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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Autor(a): Jordan Fletcher, Globe and mail (Canada)

A former HudBay Minerals subsidiary in Guatemala is pressuring a group of indigenous women to drop their high-profile lawsuit against the Canadian miner, lawyers for the women says. The lawsuit is one of three accusing HudBay and its former subsidiary Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel (CGN) of responsibility for a killing, shootings and gang rapes in Guatemala in 2007 and 2009. The plaintiffs’ complaints about pressure from CGN come two months after the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the women’s case may proceed to trial…The letter says CGN has threatened…to file criminal defamation charges against the women in Guatemala and to withhold land from others in the community…“[HudBay and CGN] do not believe the allegations…regarding the conduct of CGN are truthful,” said Robert Harrison of Fasken Martineau in Toronto, who represents both companies in the litigation…

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Autor(a): Arij Riahi, Dominion (Canada)

For the first time, a Canadian mining company will appear in a Canadian court for actions committed overseas. Hudbay Minerals, Inc, will be standing trial for murder, rapes and attacks committed against Indigenous Guatemalans by security personnel working for Hudbay’s subsidiary, Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN). The court case is proceeding thanks to a precedent-setting decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which ruled this past July in favour of the Mayan Q’eqchi’ people of Lote Ocho, near El Estor, Guatemala. “It is a massive victory for our clients and for human rights,” Cory Wanless, an attorney with…Klippensteins law firm…“Before this decision, no claim brought by individuals that had been harmed by Canadian mining abroad had ever gotten into Canadian courts at all. They didn’t even have the ability to forward their claims.”

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Autor(a): Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability

Those who have been harmed by Canadian extractive operations overseas need to be able to seek justice in Canada. It’s time for Canada to be Open for Justice. We need legislation giving access to Canadian courts for people who have been seriously harmed by the international operations of Canadian companies and we need a mandatory extractive-sector Ombudsman in Canada. The Open for Justice campaign invites Canadians to support these demands.

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Autor(a): Sonya Nigam, University of Ottawa, in Canadian Lawyer

Increasingly, Canadian extractive companies and their subsidiaries have been the subject of allegations of human rights violations associated with their overseas activities, particularly when operating in developing countries. For years, liability before Canadian courts has been avoided. However, the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc. may be the first step towards recognition that Canadian companies should be accountable for their behaviour outside Canada…[Also refers to Cambior, Green Park]

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Autor(a): Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 10th 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…This bulletin is now available in Spanish and French. [Refers to African Barrick Gold, Alstom, BP, CACI, Chevron, Coca-Cola, COMILOG (part of ERAMET), Daimler, Danzer, Dow Chemical, Drummond, ERAMET, Ford, HudBay Minerals, IBM, KBR, Ledesma, Mercedes-Benz (part of Daimler), Monterrico Metals, Nestlé, PA Child Care, Qosmos, Rio Tinto, Shell, Sinter Metal, SNCF, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thomson Safaris, Total, Union Carbide (part of Dow), Vedanta Resources, Veolia (part of Veolia Environnement), Veolia Environnement, Walmart]

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Autor(a): Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

This briefing highlights reports from a range of sources about how businesses have impacted human rights, positively and negatively, in Latin America & the Caribbean over the past two years. The briefing refers to most countries in Latin America. Amanda Romero, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s Latin America & the Caribbean Researcher based in Colombia and Julia Neiva, Brazil and Portuguese-speaking countries Researcher and Representative based in Brazil, provide our coverage of these countries. This is not a comprehensive overview. It flags some major issues, cases, developments and trends. For more details see our website, with sections on over 190 countries, more than 5000 companies, and 150 issues.

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9 September 2013

[PDF] Empresas y Derechos Humanos en América Latina y el Caribe - Panorama sobre los acontecimientos más recientes

Autor(a): Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos

Este informe destaca los reportes de un variado rango de fuentes sobre los impactos (negativos y positivos) de las empresas sobre los derechos humanos en América Latina y el Caribe, en los dos últimos años. El informe hace referencia a la mayoría de países de América Latina. Amanda Romero, investigadora y representante para América Latina y el Caribe, con sede en Colombia, y Julia Neiva, investigadora y representante para Brasil y los países de habla portuguesa, con sede en Brasil, del Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos, hacen un cubrimiento de estos países. El presente informe no es exhaustivo, pero sí destaca algunos de los asuntos, casos, iniciativas y tendencias más importantes. Para mayores detalles, visite nuestro sitio web, en donde encontrará información sobre más de 190 países, más de 5.000 empresas, y 150 temas.

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Autor(a): Alexandra Posadzki, Canadian Press

A Canadian mining company has decided not to appeal a ruling that will allow three lawsuits it is facing over alleged shootings and gang rapes at a Guatemalan project to be tried in Canada…The ruling makes it possible for firms to face liability at home for incidents that occur abroad…One of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs -- 13 Mayan Guatemalans -- said he was surprised by the decision because he said so far the mining company has fought "tooth and nail" at every step in the process…Harrison [the lawyer representing HudBay] said the company decided that allowing the cases to proceed to trial was the best course of action."HudBay is confident it will succeed on the merits," Harrison said in an email. Wanless [who represents the plaintiffs,] said that this case potentially has far reaching implications for Canadian firms…

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Autor(a): Dominic Voisard, dans le blogue d'Avocats sans frontières Canada

[L]a Cour supérieure de justice de l’Ontario a rejeté trois requêtes préliminaires présentées par la compagnie minière Hudbay Minerals…, HMI Nickel…et leur filière guatémaltèque…CGN…permettant de ce fait que le dossier puisse procéder devant un tribunal d’instance de la Cour supérieure de justice de l’Ontario. Les allégations…concernent des violations des droits de l’Homme commises au Guatemala par le personnel de sécurité privé de la compagnie minière CGN lors de confrontations avec certains membres de la communauté locale…qui s’opposaient à leur expropriation du site d’extraction…Les victimes...[allèguent] la responsabilité civile de la maison mère située à Toronto. Cette demande est ambitieuse puisque les tribunaux canadiens jusqu’à maintenant refusaient d’entendre des demandes en responsabilité civile contre des sociétés canadiennes pour les violations des droits de l’Homme supposément commises par leurs filiales étrangères argumentant qu’il s’agissait de deux entités distinctes…Cette affaire pourrait créer un précédent intéressant forçant les entreprises transnationales ayant leur siège social au Canada à agir de la même manière au Canada que dans le reste du monde…

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28 July 2013

Corte canadiense acepta denuncia contra empresa minera (Guatemala)

Autor(a): Prensa Libre (Guatemala)

La Corte de Justicia de Ontario, Canadá...acepta iniciar un proceso judicial contra la firma canadiense HudBay Minerals, que era propietaria de la Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel...que extrae níquel en El Estor, Izabal, por el asesinato, agresiones y violaciones de indígenas mayas que viven en área...[L]as víctimas de los crímenes que cometieron los trabajadores de la CGN presentaron tres demandas legales en Canadá, buscando justicia y resarcimiento ante la indiferencia e impunidad en el sistema de justicia de Guatemala...[E]l fallo de la corte canadiense tiene un significado trascendental, ya que sienta un precedente que puede contribuir a impedir que empresas extractivas transnacionales continúen violando los derechos humanos y depredando los recursos naturales de Guatemala.

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