Remembering Adolfo Ich Chaman

It is now five years since Adolfo Ich Chaman was brutally murdered during a violent eviction carried out on Q’eqchi’ Mayan communities on the 27thSeptember 2009. Mynor Padilla, former head of security for Hudbay Minerals/CGN, and former Colonel in Guatemala Army, is accused of this slaying. James Rodríguez (MiMundo) was there to record the anniversary commemoration (see the photo above).

Since 1960, the Mayan Q’eqchi’ communities of the Izabal region have suffered at the hands of Canadian mining companies who have owned the Fenix Nickel Project—murders, violent forced evictions, rapes, shootings, and the criminalisation of dissent only begin to describe the abuses.

In 2007 and 2009, mining security personnel committed severe human rights abuses at Hudbay’s former mining project in Guatemala including the gang rape of Rosa Elbira Ich Choc, Margarita Caal Caal and 9 other Mayan women, the killing of Adolfo Ich, and the shooting and paralyzing of German Chub. These incidents are the subject of three related lawsuits filed in Ontario Superior Court against Hudbay Minerals.

In a precedent-setting ruling with national and international implications, Superior Court of Ontario Justice Carole Brown has ruled that Canadian company Hudbay Minerals can potentially be held legally responsible in Canada for rapes and murder at a mining project formerly owned by Hudbay’s subsidiary in Guatemala.

The film, Defensora, documents the historic and on-going land and community defense struggles of these Mayan Q’eqchi communities in eastern Guatemala, and their struggle for justice and remedy in Canadian courts against Hudbay Minerals.

The film is showing in London on the 1st November 2014 as part of the 8th Native Spirit Festival.

You can read James’ piece here and more about the court case here and here.

You can read more about the film, Defensora, here and the Native Spirit Film Festival here.

Categories: Guatemala, Indigenous peoples, Justice

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