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.

- "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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Artículo
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Autor(a): Sebastian Rosemont, Foreign Policy in Focus (USA)

"Seeking Justice in Canada: Hitting Mining Companies Where They Live", 12 Aug 2014

...[T]he harsh reality is that Guatemalans have little to show for their efforts to secure their rights through their country’s court system...Facing dim prospects in Guatemala, these three cases have been brought as a joint suit against Hudbay Minerals [in Canada]...This is the first one to win a judge’s approval to move to the trial stage...There are several legal obstacles for bringing a case to Canada. The company defendants typically argue that Canadian courts lack jurisdiction...Or they might say that the case ought to be heard in the country where the alleged offence took place...Or they might claim that whatever happened was unpredictable...People in countries with weak judicial systems now have at least the possibility to seek justice in...Canada. If the verdict goes in favor of the plaintiffs, a new transnational understanding of rule of law will emerge...[Refers to Anvil Mining, Cambior, Copper Mesa, Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel, Hudbay Minerals, Tahoe Resources]   

 

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Autor(a): Melinda Maldonado, MacLeans [Canada]

Rosa Elbira Coc Ich was warming tortillas when the men came…Nine…pushed their way into her home…Ich claims all nine of them raped her. Nearby 10 other women from the Mayan Q’eqchi’ community say they experienced the same ordeal—gang rapes at the hands of police, military and private security from the Fenix nickel mine, 300 km northeast of Guatemala City…These and other allegations, including the murder of a community leader and the shooting of another local man, are contained in three lawsuits filed in 2010 against…Hudbay Minerals Inc., which owned the mine through a subsidiary from 2008 to 2011. None of the allegations have been proven in court; the company…denies the allegations. The simple fact the case has made it this far has already raised the stakes for Canadian companies operating abroad.  [also refers to Tahoe Resources, Skye Resources (part of HudBay), Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN) (part of HudBay), Soloway Group]

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Artículo
18 June 2014

Casos e Intervenciones del Centro Canadiense de Justicia Internascional: Tahoe Resources Inc. [Guatemala]

Autor(a): Canadian Centre for International Justice

[El] 18 de junio de 2014, siete guatemaltecos presentaron una demanda civil en una corte de Vancouver contra...Tahoe Resources Inc. por los daños que sufrieron el año pasado, cuando personal de seguridad de Tahoe les dispararon a quemarropa. Los hombres, residentes de San Rafael Las Flores…donde se ubica la mina El Escobal…alegan que Tahoe es legalmente responsable de la violencia que se ejerció sobre ellos, cuando estaban protestando pacíficamente. Los demandantes alegan que el tiroteo fue un intento premeditado del personal de seguridad de la empresa minera para eliminar la resistencia al proyecto minero…A pesar de la fuerte oposición de varias comunidades en Guatemala por la preocupación del posible impacto ambiental y la falta de consultas significativas con los residentes locales, Tahoe ha continuado con el desarrollo de la mina y ha empezado en enero 2014 la producción de plata comercial…[Se refiere a Anvil Mining, Hudbay Minerals]

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Ítem
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Autor(a): Canadian Centre for International Justice

On June 18, 2014, seven Guatemalan men filed a civil lawsuit in a Vancouver court against...Tahoe Resources Inc. for injuries they suffered when Tahoe’s security personnel opened fire on them at close range. The men, residents of San Rafael Las Flores, where the company’s Escobal mine is located, allege that Tahoe is legally responsible for the violence inflicted on them as they peacefully protested against the mine. The lawsuit alleges that the shooting was a premeditated attempt by mine security personnel to eliminate resistance to the mine – Tahoe’s lone asset and one that the company has publicly claimed could someday equal the output of the world’s largest silver mine. Despite strong opposition in several Guatemalan communities over concerns about possible environmental impacts and the lack of meaningful consultation with local residents, Tahoe has continued the development of the mine and began commercial silver production in January 2014...[Also refers to Anvil Mining, Hudbay Minerals]

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Demanda
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Autor(a): Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Para la versión en español de este perfil de caso, haga clic acá.

См. версию дела на русском здесь.

On 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.

