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Hudbay Minerals lawsuits (re Guatemala)

Para la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales contra HudBay Minerals por actividades en Guatemala, haga clic acá.

C русской версией описания этого дела можно ознакомиться здесь.

Hudbay_nickel_mine_Guatemala_credit_mining_injustice_solidarity_networkOn 28 March 2011 a group of 11 Guatemalan women filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Ontario, Canada, against Hudbay Minerals and its subsidiary HMI Nickel Inc.  The women alleged that the companies were complicit in the gang rapes suffered by the women at the hands of security personnel hired by the defendant companies.  The women claim that the gang rapes occurred in January 2007 during forced evictions of members of the Mayan Q’eqchi’ community living in El Estor.  The companies’ nickel mining project – the Fenix project – is located in El Estor.  Members of this community have challenged the legitimacy of the mining concession granted for the Fenix project.  Hudbay Minerals says it will vigorously defend itself against the allegations of rape.

The plaintiffs are part of El Estor’s Mayan Q’eqchi’ community.  Most of this community has never accepted the legitimacy of the mining concession and land rights granted by the Guatemalan Government for the Fenix project.  The plaintiffs argue that the concession is on their ancestral land and was granted to Hudbay without adequately consulting the Q’eqchi’ community.  They have protested the development of the project and opposed the removal and resettlement of their homes and community.

In addition to the March 2011 lawsuit filed against Hudbay Minerals, a lawsuit was filed in September 2010 by the widow of a Q’eqchi community leader, Ich Chamán, who was severely beaten and shot in 2009 during a protest against the Fenix mine.  His widow, Angelina Choc, claims that security guards from the Fenix project violently beat and shot Chamán, who was unarmed, and killed him.  (Ms. Choc is also a plaintiff in the March 2011 lawsuit described above.)  The plaintiff alleged that Hudbay Minerals failed to take adequate precautions to ensure human rights abuses would be not be perpetrated by its security personnel. 

On 10 December 2011, another lawsuit was filed against Hudbay Minerals in Canada by a survivor of a shooting incident at the Fenix project.  The plaintiff, who became paraplegic as a result, alleges that in September of 2009 he was shot at close range in an unprovoked attack by the chief of security for Hudbay’s Fenix project.     

All three lawsuits are ongoing.  In February 2013 Hudbay withrew its opposition to having the case heard in Canadian court.  On 22 July 2013 the Superior Court of Ontario ruled that the lawsuits can proceed to trial in Canadian court.  In late June 2015, the Ontario Court of Justice ordered Hudbay Minerals to disclose internal corporate documentation including information regarding its corporate structure and its control over its subsidiary in Guatemala. In November 2017, 11 guatemalan women travelled to Canada to give testimony as part of the ongoing discovery procedure. On 17 September 2019, the 11 Q’eqchi’ women amended the Statement of Claim to provide further details on the involvement of Skye Resources (now part of Hudbay Minerals) in the violent eviction of their community in January 2007.

- "Important Canadian court ruling in the Hudbay Minerals (Guatemala) lawsuit", Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability, 30 Jun 2015
- "Lawyer touts 'breakthrough' in Hudbay lawsuit", Jeff Gray, Globe & Mail, 25, Feb 2013
- "Shooting Victim Announces Third Human Rights Lawsuit Against Hudbay Minerals", Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, Rights Action, 7 Dec 2011
- “Hudbay defends against allegations in gang rape lawsuit”, Canadian Press, 29 Mar 2011
- “Hudbay faces fresh $55m lawsuit from Guatemalan group”, Mining Weekly, 29 Mar 2011
- “Guatemalan widow's lawsuit against Hudbay could be precedent setting”, Matthew Hill, Mining Weekly, 18 Feb 2011
- “Widow files $12M suit against mining company”, CBC News, 2 Dec 2010

