Canadian Family Receives Wrong Body After Father's Death in Cuba

A Quebec family's nightmare: their father's body was mistakenly replaced with a Russian man's remains after his death in Cuba, leaving them devastated and searching for answers.

Olalekan Adigun
New Update
Canadian Family Receives Wrong Body After Father's Death in Cuba

Canadian Family Receives Wrong Body After Father's Death in Cuba

A family from Laval, Quebec is searching for answers after the remains of their father, Faraj Allah Jarjour, who died while on vacation in Cuba, were not returned to them. Instead, the family received the body of a Russian man who was about 20 years younger than the 68-year-old Jarjour.

Jarjour suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming in the ocean near Varadero, Cuba on March 22, 2024. His daughter, Miriam Jarjour, was with him at the time and followed the directions given by the Canadian consulate. The family paid $10,000 CAD to have Jarjour's body repatriated to Canada, but when the casket arrived, it contained the wrong person's remains.

The body in the casket had a full head of hair and tattoos, a striking difference from Jarjour's appearance. The family has accused Canadian authorities of negligence and is appealing for help to find Jarjour's remains so they can proceed with his burial. They have spent $25,000 CAD so far, including $15,000 CAD for funeral services that have been put on hold.

The Canadian consular authorities in Cuba have blamed the company in Cuba that coordinates the return of remains, but the Jarjour family says they have not received any answers. They are hoping that Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly will personally intervene to pressure Cuban authorities to help find Jarjour's body.

Why this matters: This tragic case highlights the challenges and potential complications families can face when a loved one dies abroad. It underscores the importance of consular services and the need for clear communication and coordination between countries to ensure the dignified return of remains.

Global Affairs Canada has acknowledged Jarjour's death and stated they are working with Cuban authorities to provide consular assistance to the family. However, due to privacy considerations, no further information has been disclosed. The Jarjour family, originally from Syria, had moved to Canada in 2016. They are devastated by the situation and are still waiting to receive Faraj Allah Jarjour's body. "We are in a very bad situation," Miriam Jarjour said. "We are destroyed."

Key Takeaways

  • Family from Laval, Quebec received wrong body of Russian man after father's death in Cuba.
  • Family paid $10,000 CAD to repatriate father's body, but casket contained a different person.
  • Family has spent $25,000 CAD so far, including $15,000 CAD for funeral services on hold.
  • Family appeals for help from Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister to locate father's remains.
  • Case highlights challenges families face when a loved one dies abroad and need for better coordination.