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Perfil de las demandas judiciales contra Hudbay por actividades en Guatemala

For an English-language version of this case profile, please click here.

См. версию дела на русском здесь.

Hudbay_nickel_mine_Guatemala_credit_mining_injustice_solidarity_networkEl 28 de marzo de 2011, un grupo de 11 mujeres guatemaltecas presentaron una demanda ante la Corte Suprema de Ontario, Canadá, en contra de Hudbay Minerals y su subsidiaria HMI Nickel Inc. Las mujeres alegaban que estas compañías fueron cómplices de las violaciones colectivas que ellas sufrieron a manos del personal de seguridad de las empresas demandadas. Denunciaron que las violaciones ocurrieron en enero de 2007 durante los desahucios forzados de miembros de la comunidad Maya Q’eqchi’ que vive en El Estor. El proyecto minero de níquel de las empresas (Proyecto Fénix) se localiza en El Estor, donde miembros de esta comunidad han cuestionado la legitimidad de la concesión minera otorgada para realizar el Proyecto Fénix. Hudbay Minerals dice que se defenderá activamente en contra de las denuncias de violaciones..

Las demandantes hacen parte de la comunidad Maya Q’eqchi’ residente en El Estor. La mayoría de personas de la comunidad nunca ha aceptado la legitimidad de la concesión minera y los derechos territoriales otorgados por el gobierno de Guatemala para realizar el Proyecto Fénix. Las demandantes argumentan que la concesión se encuentra en sus territorios ancestrales y que estos se le otorgaron a Hudbay sin haber consultado de manera adecuada a la comunidad Q’eqchi’, quien ha protestado por el desarrollo del proyecto y se ha opuesto al desplazamiento y reubicación de sus hogares y comunidad.

Adicionalmente a la demanda presentada en 2011 en contra de Hudbay Minerals, se presentó otra demanda en septiembre de 2010 por la viuda de un líder de la comunidad Q’eqchi, Ich Chamán, quien fuera brutalmente golpeado e impactado con arma de fuego en 2009, durante una protesta contra la mina Fénix. Su viuda, Angelina Choc, reclama que los guardias de seguridad del Proyecto Fénix golpearon violentamente a Chamán, quien no estaba armado, le dispararon y lo mataron. (La señora Choc también hace parte del grupo de demandantes de 2011 mencionado arriba). La demandante alega que Hudbay Minerals no tomó las precauciones adecuadas para asegurar que su personal de seguridad no perpetrara abusos en contra de los derechos humanos.

En diciembre de 2011, se presentó otra demanda en contra de Hudbay Minerals en Canadá por parte de un sobreviviente del incidente a tiros en el Proyecto Fénix. El demandante, quien quedó parapléjico, alega que en septiembre de 2009, el jefe de seguridad del Proyecto Fénix de Hudbay le disparó a corta distancia, en un ataque no provocado.

Los tres procesos  están en curso. En febrero de 2013, HudBay retiró su oposición a que se estudiaran los casos en un tribunal de Canadá. El 22 de julio del 2013, la Corte Superior de Ontario emitió un fallo permitiendo que los casos procedan a la fase de juicio.

- "Tribunal canadiense inica juicio contra minera Hudbay", Siglo21, 5 marzo 2013
- "Demandante de Hudbay dice que es difícil que en Guatemala se haga justicia", EFE, 4 marzo 2013
- "Lawyer touts 'breakthrough' in Hudbay lawsuit", Jeff Gray, Globe & Mail, 25, Feb 2013
- "Indígenas Q’eqchi’s demandaron a minera canadiense Hudbay Minerals", CERIGUA, 4 diciembre 2012
- "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]:
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] 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): Gabriel Friedman, Financial Post (Canada)

"'They burned everything': Guatemalan women press Hudbay on human rights claims in closely watched case," 17 Sep 2019 

Irma Yolanda Choc Cac and Angelica Choc, had travelled from a remote part of eastern Guatemala, to continue pressing legal claims that Hudbay Mineral Inc., one of Canada’s oldest mining companies, bears liability for rape, violence, and other human rights abuses that took palce more than a decade ago when their village was razed to make way for the Fenix nickel mine.

Their lawsuit, originally filed in 2011, ties into a trend of increasing scrutiny of Canadian mining and exploration companies’ overseas activity.

 Several of the plaintiffs in the case… describe the trauma-being tied, beaten and gang-raped in front of their children, in excruciating detail while under examination by Hudbay’s lawyers.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers say they have gained new details from documents and emails that Hudbay produced during the litigation to substantiate the alleged human rights abuses. Already, the have filed documents in court that contain new details related to payments made to military and police, as well as arrangements between local police and military. At the hearing, lawyers for Hudbay said they would consider agreeing to allow the plaintiff’s amended complaint, although they may file a new motion challenging whether Ontario is the proper jurisdiction to hear the claims. 

