Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow will be speaking at the OISE Auditorium in Toronto this Wednesday November 28 at 7 pm in support of five people from Guatemala challenging the Toronto-based mining company Hudbay Minerals. The CBC National News reported this week, “A group of indigenous people from Guatemala say a Canadian mining company was behind violent crimes and the destruction of their villages and they have come to Canada seeking justice.” Angelica Choc, Maria Cuc Choc, German Chub, Rosa Elbira and Margarita Caal Caal are suing Hudbay Minerals for the damages they’ve suffered. Angelica Choc is seeking justice for her husband Adolfo Ich, a Q’eqchi’ activist involved in land struggles, who was shot and killed by private security guards employed by Hudbay Minerals in September 2009. The same day Ich was murdered, German Chub was shot (while watching a soccer match) by mine security and as a result lost the use of the lower part of his body. In 2007, Rosa Elbira and Margarita Caal Caal were gang-raped by mine security, police and military personnel during a forcible eviction from their lands claimed by Hudbay Minerals. They are in Toronto this week for cross-examination by Hudbay’s legal team. Evidence collected at this time will be used at a March 2013 hearing that will determine whether their lawsuit will be heard in Canada or in Guatemala. The Toronto law firm Klippensteins, Barristers & Solicitors is representing the plaintiffs. The five plaintiffs, Barlow, Grahame Russell of Rights Action and Susana Caxaj of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network will be speaking at the public forum at OISE on Wednesday night. Funds raised at the public forum will help support the work of the Q’eqchi’ people for justice and environmental protection. The Blue Planet Project/ Council of Canadians is making a $1,000 contribution to this fund. To make your on-line donation, please go to http://www.rightsaction.org/tax-deductible-donations. For a Facebook page with more information about the event, please go to http://www.facebook.com/events/102460843255683/, as well as on the Rights Action website at http://rightsaction.org/action-content/public-presentation-guatemalan-victims-mining-repression-toronto-canada-seeking. The six-minute CBC news report - that comes with a graphic images warning - can be seen at http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/The+National/ID/2309415544/. For more on this case, please see Dawn Paley’s Media Co-op article at http://dominion.mediacoop.ca/story/canadian-mining-trial/14349.
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