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Rights Action
November 28, 2018
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CBC Documentary: Meet Guatemalans Angelica Choc, German Chub & others, taking Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals to court 
 

 
“With operations that span several countries, large multinational corporations, such as mining and extraction companies, can act with impunity, without state oversight or the control of international human rights mechanisms. As of 2013, more than 50 per cent of the world’s publically listed exploration and mining companies were headquartered in Canada. Many have been accused of engaging in conduct they could never get away with in Canada, exploiting weak or corrupt governments and legal systems in foreign countries that turn a blind eye to their operations.”
 
Refugee caravans: Understand better why 10s of 1000s of Guatemalans and Hondurans are forced to flee their countries, year after year, in caravans or separately, due to the violent, corrupted economic model dominated, in part, by global mining and extractive industries
 
Airing: Friday, November 30 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app, and https://watch.cbc.ca/. Repeating on News Network Sunday, December 2nd at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Thursday, December 6th at 10 p.m. ET/PT
 
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“Meet the Guatemalan villagers taking a Canadian mining company to court”
https://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/guatemalan-villagers-suing-canadian-mining?fbclid=IwAR3u5mH7u9FmwRUQJVn-x-Rmffo6zuCrQMcels9jCW8Aj43qaTQY7GwpXrg
 
Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted in 1948, the growing global economy has created new challenges. With operations that can span several different countries, large multinational corporations, such as mining and extraction companies, can act with impunity, without state oversight or the control of international human rights mechanisms.  As of 2013, more than 50 per cent of the world’s publically listed exploration and mining companies were headquartered in Canada. Many of those companies have been accused of being irresponsible, engaging in conduct they could never get away with in Canada, exploiting weak or corrupt governments and legal systems in foreign countries that turn a blind eye to their operations.
 
In 2009, Adolfo Ich, a Mayan Q’eqchi’ community leader, was shot dead by a security guard employed at the Fenix nickel mine in El Estor, Guatemala. Adolfo was seeking to calm the community during a protest on contested land with the mine. A bystander at the protest, German Chub, was also shot by the same security guard and left for dead. He is now a paraplegic. Chub, along with Adolfo’s widow Angelica, took the mine’s security guard to Guatemalan courts, but the case was thrown out. Angelica was even charged with obstruction of justice.
 
Hope for change
In the CBC Docs Special Presentation “In Search of a Perfect World”, we meet Canadian lawyer Murray Klippenstein, who is using domestic law to champion international human rights. He managed to convince an Ontario Court to let the Guatemalans, including Angelica and German, sue the mining company here, in Canada.
 
“Mining companies kind of lived in this world where we go to another country far away, where the courts are corrupt, and that they could get away with things. But that’s not the case anymore,” says Klippenstein. He hopes this landmark case sends shockwaves through the boardrooms of Canada, “What happened in Guatemala is what you did. You did it from here in Toronto. And so you have to be accountable here.”
 
For more on this story, including former CBC correspondent Peter Mansbridge’s interviews with the Guatemalan villagers, watch “In Search of a Perfect World”
 
Airing: Friday, November 30 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app, and https://watch.cbc.ca/. Repeating on News Network Sunday, December 2nd at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Thursday, December 6th at 10 p.m. ET/PT
 
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Refugee Caravans
As this CBC documentary airs, 10s of 1000s of mainly Hondurans and Guatemalans are fleeing, in refugee caravans or separately, while Canadian. U.S. and other countries continue press hard for the expansion of the mining and extractive industries in Honduras, Guatemala and beyond.
 

Background – Hudbay Minerals lawsuits
“Is justice possible in Canada or Guatemala for Hudbay Minerals mining repression in Guatemala?”
By Grahame Russell, October 29, 2018
https://mailchi.mp/rightsaction/is-justice-possible-in-canada-or-guatemala-for-hudbay-minerals-mining-repression-in-guatemala

 
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