Defensora is a documentary about a Mayan Q’eqchi’ resistance against mining in Guatemala. The story is set along the shores of Lake Izabal in the community of El Estor where a nickel mining company has operated for over 50 years. Tensions run high against a backdrop of pro and anti-mining camps, violence and forced evictions. The film takes audiences into the lives of defenders in the resistance who struggle to reclaim their ancestral lands and seek justice in Canadian courts for alleged human rights violations.
Defensora documents the historic and on-going land and community defense struggles of Mayan Q’eqchi communities in eastern Guatemala, and their struggle for justice and remedy in Canadian courts against the nickel mining company Hudbay Minerals.
Winner of the International John Basham Award, at the 2013 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, Defensora follows the story of sisters Maria and Angelica Choc, who lead a Mayan Q’eqchi resistance in Guatemala to reclaim ancestral lands and seek justice in Canada for the murder of Angelica’s husband, the shooting-paralyzing of German Choc Chub and the gang rapes of 11 Mayan women.
Set along the shores of Lake Izabal, where tensions run high against a backdrop and history of violence, intimidation and forced evictions, the stakes are high for the Mayan Q’eqchi people who risk their lives to protect their lands, speak the truth and seek justice in Canadian courts, and for Hudbay Minerals that continues to deny their allegations.