On Friday, the Council of Canadians joined the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Rights Action and allies to confront Hudbay Minerals at their annual shareholders’ meeting. More than 60 protestors gathered in downtown Toronto outside the meeting in solidarity with impacted communities from across the Americas who denounce Hudbay for human rights violations, environmental abuses, and land theft.
Angelica Choc, German Chub, and Rosa Elbira were in Toronto to confront Hudbay executives and shareholders over their continued denial of human rights abuses in indigenous Q’eqchi communities around the Fenix mine in El Estor, Guatemala. Angelica, German, and Rosa are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Hudbay and its former subsidiary CGN for the shooting of Angelica’s husband, Adolfo Ich, the shooting that paralyzed German, and the gang rape of 11 women in the community of Lote 8. In a precedent-setting decision, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the case could be heard in Canada. For the first time, the abuses of a Canadian mining company operating overseas will be heard in a Canadian court.
Angelica, German, and Rosa made a statement to shareholders inside the meeting and addressed the crowd outside. Hudbay executives continued to deny the ‘credibility’ of their claims, even suggesting that Angelica had intimidated witnesses to her husband’s death. Angelica spoke to the shareholders, declaring that “these false accusations against us make me sad and angry. We are here in person to tell you our truth as we lived it.” In response, Hudbay executives insisted the case be left to the courts to decide. As Angelica told them, we will all be there watching.
Statements were also read from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in northern Manitoba, the Ayllu in Peru, and indigenous and non-indigenous communities around the Rosemont mine in Arizona. Together, these communities represent resistance to 100% of Hudbay’s mines in the Americas. Representatives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) were also present to express solidarity. IAM workers are currently on strike at the Flin Flon Snow Lake mine in northern Manitoba over wages and pensions.
The Council of Canadians stands in solidarity with impacted communities affected by Hudbay Minerals across the Americas. Maude Barlow and the Council of Canadians are committed to supporting Angelica, German, and Rosa Elbira’s lawsuits against Hudbay. You can read Barlow’s blog on the issue here.
For more on the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, please visit http://mininginjustice.org/.