How an Ontario court case could change Canadian mining overseas (CBC – The Current – November 22, 2017)

Eleven women from a remote Guatemalan community are seeking damages from a Canadian mining company over allegations they were raped by employees of one of its former subsidiaries.

The women, who have travelled to Toronto as part of an Ontario civil court case launched in 2011, claim they were victims of gang rape in 2007 during forced evictions by security staff of a mining business called Compania Guatemalteca de Niquel, or CGN.

“They feel like they can’t get justice in Guatemala,” CBC’s Lorenda Reddekopp told The Current’s Anna Maria Tremonti. “They feel like this could be their only hope.” Hudbay Minerals purchased CGN’s Fenix nickel project in a corporate takeover of Skye Resources in 2008, but sold it in 2011.

Since CGN wasn’t a subsidiary of Hudbay Minerals at the time of the alleged assaults, industry watchers are paying close attention to what constitutes Hudbay’s liability in this case. The allegations have yet to be proven in court.

Precedent-setting court case

Cory Wanless, one of the lawyers for the Guatemalans, said Hudbay is arguing that “the parent company isn’t responsible for the subsidiaries actions.”

“They’re also arguing and, frankly, I find this a bit shocking, but that the the rapes didn’t happen at all.” The court case is setting a precedent just by happening, according to Wanless.

For the entire interview by Anna Maria Tremonti on The Current: