For the first time a lawsuit against a Canadian mining company over alleged human rights abuses abroad will be heard in a Canadian court. After opposing it for more than a year, HudBay Minerals Inc. has agreed to have the case heard by a Canadian court. But the company says that the charges should be thrown out, arguing that it cannot be tried in court here for the actions in Guatemala of its former foreign subsidiary at the time.
In what could potentially be a landmark ruling for Canadian corporate accountability, members of the Mayan Q’eqchi community of Lote Ocho have brought three lawsuits against HudBay Minerals Inc. in the superior court of Ontario.
The charges against Hudbay
One: In September 2010, Angelica Choc, widow of Q’eqchi’ community leader and teacher Adolfo Ich Chaman, filed a claim against HudBay Minerals and its subsidiaries HMI Nickel Inc. and Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel (CGN) for their responsibility in the death of her husband at the hands of security personnel employed at the Fenix mining project on September 27 2009, during a protest over the land occupation. She says that several people saw Adolfo Ich Chaman dragged away to a building on the mine site, where he was attacked with machetes and shot.
Hudbay denies security personnel were responsible. “Based on internal investigations and eye witness reports, HudBay and CGN are confident that CGN personnel were not involved in his death.” Continue Reading