September 27, 2021
Let it be known:
September is the month where our lives were marked with mourning after the vile murder of the one who in life was Professor Adolfo Ich Chamán, my husband, father of our 5 children. It was on September 27, 2009.
This crime was committed by a man who was, at that time, head of security of the mining company Hudbay Minerals, of Canada.
The terrible event occurred in our community Barrio La Union, which borders the mining company's compound called the Colonia.
That day, the company (Hudbay Minerals and CGN, its Guatemalan subsidiary), its armed agents and Guatemalan police were violating many human rights of the Maya Q'eqchi' villagers of our communities. Humble villagers were being evicted, they were firing tear gas bombs, directly shooting at community members - men, women and children - with firearms of different calibers.
Adolfo, the community leader, seeing that the neighbors were being attacked, went to try to talk to the police and Hudbay/CGN private security. It was there that they took the opportunity to take his life, in front of community members - men, women and children (including members of his own family), who witnessed that terrible event of that day.
Since then, our lives have not been the same.
The abuses continue
After witnessing that terrible event, and to this day, our human and territorial rights continue to be violated by the big companies and investors that come from far away, always supported by their governments, by our government, and by "security" agents of the army and police, and of the companies.
Today, the same mining company CGN – then owned by Hudbay, now by Solway Investment Group of Switzerland - continues to violate our human and territorial rights.
It continues to attack community leaders and their families, constantly intimidating us. Solway Investment Group/CGN continues to strip us of our natural resources.
And beyond the violations and attacks, the evictions and dispossessions, we know that the mining company is operating illegally. Its license is suspended by the Constitutional Court. Even so, it continues to operate, supported by the same old governments, by the same old armed agents.
Its operating license is suspended for never having carried out the prior consultation as established by Guatemalan law and ILO Convention 169. Since before Hudbay Minerals was the owner, and still today, they have not done the proper public consultation with us, the original peoples of these territories, the Q'eqchi' peoples.
We do not matter to these companies, and the governments of their countries.
Justice in Canada
As the family and wife of Adolfo Ich Chamán, we demand justice. For 12 years we have been fighting for justice. We demand that Hudbay Minerals and the perpetrators (their armed agents) be held accountable for this mourning that has covered us for many years.
That they be prosecuted. That the Canadian courts order them to pay us for the damages they have caused us. That they finally, one day, respect us as equal human beings, as the indigenous peoples that we are.
These 12 years of struggle for me as a woman have cost me too much and worn me out. But I will not rest until justice is served for the destruction of my husband's life.
We remain waiting for the Canadian court to put its hand on its heart and conscience and enforce justice for all equally, regardless of race or color, and to impart justice.
We are waiting for my husband's death not to go unpunished.
We are waiting for Hudbay Mineral to accept that they have committed this harm to me, my family and my community.
Angelica Choc, WhatsApp: +502-4487-7237
Canada/USA: Grahame Russell, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rightsaction.org
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