Tag Archives: Hudbay Minerals

Indigenous Guatemalans bring Canadian mining company to court

By Arij Riahi, 20 October 2013. Source: The Dominion

Guatemalan fist(Image: Guatemalan fist via Shutterstock)

Montreal - For the first time, a Canadian mining company will appear in a Canadian court for actions committed overseas. Hudbay Minerals, Inc, will be standing trial for murder, rapes and attacks committed against Indigenous Guatemalans by security personnel working for Hudbay’s subsidiary, Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN). The court case is proceeding thanks to a precedent-setting decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which ruled this past July in favour of the Mayan Q’eqchi’ people of Lote Ocho, near El Estor, Guatemala.

“It is a massive victory for our clients and for human rights,” Cory Wanless, an attorney with the Toronto-based Klippensteins law firm, told The Dominion. “Before this decision, no claim brought by individuals that had been harmed by Canadian mining abroad had ever gotten into Canadian courts at all. They didn’t even have the ability to forward their claims.”

Wanless represents the Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing the company of negligence in its ground management of the Fenix open-pit nickel mine project. They allege that security personnel—under the control of Hudbay—gang-raped 11 women, shot dead an Indigenous leader and outspoken critic of mining practices and left another man paralyzed from the chest down after sustaining a gunshot wound.

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Precedent setting ruling in Canada against Hudbay Minerals

By John Ahni Schertow, July 23, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Angelica Choc, Adolfo Ich Chamán’s widow, announcing one of three lawsuits against HudBay Minerals Inc. (2010) Photo: James Rodriguez / mimundo.org

Angelica Choc, Adolfo Ich Chamán’s widow, announcing one of three lawsuits against HudBay Minerals Inc. (2010) Photo: James Rodriguez / mimundo.org

In a precedent-setting ruling that has national and international implications, Ontario Superior Court Justice Carole Brown has ruled that three separate lawsuits against the Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals can proceed to trial even though the plaintiffs are from another country.

“As a result of this ruling, Canadian mining corporations can no longer hide behind their legal corporate structure to abdicate responsibility for human rights abuses that take place at foreign mines under their control at various locations throughout the world,” said Murray Klippenstein, of Toronto’s Klippensteins, Barristers & Solicitors, who’s representing 13 Maya Qeqchi from El Estor, Izabal, Guatemala.

The Maya Qeqchi turned to Canada’s court system over three separate injustices that were carried out by employees of the Fenix Mining Project, a nickel mine that was acquired by HudBay Minerals after the company purchased Skye Resources in 2008.

In January 2007, Skye Resources (subsequently renamed HMI Nickel) requested the eviction of five Maya Qeqchi communities from their ancestral lands.
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Mathias Colomb Cree Nation delivers eviction notice to Hudbay Minerals, Province of Manitoba

July 1, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry

Today, the sovereign Nation of Missinippi Nehethowak as represented by Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) delivered an eviction notice to Hudbay Mining and Smelting Co., Ltd. (Hudbay) and the province of Manitoba to vacate MCCN traditional, treaty and reserve territory.

Previously, on January 28 and March 5, 2013 Chief Dumas served two Stop Work Orders to Hudbay and the Province of Manitoba. Both site visits were peaceful gatherings where community members engaged in drumming, singing and cooking traditional foods. Hudbay subsequently sued Chief Dumas, MCCN band members and Pamela Palmater, an Indigenous activist, and obtained injunctions to prevent them from attending the site.

Today, a delegation representing sovereign First Nations and individuals from various parts of Canada, acting under their own control and direction have indicated that they will attend at the Lalor Lake mining site on MCCN territory to support the community of MCCN. Despite recent letters from Hudbay threatening to go afer individuals who support MCCN, the delegation is determined to defend the Aboriginal, treaty and inherent rights of MCCN.

Chief Arlen Dumas said, “The spirit and intent of the treaties was to share the lands, waters and natural resources, not allow one treaty partner to unilaterally prosper while impoverishing the other. We have a responsibility to protect the lands, waters, plants and animals for all our future generations — First Nations and Canadians alike.”
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Colombian guerilla group holding Canadian mining executive hostage takes aim at Ottawa

By Jorge Barrera, June 7, 2013. Source: APTN News


A Colombia guerilla group is trying to draw Ottawa into its battle with a Toronto-based mining company which is quietly trying to secure the release of one of its executives who has been held hostage since January.

The Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) kidnapped Gernot Wober, 47, on Jan. 18, during an attack on the Snow Mine camp in Bolivar state, which sits in the northern part of the country. The guerilla group kidnapped five other people, including three Colombians and two Peruvians, who have all since been released.

The guerilla group says that Wober, the vice-president of Toronto-based Braeval Mining Corp, won’t be released until the company gives up gold mining concessions in the San Lucas mountain range which the ELN claims were initially given to local miners who live in the area.

In a statement issued Wednesday and posted on the guerilla group’s website, the ELN took aim at the Canadian government.
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Mathias Colomb Cree Nation vs HudBay

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project stands in solidarity with the Mathias Colomb Cree in their fight against illegal mining activities on their territory.  Resource colonialism must stop.

-The GJEP Team

March 17, 2013. Source: Intercontinental Cry

The sovereign Nation of Missinippi Nehethowak as represented by Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) has extensive Ancestral and Traditional Territory. Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Ltd (Hudbay) has proposed Lalor Lake mine project which is on unceded Missinippi Nehethowak Territory and has failed to obtain MCCN consent to operate on their territory and extract their resources.

Chief Dumas attended with his community members and Idle No More supporters to the Lalor site on January 28 and March 5, 2013 and served two Stop Work Orders to the Hudbay and the Province of Manitoba. Both site visits were peaceful gatherings where community members engaged in drumming, singing and cooking traditional foods. The RCMP attended at MCCN’s request to help enforce Cree law.

Chief Arlen Dumas said, “We are sovereign and asserting our laws and jurisdiction over our unceded ancestral traditional territory. We have never gave up our lands, waters and natural resources. We have a responsibility to manage their use and protection. MCCN expected the province of Manitoba to uphold the rule of law and assist in enforcing the orders.”

Hudbay never contacted Chief Dumas to address his concerns, nor did the province fulfill its legal obligations to enforce the Stop Work Orders. Instead, both Hudbay and the province of Manitoba issued very similar letters to Chief Dumas telling him that Manitoba fully supports Hudbay’s activities on MCCN territory.
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Guatemala: Breakthrough regarding legal liability of Canadian HudBay Minerals for overseas abuses

By Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, February 25, 2013. Source: Upside Down World

Adolfo Ich Chamán- Photo: James Rodriguez

Adolfo Ich Chamán- Photo: James Rodriguez

In an important precedent-setting development for the accountability of Canadian mining companies for alleged overseas human rights abuses, victims of rape and murder at a Guatemalan mine are now able to sue a Canadian mining company in Canadian courts.

Guatemalan Mayan villagers who are suing Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals for the alleged gang-rapes of eleven women, the killing of community leader Adolfo Ich and the shooting and paralyzing of German Chub at HudBay’s former mining project in Guatemala recently learned that HudBay has abruptly abandoned its legal argument that the lawsuit should not be heard in Canada, just before an Ontario court was set to determine the issue. As a result, and for the first time, a lawsuit against a Canadian mining company over alleged human rights abuses abroad will be heard in Canadian courts.

“This is a stunning victory for human rights, and paves the way for future lawsuits against Canadian mining companies” said Murray Klippenstein, lawyer for the Mayan plaintiffs. “Corporations be warned – this case clearly shows that Canadian companies can be sued in Canadian courts for alleged human rights atrocities committed at their foreign operations.”
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Guatemala-Canada: Clashing world views at a cross roads

By Grahame Russell, December 19, 2012.  Source: Upside Down World

rightsaction_maya1“Avatar” overlaps with a “John Grisham” novel in the Mayan Qeqchi plaintiffs versus Hudbay Minerals lawsuits

Recently, I had a front row seat to the colliding of world visions and realities in the heart and center of Canada’s financial district in downtown Toronto.

From November 23-30, five Mayan Qeqchi [Kek’Chi] people came to Toronto to pursue justice and remedy for violations and harms they suffered due to the nickel mining interests of Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals.  They were here to respond to questions during cross-examinations by lawyers from Hudbay Minerals’ law firm Fasken Martineau.


