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14 Jun 2019

Grahame Russell, Upside Down World

Commentary: Victims & survivors of Hudbay Mineral's repression still seeking justice in Guatemalan & Canadian court

"Is justice possible in Canada or Guatemala for Hudbay Minerals mining repression?", 12 Jun 2019

Every now and then there is a human rights, territory and environmental defense struggle that breaks through the thick walls of global corporate wrong-doing and criminality, denial, corruption and impunity.  The Hudbay Minerals lawsuits in Canada, and related Mynor Padilla trial in Guatemala, are one such struggle.
The issues at hand - mining-linked repression; collusion with corrupt and repressive business partners, governments, security guards, police and military; widespread impunity - are similar to other cases of corporate wrong-doing and criminality around the world. For a number of reasons, however, these legal cases in Canada and Guatemala are painstakingly overcoming legal, jurisdictional and political obstacles (including on-going repression) and proceeding...

More specifically, these cases are proceeding due to the courage and strength of the 13 Mayan Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs, victims and survivors of the mining repression who are now protagonists in these struggles for justice.  These cases are proceeding due to the legal acuity and commitment of lawyers in Canada and Guatemala; and to a trusting work alliance that Rights Action has with the victims-plaintiffs since 2004.  Since the civil lawsuits were filed in Canada in 2010, and the criminal trial began in Guatemala in 2015, Rights Action has maintained close working and funding relations with the victims-plaintiffs and their Canadian and Guatemalan lawyers...

Thirteen Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs, suing Hudbay Minerals and CGN (Guatemalan subsidiary company, formerly owned by Hudbay) for mining related repression, will travel to Toronto (11 of them in November 2017; 2 more in early 2018) to be deposed by Hudbay lawyers as part of the precedent-setting Hudbay/CGN lawsuits.

Two of these mining repression victims are also pursuing a parallel but separate criminal trial in Guatemala against Mynor Padilla, former head of security of Hudbay/CGN...