Canada was shot in Paraguay; Family desperate for answers

Shemick Matusiak said he hasn’t been able to sleep or work for a week since his father was shot in the leg in Paraguay.

Shemick’s father, Richard, 66, is a freelance painter and recently retired. Faced with arthritis, he chose to spend six months of the year in a warm climate and six months of the year in Canada with his children and grandchildren.

On November 5, Richard was shot in the holiday home he built himself.

Shemick said: ‘Two men on motorbikes came to his property with a shotgun, talking back and forth, they got into a fight and they shot him.

“He called me while he was being taken to the hospital. He was very weak and he just said to me, ‘They tried to kill me’. It was basically the last time I heard of him.”

The family was informed that the bullet had hit a major artery in Richard’s leg and that the hospital did not have enough blood to treat him. He has undergone two rounds of surgery and his family is keen to bring him back to Canada for medical care.

The family has contacted Global Affairs Canada but they say they have not received much response and they have not received any news since Thursday.

Even when family members go to South America, they still need government support to bring Matusiak home because of his condition.

“To know that you are begging your country to help get him home safely, at least to Canadian soil so he can get what he needs (but) get no response, not even knowing for four next day whether he will be alive or not. OK,” said Kristina Ponder, Richard’s daughter-in-law.

Global Affairs Canada issued a statement to CTV News saying the department was “aware of a Canadian citizen in need of assistance in Paraguay. The consular officer is contacting local authorities for more information and is in contact with the family for consular assistance.”

The department said no further information could be released due to privacy considerations.

The family has also contacted the office of the local MP, Sukh Dhaliwal. On Sunday, Dhaliwal told CTV News that his office will continue to monitor Global Affairs Monday morning.

“I will be in Ottawa tomorrow and I will make sure that I also speak to the Minister personally,” Dhaliwal said.

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