and then to Texas after swimming across the Rio Grande. When he reached the United States, he was detained and then transferred to a Catholic Charities facility. He eventually fled and lived in the U.S. for five years but was drawn to Canada because of its less stringent immigration laws.

In 2005, Orozco's request for asylum was rejected because a member of the Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board did not believe he is gay.

His attorney, El-Farouk Khaki, told The [Toronto] Globe and Mail that he will continue to fight the decision. (The Advocate)

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