Lawsuit #1 – Angelica Choc, wife of Adolfo Ich, a community leader, teacher and father who was the victim of a targeted killing in September 2009 carried out by private security guards hired by Hudbay’s subsidiary CGN (Guatemalan Nickel Company).

Lawsuit #2 – Rosa Elbira and Margarita Caal, representing eleven women from the remote village of Lote 8 who were gang-raped by company security guards, soldiers and police, during an illegal, violent eviction of their community in January 2007, that included the whole-scale burning and destruction of 100 small homes.

Lawsuit # 3 – German Chub, a young man and father who was shot by mining company security guards and left paralyzed on the same say as the killing of Adolfo Ich.

Accompanying them was Maria Cuc, sister of Angelica Choc and their brother Ramiro Choc, a political prisoner jailed unjustly in Guatemala on trumped up charges since 2008.
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Guatemalan villagers make long journey to Canada in search of justice

Note: Read more about the Q’eqchi’ struggle for justice as previously reported on Climate Connections.  You can also listen to the audio here.  For more information and updates, or to donate to their legal fund, check out chocversushudbay.com

-The GJEP Team

December 3, 2012.  Source: Public Radio International

Rosa Elbira.  Photo:chocversushudbay.com

Rosa Elbira. Photo:chocversushudbay.com

A group of rural Guatemalans want justice for what they say are the misdeeds of a Canadian mining company. Fearing they won’t get it in their own country, they’ve traveled to Toronto to try and get it.

A small group of Guatemalans from remote villages has made a long trek to Toronto in search of justice.

Five of them are suing a Canadian mining company.

They all claim Hudbay Minerals is liable for violence that left one man dead, another in a wheelchair and a group of women victims of gang rapes. The company denies it is to blame.
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Canadian mining on trial: Guatemalan delegation traveling to Canada to challenge corporate impunity

 Note:  The human rights abuses caused by Canadian mining companies in Latin America and in Canada are unacceptable.  Canada and Canadian-owned companies have a horrific track record for respecting the rights of indigenous peoples.  From Hydro Quebec’s continuing land grabs on Innu territory in northeastern Quebec to the Albertan Tar Sands and the Pacific Trails Pipeline on Wet’suwet’en land, Canada is waging a full-on assault on indigenous cultures.  And that war is also being waged abroad, as is the case in Guatemala.  Hudbay Minerals must be brought to justice for the crimes it has committed against the Q’eqchi’ people.

-The GJEP Team

By Dawn Paley, November 21, 2012.  Source: Dominion

Angelica and German on the porch of Angelica’s house. Photo: Ricardo Hubb

EL ESTOR, GUATEMALA—The rain won’t let up. It muddies the ground and pounds the corrugated metal roof of Angelica Choc’s house on the edge of the Guatemalan town of El Estor, enveloping the small gathering on the porch in a curtain of water. If it wasn’t for the violence surrounding a proposed nickel mine near the community, the evening’s gathering would likely have included her husband, Adolfo Ich. Maybe, at the end of the gathering, Ich would have taken out his guitar and begun an impromptu sing-a-long.

But there’s no celebration here. Instead, Choc sits on a plastic chair, sipping sweet coffee, talking through the logistics of an upcoming trip to Toronto with her sister-in-law, Maria Cuc Choc and their friend German Chub. All three are worried about how German, who is paralyzed from the waist down, will manage on the flight. What if he has to go to the bathroom on the plane, they wonder. They discuss what kind of clothes they might need for the cold. There are another two women accompanying them on the trip, and none of them own suitcases. The conversation slips back and forth between Spanish and Q’eqchi’, punctuated by laughter.

On the wall near the front door of Choc’s small wooden house is a simple altar in memory of her late husband. Two framed photos of Ich hang on the wall, his gaze straight and serious. His guitar hangs on the wall, gathering dust. A longtime Q’eqchi’ activist involved in various land struggles, Ich was murdered in September 2009 by private security guards in the employ of Hudbay Minerals.

“We’re going to travel [to Canada] because we want to demand justice,” Choc told The Dominion. “I have faith and hope that we’ll be successful. That’s what we want.” Choc, Chub, Cuc, and two others will travel to Canada for cross-examination by Hudbay’s legal team during the last week in November.
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