UPDATE: United Against Hudbay: a protest at Hudbay’s shareholder meeting

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, for the acts of colonization carried out by their mines. They are organizing in defense of their land and in favour of a fair and just development model.

For the first time, communities from across the Americas impacted by Canadian company Hudbay Minerals all came together.

On May 22, 2015, MISN and Rights Action joined with over 60 protesters in Toronto’s Financial District to confront Hudbay Minerals’ executives and shareholders both within and outside of the companies annual shareholder meeting. The protest was called in solidarity with communities from across the Americas impacted by violence, land theft, and environmental harm at the hands of this Canadian company.

Angelica Choc, German Chub and Rosa Elbira, members of Indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ communities in El Estor, Guatemala and victims of repression carried out by and for Hudbay Minerals, (including murder, a shooting-paralyzing and the gang-rapes of 11 women villagers) attended the shareholder meeting. Angelica, German, and Rosa are plaintiffs in the precedent-setting lawsuits 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.

Inside Hudbay’s shareholder meeting, Angelica spoke on behalf of the three, stating: “Hudbay has done nothing to accept responsibility for what happened at and near its mine, nor to make amends for the harms suffered by my family, by Rosa and the other women, by German and his family.  Instead, Hudbay hides behind its lawyers and propaganda statements.  Hudbay has said Rosa is lying about being raped.  Hudbay has said that German “fabricated” a story about how he was shot.  Hudbay says I threatened witnesses to force them to provide false testimony. These false accusations against us make me sad and angry.  We are here in person to tell you our truth as we lived it.”

The protest outside the shareholder meeting was MC’ed by Krysta Williams of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, and opened and closed with drumming and songs by Shandra Spears Bombay. David Ritchie, the VP of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), currently on strike at Hudbay’s Flin Flon Snow Lake mine, addressed the gathered crowd. Statements were also shared from communities located at 100% of Hudbay’s mines across the Americas, including the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in northern Manitoba, the Ayllu in Uchuccarco, Peru, and the movement against Hudbay’s Rosemont mine, in Arizona. A powerful bodywork piece was also performed by artists Rehana Tejpar and Naty Tremblay.

– Read the statement and question Angelica Choc posed to Hudbay’s executive and shareholders at their meeting

Watch a feature that aired on CBC’s The National program about the lawsuit and visit to Canada, shot at this protest

Photo album by Kim Abis

Rabble article about the proest by Megan Devlin

Mongabay article by Sandra Cuffe with excellent background and contextual information

More photos here (all taken by Allan Lissner):

The protest was MC’ed by Krysta Williams of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.

David Ritchie, the VP of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), currently on strike at Hudbay’s Flin Flon Snow Lake mine, addressed the gathered crowd.

Angelica Choc, German Chub and Rosa Elbira, members of Indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ communities in El Estor, Guatemala and victims of repression carried out by and for Hudbay Minerals, (including murder, a shooting-paralyzing and the gang-rapes of 11 women villagers) emerged from Hudbay’s shareholder meeting to address the crowd.

Luis Angel Gomez addressed the crowd, sharing information on the current Guatemalan context and the importance of taking action.

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