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Guatemala: Mine's ex-security chief pleads guilty to murder of Indigenous leader

"Guatemala mine's ex-security chief convicted of Indigenous leader's murder" 7 Jan 2012

A judge in Guatemala has accepted a guilty plea by the former head of security at Central America’s largest nickel mine who was on trial for killing an Indigenous leader, in a rare conviction over human rights violations allegedly linked to Canadian-owned mining companies in the region.

Mynor Padilla was found guilty on Wednesday of homicide for the 2009 fatal shooting of Adolfo Ich, a Maya Q’eqchi’ teacher and community leader who opposed the Fenix mine outside the town of El Estor...

At the time of the killing, the Fenix mining project was owned by Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals, which faced opposition from local Indigenous communities to plans to reopen the mine. The company faces ongoing civil lawsuits in Canada related to violence against Indigenous residents, including Ich’s killing...

Padilla spent four and a half years in prison prior to an initial 2017 acquittal, overturned in appeals. He pleaded guilty in December 2020 following a sentencing and reparations agreement between the prosecution and defense. He will not face further jail time.

Padilla and his defense lawyers declined comment following the ruling Wednesday.

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