From Guatemala to Manitoba, from Arizona to Peru, Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are mobilizing to seek justice and reparations for the crimes, violations and harms carried out by Hudbay Minerals, and are organizing in defense of their land and in favour of a fair and just development model.
In May 2015, for the first time, communities from across the Americas impacted by Canadian company Hudbay Minerals came together. On May 21st, 2015 — the evening before Hudbay’s annual shareholders’ meeting — MISN hosted a gathering for representatives from these communities to get together, share stories, and give testimony to their experiences with people based in Toronto.
Speakers at this event included:
- Angelica Choc, German Chub and Rosa Elbira, members of Indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ communities from El Estor, Guatemala and victims of repression (including murder, a shooting-paralyzing and the gang-rapes of 11 women villagers) carried out by and for Hudbay Minerals and its subsidiary company CGN. Angelica, German, and Rosa are 3 of 11 plaintiffs in the precedent setting civil lawsuits in Toronto courts against Hudbay Minerals and CGN (representing the first time a Canadian mining company has been brought to court in this country for crimes committed overseas).
- Murray Klippenstein and Cory Wanless, of Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors, representing the Guatemalan plaintiffs.
- Chief Arlen Dumas of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, which has condemned Hudbay’s Lalor Lake and Reed Lake mines in Manitoba for operating illegally and destructively on their territory. Hudbay has sued MCCN leadership and community members for $400 million and obtained an injunction to prevent them from using their own lands to hunt, fish, and gather.
- Gayle Hartmann, President of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, an organization at the forefront of the movement against Hudbay’s Rosemont mine, in Arizona. The Hopi Tribe and the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pima County and Santa Cruz County Boards of Supervisors, the towns of Oro Valley, Marana, Sahuarita, and Patagonia, the Green Valley Community Coordinating Council, and the City of Tucson have all passed resolutions opposing the proposed Rosemont Mine.
- A statement was also shared from the Ayllu of Uchuccarco, an Indigenous people in Peru who have censured Hudbay for failing to keep its promises, and for instead contaminating ecosystems and rivers on Ayllu traditional lands.
Following the discussion, we creatively channeled our reflections through a small art project, the final product to be presented outside of Hudbay’s shareholder meeting the following morning in support of all communities resisting Hudbay (see: UNITED AGAINST HUDBAY: a protest at Hudbay’s shareholder meeting). Through our stories, art, and voices we built connections across the borders that keep us and our movements apart. We mapped out the ways that Hudbay’s violence – and the broader acts of colonization carried out through Canadian mining – hurts us all.
Event hosted by Rights Action (www.rightsaction.org) and MISN: Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (www.mininginjustice.org).