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Autor(a): Grahame Russell, Upside Down World

"Is justice possible in Canada or Guatemala for Hudbay Minerals mining repression?", 12 Jun 2019

Every now and then there is a human rights, territory and environmental defense struggle that breaks through the thick walls of global corporate wrong-doing and criminality, denial, corruption and impunity.  The Hudbay Minerals lawsuits in Canada, and related Mynor Padilla trial in Guatemala, are one such struggle.
 
The issues at hand - mining-linked repression; collusion with corrupt and repressive business partners, governments, security guards, police and military; widespread impunity - are similar to other cases of corporate wrong-doing and criminality around the world. For a number of reasons, however, these legal cases in Canada and Guatemala are painstakingly overcoming legal, jurisdictional and political obstacles (including on-going repression) and proceeding...

More specifically, these cases are proceeding due to the courage and strength of the 13 Mayan Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs, victims and survivors of the mining repression who are now protagonists in these struggles for justice.  These cases are proceeding due to the legal acuity and commitment of lawyers in Canada and Guatemala; and to a trusting work alliance that Rights Action has with the victims-plaintiffs since 2004.  Since the civil lawsuits were filed in Canada in 2010, and the criminal trial began in Guatemala in 2015, Rights Action has maintained close working and funding relations with the victims-plaintiffs and their Canadian and Guatemalan lawyers...

Thirteen Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs, suing Hudbay Minerals and CGN (Guatemalan subsidiary company, formerly owned by Hudbay) for mining related repression, will travel to Toronto (11 of them in November 2017; 2 more in early 2018) to be deposed by Hudbay lawyers as part of the precedent-setting Hudbay/CGN lawsuits.

Two of these mining repression victims are also pursuing a parallel but separate criminal trial in Guatemala against Mynor Padilla, former head of security of Hudbay/CGN...

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Autor(a): Whitney Eulich & Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor

"When mining companies work abroad, should justice follow them home?" 9 April 2019

Canadian mining firms account for 40 percent of large mining operations in Latin America, and there have long been accusations of abuse at their operations on the ground... A decade ago, Canadian courts were reluctant to try these cases domestically, says Ian Binnie, a former Canadian Supreme Court justice... “I think that the judges are becoming more sensitive to the fact that if they refuse jurisdiction in Canada, assuming the head office is here, that these people won’t have any redress and will be left without a remedy..."

... Proceedings against three Canadian companies have been breaking new legal ground... Hudbay Minerals faces three distinct cases... Another case alleges that security personnel at Tahoe Resources, in... Guatemala, opened fire on demonstrations in 2013. The British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that the case could proceed in Canada, and it is now before the trial court there... A third case involves Nevsun Resources Ltd., which has been sued for alleged complicity in a government subcontractor’s use of forced labor at a mine in Eritrea, worked by conscripts in the repressive country’s national service system. The Supreme Court of Canada is weighing whether Canadian courts should recognize civil claims based on breaches of customary international law, and whether the case can proceed...The Canadian government has responded to pressure for better business conduct abroad by creating a new ombudsman position last January... Many are concerned that the office does not have a sufficient mandate to investigate abuses. “They want what they call joint investigation, so the company has to agree to the investigations,” says Professor Imai, from York University, of mining companies. 

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Autor(a): Ashifa Kassam, Guardian (UK)

" Guatemalan women take on Canada's mining giants over 'horrific human rights abuses' ", 13 Dec 2017

 ...The 11 women say they were raped repeatedly by the armed men...The women link the violence to the nearby Fenix mine...and the Guatemalan subsidiary that was overseeing its operations...[and] controlled by Vancouver-based Skye Resources. In 2008, Skye was acquired by Toronto’s Hudbay Minerals... 

...A team of Toronto lawyers [filed] civil lawsuits that argue that the Canadian parent company, later acquired by Hudbay, was negligent when it came to monitoring the actions of its Guatemalan subsidiary.

...[I]n 2013...a court in Ontario dismissed an application by Hudbay to throw out the case. The decision marked the first time in Canada that foreign claimants had been granted access to the courts in order to pursue Canadian companies for alleged human rights abuses abroad.

...The Guatemalan women last month travelled to Toronto for the case’s discovery phase, fielding hours of questions from lawyers for the company.

...Hudbay has disputed the allegations...

...The lawsuits against Hudbay are unlikely to reach court for years...But they have already paved the way for similar cases, including a legal challenge that links a Vancouver-based company to allegations of modern slavery.

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Autor(a): Colin Perkel, Canadian Press

"Ex-Hudbay Minerals' security guard to be retried for murder in Guatemala", 15 Sep 2017

A former security guard for a Canadian-owned mining company accused of killing an Indigenous activist and leaving another paralyzed will have to face a new murder trial, an appeal court in Guatemala has ruled.

The ruling against Mynor Padilla, who was initially acquitted of murder and aggravated assault in April, comes amid an ongoing landmark lawsuit against Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals in Canada.

Padilla was charged in the 2009 death of Adolfo Ich and in the shooting of German Chub, who was left paralyzed at a Hudbay-owned mine…

Hudbay Minerals spokesman Scott Brubacher said Friday the guilty verdict appeared to have been reversed on procedural grounds, but the appeal court refused a prosecution request to substitute a guilty verdict.

The company has previously expressed its belief that Padilla was innocent. It has also insisted it was being falsely accused of displaying a pattern of human-rights and environmental abuses, and the claims against it were without merit…

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Autor(a): Elodie Aba, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[I]nequality in access to information reinforces the existing imbalance of power between victims and companies, denying to victims information required to file a case or prove their claims. ..[G]ranting access to evidence can rectify the imbalance...[C]ourts should ease access to information wherever a company holds it, following the examples of courts and laws in the US, Canada, and Netherlands. Information sharing and international collaboration between courts is beneficial for all stakeholders because it facilitates resolution of disputes...[In addition,] [s]tronger legislation similar to the US [Foreign Legal Assistance] Statute...would go a long way...

[refers to Chevron, Hudbay Minerals, Shell]

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Autor(a): Marketwired

A Guatemalan court today acquitted Mynor Padilla of murdering Guatemalan community leader and indigenous activist Adolfo Ich in 2009, when Padilla was the head of security for a large mine in Guatemala then owned by Canadian company Hudbay Minerals.  Padilla was also acquitted of the point blank shooting of another community member German Chub...Ich's wife and others are pursuing a lawsuit against Hudbay Minerals in Canada regarding these incidents..."The Guatemalan legal system is corrupt and seeking justice there is, sadly, hopeless...That's precisely why Angelica's and German's best hope for justice against Hudbay has always been in Canadian courts."  In addition to the acquittal, the Guatemalan judge went much farther into unexpected territory by asking for the extreme step that criminal charges be brought against most of those involved in the prosecution of Mynor Padilla...The "not guilty" verdict comes despite damning eyewitness testimony of the murder, and ballistic and forensic evidence...The acquittal of Mynor Padilla has raised fears that the victims and their families may be subject to acts of retaliation and violence for their role in pursuing justice...A Canadian court issued a landmark decision in 2013 allowing the case to proceed against Hudbay in Ontario...

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Autor(a): James Rodríguez, MiMundo.org

“Short Documentary: Choc vs. HudBay”, 6 Apr 17

…Former Guatemalan Army colonel and head of security at the Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN) [part of Hudbay Minerals] Mynor Padilla is absolved of the murder of Q'eqchi' Mayan anti-mining leader and land rights activist Adolfo Ich Chaman and serious injuries to German Chub Choc (among others). Filmed during the commemorations for the 7th anniversary of Adolfo Ich's murder in September 2016 and featuring Angelica Choc, widow of Ich Chaman…

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Autor(a): Grahame Russell, teleSUR

 “Are Guatemalan Kaibiles Hired Guns for Canadian Mining?”, 6 Feb 17

…During the country's 36-year civil war and genocide, the U.S.-trained Kaibil special forces committed some of the very worst atrocities and war crimes…A new criminal investigation in Guatemala is investigating whether the country's army and Kaibil special forces worked with Hudbay Minerals and CGN (Guatemalan Nickel Company, then owned by Hudbay) private security guards to mount a military intelligence and population control operation, before, during and after the day (September 27, 2009) of repression against local Mayan Qeqchi communities that resulted in the assassination of Adolfo Ich, the shooting-paralyzing of German Chub, and the wounding of various other community members...The families of Angelica Choc (widow of Adolfo Ich) and German Chub (shot and left paralyzed the day Adolfo Ich was killed) fear they may suffer further repercussions due to their courageous role in this trial…[Mentions Tahoe Resources]

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

"第三大支柱: 讓跨國公司侵犯人權行為的受害者獲得司法救濟", 2013年2月

“獲得司法救濟項目”(A2JR)設立的目的是確認並分析美國、加拿大和歐洲在該領域存在的阻礙…在開發該報告過程中我們進行了詳盡的現狀分析,結論顯示國家普遍沒有承擔為企業境外侵權行為的受害者提供有效司法救濟的義務。受害者在尋求救濟時仍然面臨著眾多的阻礙,有時還出現尋求救濟的途徑被完全堵死的情況。雖然相關國家在立法、法庭程序、人權保護和法律傳統方面存在著差異,但在所有司法制度下都存在著阻礙受害者尋求救助的情況。在一些案例中,這些阻礙被成功地克服,其原因往往是:律師採用了全新的訴訟方案;受害者有足夠的耐心;有著敏銳洞察力的法官願意受理此類維權訴訟。國家必須制定強硬、一致的政策,重申受害者的人權重於企業的經濟利益。企業侵權人權行為的受害者,無論侵權行為在何地發生,都有權獲得全面、有效的司法救濟。為實現上述目標,每一個國家都應該審視司法制度中的存在障礙,並考慮採取行動加以消除,特別是考慮本報告提出的相關建議...

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