- "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]

Artículo
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Autor(a): Rights Action

[T]he Q'eqchi people of Guatemala…seek justice in Canadian courts against Hudbay Minerals, for a killing, shooting and gang-rapes they suffered in Guatemala…In a series of memos, major Canadian law firms warn their corporate clients to pay close attention to the "Hudbay Minerals Lawsuits"…[W]e reproduce a few of them and provide links to others…[M]ajor law firms are now warning their clients about the new "risks" (of legal liability) represented by the "Hudbay Minerals lawsuits" and the July 23, 2013 ruling of the Ontario Superior Court. It is important to note…that the Hudbay Mineral lawsuits have legal liability implications for Canadian corporations working globally in other industries, including: sweatshop maquiladoras; tourism; hydro-electric dams; oil and gas; etc...

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Autor(a): Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 11th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non- lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available...[Refers to African Rainbow Minerals, Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), AngloGold Ashanti, Argor-Heraeus, BP, Bull, CACI, Chevron, Davao Fruits, Ford, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, HudBay Minerals, IBM, Kaweri (part of Neumann Gruppe), Koh Kong Sugar, Lapanday Agricultural Development, Nestlé, Neumann Gruppe, Texaco (part of Chevron), Titan Corporation (now L-3 Services, part of L-3 Communications), Veolia Environnement, Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement)]

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Autor(a): Henry Lazenby, Mining Weekly

Guatemalan Mayan plaintiffs involved with litigation against Hudbay Minerals in Ontario, on Thursday filed a jury notice choosing a trial by jury that could potentially hold the company liable in Canada for alleged sexual assault, murder and shootings at a mining project formerly owned by its Guatemala subsidiary. As a result, the lawsuits against Hudbay would be tried in Ontario in a front of a jury comprised of ordinary Canadians. Lawyers for the Guatemalan Mayan plaintiffs said the plaintiffs believed that it was entirely appropriate for regular Canadians to have the responsibility of judging Canadian corporations for “harms created by their actions”… The Hudbay litigation now entered the ‘discovery’ stage of the lawsuit. Through discoveries, Hudbay would be required to disclose all relevant documents and communications regarding the operation of its former Fenix nickel project…in Guatemala.

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

The Access to Judicial Remedy (A2JR) Project set out to identify and analyze the barriers in the United States, Canada, and Europe…The detailed mapping exercise undertaken in the development of this Report shows that States are generally not fulfilling their obligation to ensure access to effective judicial remedies to victims of human rights violations by businesses operating outside their territory. Victims continue to face barriers that at times can completely block their access to an effective remedy…These barriers have been overcome in only some instances…Victims of human rights violations by business, wherever the violations occur, are entitled to full and effective access to judicial remedies. In order to provide this, each State should examine the barriers in their jurisdiction and consider the range of actions they can take to alleviate them, and in particular, the recommendations contained in this Report…[Refers to Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), Barrick Gold, Bull, Cambior, Cape PLC, Chevron, Chiquita, Daimler, DLH (Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman), Drummond, ExxonMobil, HudBay Minerals, Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin), Shell, Talisman, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thor Chemicals, Unocal (part of Chevron), Veolia Environnement (formerly Vivendi), Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement), Walmart, Zijin]

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Autor(a): Liam Barrington-Bush & Jen Wilton, TheTyee.ca (Canada)

From Papua New Guinea to Guatemala, mining ventures directly or indirectly financed and owned by companies registered in Canada have been associated with controversy in the communities in which they operate. Business-friendly laws have made Canada the preferred legal residence for three-quarters of the world's mining companies. But many of those companies actually operate in developing countries whose legal systems inspire little confidence, even among their own citizens. Violent attacks ranging from assault to murder have been reported from scores of communities near Canadian-operated mines in Latin America, Africa, Europe and elsewhere. Company spokesmen typically blame such events on murky 'pre-existing' conflicts…Here, a short history of some of the industry's best documented controversies of recent years…[Refers to Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), Barrick Gold, Blackfire Exploration, China Minmetals, Excellon Resources, Gran Colombia Gold, Hudbay Minerals, Nevsun Resources, Pacific Rim, Tahoe Resources]

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