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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Artículo
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Autor(a): Jeff Gray, Globe & Mail [Canada]

As the widow of a slain Mayan community leader looked on, lawyers clashed in a Toronto courtroom…over whether…HudBay Minerals Inc., can be held liable for alleged violence at a Guatemalan mine owned by a subsidiary. Lawyers for HudBay…say allowing it to proceed would “wreak havoc” with the well-established corporate law principle that parent companies are not liable for the actions of their subsidiaries…Lawyers for the plaintiffs, and Amnesty International Canada, which intervened in the case,…argued that HudBay itself can be held liable for alleged negligence in the case, alleging the company’s executives made key decisions “on the ground” for its subsidiary about its security guards, relations with nearby indigenous people, and the “forced evictions” of Mayan protesters who claim the mine’s land as their own. The judge…reserved her decision.

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Artículo
4 March 2013

Demandante de Hudbay dice que es difícil que en Guatemala se haga justicia

Autor(a): EFE y Siglo 21.com [Guatemala]

…[Angélica] Choc, viuda del líder indígena Adolfo Ich…asesinado en septiembre de 2009 en Guatemala presuntamente por agentes de seguridad de la mina Fénix, asistió…al inicio del juicio contra Hudbay, cuya subsidiaria Compañía Guatemalteca del Níquel (CGN) era la propietaria de la explotación minera…[La víctima] quiere que "se haga justicia y que paguen por todos los daños que han hecho...” El bufete de abogados…Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors acusan a Hudbay de "negligencia" por el asesinato...así como por la violación de 11 mujeres indígenas y del ataque contra Germán Chub Choc que le dejó paralítico en una silla de ruedas……Murray Klippenstein destacó que el caso de Choc…contra Hudbay es "histórico", porque es la primera vez que una compañía minera canadiense se enfrenta a un juicio en Canadá por supuestos abusos ocurridos fuera del país norteamericano[Los] abogados defensores de Hudbay argumentaron ante la jueza…del Tribunal Superior de Ontario, que rechace el caso porque no tiene base, excede las limitaciones y porque los tribunales canadienses no tienen jurisdicción...

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Autor(a): Jeff Gray, Globe & Mail [Canada]

A lawyer suing Toronto-based HudBay Minerals Inc. on behalf of victims who blame security guards at a Guatemalan mine for lethal violence and human-rights abuses says a move by the company to drop its objection to having the case heard in Canada is a “breakthrough.”…[L]awyer Murray Klippenstein calls the move a “stunning victory” for his clients… HudBay, which sold its interest in the mine in 2011, denies the allegations, saying they are “without merit.” HudBay had been preparing to argue that the case should be heard in Guatemala, not Canada, on jurisdictional grounds…The two sides are due in court next week as the company seeks to have the case against it thrown out.

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Autor(a): Jeff Gray, Globe and Mail [Canada]

A former head of security for a Guatemalan nickel mine once owned by Toronto-based HudBay Minerals Inc. has been arrested in the 2009 killing of a Mayan anti-mine activist, according to a Toronto lawyer acting for the dead man's family. HudBay, which sold off the Fenix mine near El Estor, Guatemala, last year, has denied allegations the mine's security staff were involved in the death, which came amid violent clashes with indigenous protesters. The company declined to comment Friday on the report of the arrest. Toronto lawyer Murray Klippenstein, who has launched three lawsuits in Ontario against HudBay alleging human-rights violations, said Guatemalan authorities had arrested the former head of security for the mine on Sept. 25.

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Autor(a): Rights Action

Almost three years to the day after the brutal slaying of community leader Adolfo Ich at Hudbay Minerals’ mining project in Guatemala, Guatemalan authorities...arrested the former chief of security of the mine, Mynor Padilla, on charges of murder and attempted murder. While this is an important first step towards justice for Mayan communities harmed by Hudbay’s mining project, Hudbay has not yet been held to account and Canadian human rights lawsuits against Hudbay over the same allegations continue in Ontario courts…Hudbay has confirmed that its subsidiary continued to employ and pay Mr. Padilla for at least a year after the murder while he was a fugitive from justice

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Artículo
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Autor(a): Rights Action

