Update on progress of the lawsuit available on the Rights Action website.
Rights Action and Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors travelled to Guatemala City from October 18-20 to meet with the plaintiffs and to prepare them for their upcoming trip to Toronto. Rights Action is organizing the logistics of this trip. Eleven of the plaintiffs are unilingual Q’eqchi’ speakers who have rarely left the El Estor region of Guatemala, let alone travelled in a plane.
Murray Klippenstein and Cory Wanless also met with their clients on October 19 to update them on progress of the lawsuit and to explain to them what to expect from upcoming pre-trial depositions (examinations for discovery) in Toronto by Hudbay’s team of lawyers at the Faskens Martineau law firm. Throughout these meetings, the lawyers were assisted by Winston Scott, who provided English-Q’eqchi’ interpretation. (Over the past weeks, Klippensteins deposed corporate officers from Hudbay Minerals and Skye Resources (now owned by Hudbay).
- Threats made by employees of CGN (co-defendant with Hudbay Minerals in lawsuits in Canada) against Lote 8 women plaintiffs in Hudbay/CGN lawsuits; Armed men suspiciously shadowing Angelica Choc, http://mailchi.mp/rightsaction/threats-made-by-cgn-against-plaintiffs-in-hudbaycgn-lawsuits
- Defensora – This award-winning 40 minute film (by Rachel Schmidt, 2013) documents the Q’eqchi’ peoples’ struggle in Guatemala to reclaim ancestral lands and to seek justice in Canadian and Guatemalan courts for murder, shootings and rapes committed by police, soldiers and private security guards working for Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals and its Guatemalan subsidiary CGN. View: https://vimeo.com/75725049
(Photo: Murray Klippenstein)
Plaintiffs from the Canadian lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals and CGN (Hudbay’s formerly owned subsidiary in Guatemala), including 9 of 11 plaintiffs from the remote community of Lote 8, victims of rapes committed during the burning and destruction of their home village in 2007, as part of an illegal eviction; including Angelica Choc, widow of assassinated community leader Adolfo Ich. Missing: German Chub, the man shot and left paralyzed the same day Adolfo was singled out and killed.
(Photo: Murray Klippenstein)
Lawyers Murray Klippenstein, Cory Wanless and other individuals assist with the planning and preparation of the upcoming trip to Toronto (including applying for visas, assisting with translation, travel plans, etc.), including Grahame Russell (Rights Action) and Lisa Rankin (Breaking the Silence).
As has been the case since these precedent setting lawsuits against Hudbay/CGN were filed in 2010, a Mayan and religious ceremony precedes all meetings – the candles burning throughout.
Margarita Caal Caal and Carmelina Caal Ical – two of the rape victims from Lote 8 - examine photos taken by people working for the mining company at the very time when some of the violent and destructive evictions occurred.
Meanwhile, caring for the young was a happy part of the gathering, and a significant aspect of the underlying motivation of the Q’eqchi’ people in this precedent setting struggle for justice in Canada: they fight for their lands and territories, for Mother Earth and community well-being, and for their children, grand-children and future generations.
After the meetings, Angelica Choc took groups of women to buy their travel cases, warm clothes and shoes, in preparation for travels north to colder climate.
These extraordinary women are very much ready to come to Toronto and tell the truth about the harms and violations done to them, their families and community, by police and military in coordination with security guards working for CGN. (Plaintiffs German Chub and Angelica Choc will come to Toronto in early 2018, to be similarity deposed.)
Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors: