A case involving the murder of a Guatemalan community leader, as well as other violations including rape, is coming to a Canadian court on March 4th, possibly setting an important precedent for Canadian mining companies’ accountability for human rights violations occurring abroad.
HudBay Minerals has dropped its legal argument against the hearing of human rights violations that took place in its former Guatemalan mining site, scheduled for March 4th in Toronto.
HudBay has previously attempted to prevent the hearings from occurring on Canadian soil by filing extensive legal briefs contending that the lawsuit should be pursued in Guatemala, despite the proven corruption of the country’s legal system and essential guarantee of non-prosecution for the company.
Murray Klippenstein, lawyer for the Mayan plaintiffs, states, “This is a stunning victory for human rights, and paves the way for future lawsuits against Canadian mining companies. Corporations be warned – this case clearly shows that Canadian companies can be sued in Canadian courts for alleged human rights atrocities committed at their foreign operations.”
HudBay Minerals are being sued over the alleged gang rapes of 11 Mayan women, the murder of community leader Adolfo Ich and the shooting and paralyzing of German Chub by Guatemalan Mayan villagers in the eastern region of the country. HudBay contends that its corporate head-office is not legally responsible for the harms caused by its wholly-owned and controlled subsidiary corporation. HudBay sold the mine in 2011, after the human rights violations took place.
To learn more about the legal claims against HudBay, click here.
Read The Globe and Mail’s article regarding the breakthrough.