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Rejected refugee to be deported Thursday

A self-confessed killer with links to the notoriously brutal Mara Salvatrucha gang is scheduled to be deported to his native El Salvador tomorrow.

The final hurdle before his removal was cleared last week when Citizenship and Immigration Canada completed its pre-removal risk assessment, concluding it is not too dangerous to return Jose Francisco Cardoza Quinteros to El Salvador.

In the meantime, Cardoza Quinteros remains in federal custody, after agreeing at a detention hearing Friday in Vancouver to stay behind bars pending his removal from Canada.

The 30-year-old, who had been living with his sister in Surrey, continues to fight his deportation and is appealing to the Federal Court of Canada to stay the removal order.

That hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in Vancouver, after The Leader’s deadline. (Check www.surreyleader.com for updates).

Cardoza Quinteros became the focus of public concern last month when it was revealed he’d been ruled inadmissible to Canada because of ties to organized crime. He was initially detained on the basis that he posed a danger to the public, only to be released later.

Cardoza Quinteros arrived in Canada Sept. 2, 2007 claiming refugee status, and over the next two days, confessed to being involved in a number of violent crimes in El Salvador, including: killing or injuring people by throwing grenades at them; shooting a rival gang member in the chest; and being present at the beheading of a woman.

Cardoza Quinteros told officials he was convicted of armed robbery and said he witnessed between 100 and 150 murders. He also admitted to being a high-ranking member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang from 1999 to 2004, but was forced to quit when the gangsters thought he had turned on them.

He later recanted nearly everything he told border officials, particularly his involvement with MS-13.

Cardoza Quinteros was then ordered released on a $1,000 bond when Immigration and Refugee Board member Otto Nupponen concluded Cardoza Quinteros was not a danger to the public.

After a series of court appeals and new detention hearings last month, Cardoza Quinteros surrendered to Canada Border Services Agency April 22, and has remained in custody since.

dweir@surreyleader.com

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