- Hudbay: [PDF] Hudbay Responds to Allegations in Statement of Claim, 29 Mar 2011
- Hudbay: The facts: Hudbay's former operations in Guatemala 
- Klippensteins, Barriesters & Solicitors [plaintiffs’ counsel]:
- [PDF] Ontario court rules that lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals regarding shootings, murder and gang-rape at its former mine in Guatemala can proceed to trial in Canada, 22 Jul 2013
 - Mayan women victims of gang rapes announce lawsuit against Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals, 28 Mar 2011
Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc. & Caal v. HudBay Minerals Inc. [includes links to legal documents filed by plaintiffs]

- [PDF] Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc. - Endorsement, 22 Jul 2013 [Supreme Court of Justice - Ontario]
- [PDF] Caal v Hudbay Minerals Inc. and HMI Nickel Inc. - Statement of Claim, 28 Mar 2011 [filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice]
- [PDF] Choc v Hudbay Minerals Inc., HMI Nickel Inc. and Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel S.A., 24 Sep 2010 [filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice]

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Autor(a): Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

"第三大支柱: 让跨国公司侵犯人权行为的受害者获得司法救济", 2013年2月


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Autor(a): Nelson Bennett, Business Vancouver (Canada)

"Wave of foreign lawsuits against local miners hits Canadian courts", 19 Apr 2016

In the coming months, the [British Columbia] BC Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a civil claim against a B.C. company with a mine in Eritrea can be heard in Canada. Three former Eritrean mine workers claim Nevsun Resources Ltd...was complicit in the Eritrean government’s use of conscripted labour and other human rights abuses at the company’s Bisha mine...The Nevsun claim is one of three that have been launched against Canadian mining companies since 2014...The...claims are part of a recent trend of Canadian mining companies operating abroad being taken to court in Canada by litigants who claim they cannot get justice in their own countries...According to...[Canadian Centre for International Justice] CCIJ, Canadian mining companies have operated for too many years with impunity in countries with lax environmental and human rights standards...The recent claims...have prompted renewed calls from Liberal MP John McKay for a Canadian ombudsperson that would investigate complaints about Canadian extraction companies operating abroad.....



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Autor(a): Observatoire des multinationales (France)

« Des victimes guatemaltèques veulent mettre fin à l'impunité des multinationales minières basées au Canada », 19 avril 2016

Depuis des années, le Canada fait figure de bastion et de refuge pour les multinationales minières et pétrolières, en leur offrant des conditions fiscales et juridiques particulièrement avantageuses, qui leur garantissaient en particulier leur impunité quant aux violations des droits humains dont se rendraient coupables leurs filiales. Selon le New York Times, une procédure judiciaire initiée au Canada par un groupe de femmes guatemaltèques victimes des agissements d’une filiale de l’entreprise minière Hudbay pourrait changer la donne…

Mme Caal [l’une des victimes violées et chassées de chez elles par des groupes armés agissant sur les ordres d’une firme minière] [selon une plainte judiciaire] s’est tournée vers les tribunaux, non pas au Guatemala…[mais au Canada]…

[Sa plainte] de même que deux autres plaintes parallèles pour négligence déposées contre Hudbay, ont déjà franchi plusieurs étapes judiciaires importantes. Ce qui laisse à penser que les firmes basées au Canada pourraient faire face à l’avenir à un examen plus approfondi de leurs opérations à l’étranger. En juin dernier, un juge a ordonné à Hudbay de rendre public ce qui pourrait représenter selon les avocats de Mme Caal des milliers de pages de documents internes. L’entreprise, qui n’était pas propriétaire de la mine au moment des faits, nie toute faute…

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Autor(a): Suzanne Daley, New York Times (USA)

"Guatemalan Women’s Claims Put Focus on Canadian Firms’ Conduct Abroad", 02 Apr 2016

...Margarita Caal Caal..said..men who had come to evict her from land they said belonged to a Canadian mining company also took turns raping her. After that, they dragged her from her home and set it ablaze...Mrs. Caal has taken her case to the courts, but not in Guatemala, where Mayan villagers like her, illiterate and living in isolated areas, have had little legal success. She has filed in Canada, where her negligence suit, Caal v. Hudbay Mineral Inc., has sent shivers through the vast Canadian mining, oil and gas industry...But Mrs. Caal’s negligence claim..[has] already passed several significant legal hurdles — suggesting that companies based in Canada could face new scrutiny about their overseas operations in the future. In June, a ruling ordered Hudbay to turn over what Mrs. Caal’s lawyers expect will be thousands of pages of internal documents...Hudbay officials dispute most of the plaintiffs’ claims...

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9 July 2015

Canadá: Tribunal de Ontario ordena divulgación de documentos de Hudbay por complicidad en abusos de derechos humanos en Guatemala

Autor(a): Klippensteins, Barristers & Solicitors

“Tribunal de Ontario ordena la divulgación de documentos corporativos en la demanda por violaciones a derechos humanos en Guatemala”, 30 de junio de 2015

 En un fallo…la Corte Suprema de Justicia de Ontario en Toronto ordenó a Hudbay Minerals a divulgar amplia documentación interna de la empresa para los querellantes que presentaron una demanda…por los presuntos actos de asesinato, ataque con arma de fuego y violaciones sexuales en grupo que se produjeron en 2009 y 2007 en la mina Fénix...El abogado Cory Wanless…explicó que por primera vez, un tribunal en Canadá ordena la divulgación de documentación interna a una corporación multi-nacional por presuntos abusos cometidos en otros países…Además, el tribunal dictaminó que Hudbay tiene que dar a conocer sus políticas de seguridad en otras operaciones mineras, tal como el caso de Manitoba…

[Traducido al español por Rights Action, la versión en inglés está disponible acá]

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Autor(a): Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA)

"Important court ruling in the HudBay Minerals- Guatemala human rights lawsuit", 30 Jun 2015

In a decision released today, the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto ordered Hudbay Minerals to disclose extensive internal corporate documentation to the Guatemalan plaintiffs who are suing Hudbay Minerals in Ontario for alleged murder, shooting and gang rapes that occurred at the company’s Fenix mine in Guatemala in 2007 and 2009...The court ordered Hudbay to disclose extensive documentation relating to its corporate structure and its control over its subsidiary in Guatemala...The court further ruled that Hudbay must reveal its security policies at its other mining operations...The court also ordered Hudbay to disclose its documentation relating to the corporation’s relations with the plaintiffs’ communities in Guatemala...[Lawyer Cory] Wanless said, “Hudbay’s internal documents will, we think, reveal serious deficiencies regarding Hudbay’s interactions and relationships with the plaintiffs’ communities that contributed to the alleged gang rapes, shooting and murder committed by Hudbay’s security forces.”...

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Autor(a): Sandra Cuffe, Mongabay.com (USA)

"Nickel Mine, Lead Bullets: Maya Q'eqchi' seek justice in Guatemala and Canada", 19 May 2015.

...Chub is one of several Maya Q'eqchi' community members shot on September 27, 2009 during a crackdown on protests over threats that a group would be evicted from its ancestral lands near CGN's Fenix ferro-nickel mining project. Chub is paralyzed from the chest down as a result...Chub was participating in the soccer game, he says, and was not involved in the protests...A former military coronel, Padilla is charged with homicide, assault causing grievous bodily harm, and assault causing bodily harm for his responsibility for the actions of security guards in his charge and for taking some of the shots himself. At the time, he was the head of security for CGN [Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel], then a subsidiary of HudBay Minerals, a Toronto-based mining company...The criminal case against CGN's former head of security is an exception to the rule in Guatemala, and a series of ongoing related civil lawsuits in Canada have already set an important precedent when a judge ruled they could proceed in a Canadian court...The judge presiding over the case transferred to a court in Guatemala City after proceedings began...[Also refers to EXMIBAL, Inco (part of Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, now Vale), Skye Resources (part of HudBay)]

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Autor(a): Daria Caliguire, SAGE Fund - Strengthening Accountability in the Global Economy

