The Canadian Press reports, “A civil trial in Ontario involving a Canadian mining company being sued over alleged shootings and gang rapes at a project in Guatemala will proceed with a jury, the law firm representing the plaintiffs said Thursday (Dec. 12).”
“The suits allege that security personnel, along with members of the police and military, attacked and raped 11 women in 2007 who were forcibly removed from their village. It also seeks to hold HudBay Minerals Inc. and a subsidiary responsible for the subsequent killing of community leader, Adolfo Ich, as a result of a land dispute and the shooting and paralysis of local resident, German Chub.”
“Klippensteins said the litigation is now in the discovery stage and a trial is still at least several years away.”
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow wrote, “I had the honour of taking a memorable trip to Guatemala, strikingly beautiful but haunted by a violent past and a troubled present. …On the first evening, a few of us gathered in a hotel room to hear stories of atrocities and intimidation at the El Estor nickel mine, until recently owned and operated by Canadian mining company HudBay. Everyone you see in this photograph of Qeqchi people from the community was affected by beatings, killings, imprisonment, rape or intimidation by local thugs terrorizing anyone who resists or even questions the mine. Most heart wrenching for me is the young man in the wheelchair, German Chub Coc, who was playing soccer with friends two years ago when a gang of armed thugs entered the village and opened fire, paralysing him from the waist down.”
Barlow wrote, “I had the privilege of speaking at the public event at OISE in Toronto along with the beautiful and brave women and men from Guatemala in Canada to seek justice against abuse they suffered as a result of the Canadian mining company, Hudbay. …This court challenge is groundbreaking and the Council of Canadians is committed to supporting the case for the duration.”
The Canadian Press reported that HudBay Minerals is developing a gold, zinc and copper mine near Lalor Lake on the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. Chief Arlen Dumas said the band opposes the mine, never surrendered its rights to the land and resources, and that the provincial government failed in its duty to obtain the free, informed and prior consent.
Council of Canadians organizing assistant Ailish Morgan-Welden participated in a protest outside Hudbay’s annual shareholders meeting in Toronto. The protest was to highlight violence against Mayan Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala, in solidarity with the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Manitoba, and to stand up against corporate impunity.
Council of Canadians committed to support challenge against Hudbay mining company
Maude Barlow in Guatemala: Bearing witness to a destructive mining industry
CBC National News coverage of challenge against Hudbay mining company in Guatemala
Lawsuit against HudBay to be heard in Canada!