Legal Decision (2010) Against Canadian Government and Ambassador to Guatemala for 2007 slandering of film-maker about a documentary ("El Estor Evictions") concerning illegal forced evictions Mayan-Qeqchi communities in Guatemala, on behalf of Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals (that bought out Skye Resources)[se refiere a Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel, CGN]…"Unfortunately, the Canadian government seems to be on the side of mining companies..." (Steven Schnoor, film-maker)…

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Artículo
1 January 2012

[PDF] "La responsabilidad de las empresas multinacionales por violaciones de los derechos humanos: práctica reciente"

Autor(a): Francisco Javier Zamora Cabot, Universidad Jaume I de Castellón

Vinculándose con diversas iniciativas de las Naciones Unidas respecto de las empresas multinacionales y los DD.HH…[el Informe…Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights]…enfatiza la obligación de…proveer el acceso a…reparación…haciéndose patente cómo los avances en los derechos internos deben acompasarse...de…mecanismos de investigación, sanción y reparación…[L]os EE.UU.…parecen encontrarse ante un punto de inflexión a este respecto…El ATCA…se aplicaba sin suscitar excesivos rechazos, hasta que empezaron a caer bajo su dominio las empresas multinacionales…[E]l caso Kiobel…podría ser...un verdadero paso atrás que debería ser corregido…[P]aso ya a presentar algunos de los casos de violaciones de los Derechos Humanos imputados a las empresas del sector y País citados…[Se refiere a Anvil Mining, Barrick Gold, Chiquita, Drummond, Hudbay Minerals, Infinito Gold, Jeppensen (part of Boeing), Pacific Rim Mining, Pfizer, Porgera (joint venture Barrick Gold, Emperor Gold Mines, Mineral Resources Enga), Rio Tinto, Shell, Talisman, Texaco (part of Chevron)]

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Autor(a): Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors, Rights Action

"I'll never forget watching the chief of security aim his gun straight at me, feeling the bullet hit, lying on the ground coughing up blood. I was terrified. I thought I was going to die," said German Chub, survivor of a brutal shooting at a Canadian mine in Guatemala. "I'm in a wheelchair because of a Canadian mining company. They ruined my life". Canadian lawyers for Mr. German Chub Choc announced...an Ontario lawsuit against Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals over a brutal shooting in Guatemala two years ago that left Mr. Chub a paraplegic. This is the third human rights lawsuit launched in Ontario against HudBay related to violence at its formerly-owned Fenix Mining Project in eastern Guatemala...The claim represents assertions that have not yet been proven in court. The defendants will have the opportunity to respond in these proceedings.

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Autor(a): CBC News

A mining watchdog agency that was supposed to hold Canadian companies accountable for their actions overseas has done little to protect communities abroad, critics say. In October 2009, the federal government appointed a corporate social responsibility counsellor to probe complaints about Canadian companies committing abuses in developing countries. The...office...has only received two complaints in the past two years..."The whole counsellor position is toothless," said Toronto-based lawyer Murray Klippenstein who is involved in a case against a Canadian mining company. "It's basically a whitewash..."...The first complaint landed on the desk of the office counsellor, Marketa Evans, in April, when a Mexican mining union and mine workers accused a Canadian company of human rights violations...[T]he office's investigation into allegations against...Excellon Resources'...mine project was closed when the company refused to participate any further in the process. [refers to First Quantum Minerals, HudBay Minerals]

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Autor(a): CBC/Radio-Canada

Two weeks ago there was an election in...Guatemala...In the weeks leading up to the vote...more than 40 people were killed...This is the background against which Canadian mining companies have been doing business for the past 50 years, right through the 36 year-long civil war...For the most part, todays violence revolves around the drug cartels and the mines. Now, the anti mining forces are fighting back in a new way. Guatemalans are launching law suits in Canadian courts against Canadian mining companies. The latest is a multi million dollar claim against Hud Bay Minerals filed by 11 Mayan women allegedly raped when they were cleared off the land 4 years ago. The law suits are a new tactic in an old war - a war over land: - the government and the mining companies on one side, the Mayans and human rights workers on the other. [also refers to Inco]

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