"Advancing Human Rights Accountability for Economic Actors: An introductory field guide for funders", Jan 2015

Advancing Human Rights Accountability for Economic Actors - credit:  SAGE F und – Strengthening Accountability in the Global Economy

[This guide provides]...an overview of a select set of strategies that seek to hold economic actors (primarily non-state actors) accountable to human rights obligations. We hope that this mapping:

  • Introduces an important body of work, issues and approaches to donors and others with an interest in learning more
  • Highlights some key opportunities for support and impact
  • Begins a conversation in the field among donors and activists, spurring additional strategy development, field building and investment

...This guide is a reference for funders seeking a broad overview of efforts to hold economic actors – corporations, development finance institutions, and others – accountable to human rights obligations within the larger field of human rights and the global economy. It provides an introduction to some of the field’s complex range of institutions, actors, and approaches… [It] examines more traditional human rights strategies that focus on enforcement as a means of advancing accountability, rather than engagement...

Contents [include]...

State of the Field: Focus on Enforcement
   1. Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: Movement toward Binding Agreements
      Binding Agreements and Worker-Driven Social Responsibility

   2. International Standard-Setting: Renewed Momentum for Binding International Obligations
      United Nations Guiding Principles; International Treaty on Business and Human Rights

   3. Development Finance Safeguards: New Push for Strengthened Standards

   4. Accountability Mechanisms: Need for Compliance and Remedy
      OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; IFI Complaints Mechanisms; ECA Complaint Mechanisms

   5. Regulatory Regimes: Gaining Traction with Disclosure and Due Diligence...

   6. Legal Strategies: Constructing Accountability and Access to Remedy
      Corporate Liability; Access to Remedy; Extra-Territorial Obligations 

Emerging Issues: Rise of Private Finance; Fiscal Policy and Financial Regulation; Increasing Influence of BRICS; Trade and Investment Agreements; Climate Finance

A Call for Donor Action: Regulation; Legal Strategies; Field Building

[refers to Vale, Coca-Cola, Dinant, Posco, Pacific Rim; lawsuits against Lahmeyer, Nestlé, Argor-Heraeus, Anvil Mining (now part of China Minmetals), HudBay Minerals]

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Autor(a): Michael Kourabas, TriplePundit (USA)

"Canadian Mining Companies and Corporate Accountability", 5 Jan 2015

Canadian multinationals beware: Your home and native land may now be the forum of choice for plaintiffs seeking to bring international human rights lawsuits…The Nevsun litigation follows a series of other high-profile human rights cases filed in Canada by foreign plaintiffs against international mining companies…Commentators have suggested that the 2013 Hudbay ruling [that the case could proceed to trial in Canadian court] could help plaintiffs in the Tahoe and Nevsun cases, and potentially open the door to other cases against Canadian companies accused of committing human rights abuses overseas. This is particularly important because the door appears to be closing to foreign plaintiffs elsewhere in the world…[Also refers to HudBay Minerals, Tahoe Resources]

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Autor(a): Mark Anderson, Guardian (UK)

“Eritreans sue Canadian mining firm Nevsun over human rights abuses”, 9 Dec 2014

Three Eritrean refugees have filed a lawsuit against [Nevsun] a Canadian mining firm over claims that it conspired with the Eritrean government to force them…to work at a copper mine for long hours while receiving little pay and living in squalid conditions…Nevsun commissioned an independent report into working conditions…Nevsun’s CEO…said: “We are confident that the allegations…are unfounded. Based on various company-led and third party audits, the Bisha mine has adhered at all times to international standards of governance, workplace conditions, and health and safety. We are committed to ensuring that the Bisha mine is managed in a safe and responsible manner that respects the interests of the local communities, workers...”…[A] Canada-based lawyer…representing the Eritreans, said: “We assert that Nevsun should be held accountable for the tremendous harm suffered not just by the plaintiffs but all those coerced by its local contractor into working at the Bisha mine site.”…[Also refers to HudBay Minerals]


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