Sherbrooke denies honorary citizenship for Rodriguez-Flores family

By Michael Boriero
Sherbrooke denies honorary citizenship for Rodriguez-Flores family

On Tuesday, during a council meeting, the city of Sherbrooke denied a request to offer honorary citizenship for the Rodriguez-Flores family, who have been living in sanctuary at Plymouth-Trinity United Church for 10 months.
The discussion around honorary citizenship was broached in the spring by the sanctuary support committee. However, the committee’s co-spokesperson, Guy Ouellet, told The Record it was done in an unofficial capacity. This time around, though, they tabled an official request.
“We wanted the city to show its solidarity for the family, and to the residents who have been helping them for 10 months now, since Nov. 8. And […] it would have allowed us to propel this family’s story outside of Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships,” Ouellet said on Thursday.
The committee, he explained, believes honorary citizenship will help to bring the family’s situation into the spotlight, much like when Montreal gave honorary citizenship to imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. The blogger’s story gained national attention, Ouellet continued.
And while the Rodriguez-Flores family have not been imprisoned, they face deportation back to Mexico, where they have received death threats from a local drug cartel. This should be enough to merit protection from the city, Ouellet said, but the city believes it is pointless.
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