Rights Action
November 15, 2017
Seeking Justice for Rape, Murder & Repression in the Mining Industry: The Hudbay Minerals/CGN lawsuits
Photo-essay #5, by Grahame Russell, November 15, 2017

Buscando Justicia por Violaciones, Asesinato & Represion en la Industria Minera: Los Juicios Hudbay Minerals/CGN
Foto-essai #5, por Grahame Russell, 15 noviembre, 2017
Summary:  From Nov.8-24, in Toronto, Canada, eleven Mayan Q’eqchi’ women from Guatemala are being questioned –one a day- by Hudbay's team of lawyers from the well-connected Fasken Martineau law firm.  These examinations for discovery are part of landmark lawsuits aiming to hold Hudbay/CGN accountable for mining related repression at its former mine site in Guatemala, including gang rapes of these 11 women, the targeted killing of Adolfo Ich, and the shooting-paralyzing of German Chub.  Plaintiffs German Chub and Angelica Choc –widow of Adolfo Ich – will be interrogated in early 2018.
Resumen: Del 8-24 de noviembre, 11 mujeres Maya Q’eqchi’s seran cuestionadas por el equipo de abogados de Hudbay Minerals/CGN.  El proposito de estas demandas es responsabilizar a Hudbay/CGN por represion minera alrededor de su ex-mina en Guatemala, incluyendo la violacion de 11 mujeres de la comunidad de Lote 8, el asesinato de Adolfo Ich, y el ataque que dejo paralizado a German Chub.

Group #1 of plaintiffs return to Guatemala, Saturday November 11, after three days (one day each) of hard and detailed questioning by Hudbay’s lawyers about their gang-rapes, about the complete destruction and burning of the homes and village of Lote 8 in January 2007, and any and all questions relevant to these lawsuits.
Grupo #1 de demandantes vuelvan a Guatemala despues de 3 dias (un dia cada una) de preguntas detalladas sobre las violaciones que sufrieron, sobre la destruccion de su aldea Lote 8, y mil preguntas mas relacionadas con las demandas.

Group #2 arrives, Saturday November 11, to delve into the same.
Grupo #2 llega, sabado 11 noviembre, para entrar en lo mismo.

Four of the plaintiffs (Group #1) stand with their lawyers (Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors) under a painting of Dudley George, an indigenous rights activist killed by an Ontario (Canada) police sniper while defending native Treaty land at Ipperwash, Ontario in 1995.  Murray Klippenstein represented the family of Dudley George through a decade-long legal battle, which ended successfully in a public judicial inquiry and the return of the Ipperwash lands to the First Nation.  The painting was a gift to Murray from an indigenous artist in recognition of this work.
Aqui, 4 de las demandantes (Grupo #1) con sus abogados del Bufete Klippensteins.  Estan frente a una pintura de Dudley George, un activista de los derechos indigenas quien fue matado por la policia de Ontario (Canada) en 1995.  Por mas de 10 anos, el abogado Murray Klippenstein representaba a la familia de Dudley George en varios procedimientos legales contra el gobierno de Ontario, y gano!

Aaron Prosper, from the Eskasoni Mi’Kmaq First Nation, came and drummed and sang songs from First Nations in the northern part of Turtle Island, and gifted his drum to the women, as it had been gifted to him.
Aaron Prosper, de los pueblos indigenas Eskasoni (del pueblo Mi’Kmaq), vino y canto canciones de los pueblos indigenas de la parte norte de la Isla de la Tortuga (Turtle Island), y luego regalo a las mujeres su tambor.

In their “El Estor north home”, five plaintiffs say their prayers and do ceremony in the morning, four of them holding and touch Irma who will undergo grueling questioning today and tomorrow about her gang-rape, the total destruction of her home, property, community, and more.
En su “casa El Estor del norte”, las demandantes realizan su ceremonia y oraciones de la manana, todas con sus manos con la Irma quien estara cuestionada arduamente el dia de hoy y manana.

Gathering around Irma, during a break.
Apoyando a la Irma, durante un descanso.

Irma, during her lunch break, finding peace and support with her companeras and some thread.
Irma, durante su almuerzo, tranquilo con sus companeras y un poco de hilo.

Early that morning, the first flakes of snow in the lives of the four women from Lote 8.
Temprano esa manana, la primera nieve para las cuatro companeras de Lote 8.

Their feet warm in slippers gifted by some Canadian women who so admire their courage and strength, confronting the repression, lies and impunity of a Canadian company.
Sus pies bien calientes en pantuflas, obsequios de unas Canadienses que tanto apoyan y admiran a estas mujeres enfrentando a la represion, mentiras e impunidad de companias Canadienses.


Irma, after one and a half days of arduous questioning, poking and prodding about the worst day of her life - suffering violence and being gang raped, witnessing the complete destruction of her home, property and community.
This is how hard it is.  This is how powerful she is, and how supportive and powerful her companeras are.
The greatest power and strength of these 13 plaintiffs – directly taking on the power, wealth and impunity of Canadian mining companies, and the complicit silence and impunity of the Canadian government and political system, and the profiting investment industry - is their solidarity and strength amongst themselves, their families and communities.
It is a life affirming honor and privilege – sad and hard as it is – to work with them and support their struggle and work.
Irma, depues de un dia y medio de arduas preguntas de parte de los abogados de Hudbay/CGN.  Asi de dificil es esta lucha.  Asi de poderas son las 13 demandantes, directamente enfrentando al poder, riqueza e impunidad de la industria minera Canadiense, y al silencio complicite del gobierno Canadiese y de los inversionistas quienes tanto profitan de estas operaciones mineras.
Public Presentation, November 23, Toronto
  • WHERE:  Friends’ House, 60 Lowther, Toronto, M5R-1C7
  • WHEN:  November 23, 2017, 6:00-7:30 pm
  • WHO:  Four of the plaintiffs; lawyers from Klippensteins; Rights Action;
  • COST:  By donation
The plaintiffs are available for interviews.
More information and how to support,,
Funding appeal
Thank-you to countless people who have donated so far ~ these precedent-setting struggles for justice and real accountability are, in part, your funds at work.  Funds raised are paying for many of the costs of the 13 plaintiffs and two accompaniers from their home communities in rural, eastern Guatemala, to Toronto and back again.  Hudbay will incur some of the expenses.  If more funds than needed are raised, they will be used for future costs of these Maya Q’eqchi’ people and their on-going work and struggle for territorial and environmental defense, and for human rights and for justice in Canada and Guatemala.
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  • Canada:  (Box 552) 351 Queen St. E, Toronto ON, M5A-1T8
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