Lawsuit could be precedent-setting for Canadian mining companies operating abroad – by Andrew Topf ( – November 26, 2017)

Legal proceedings were held last week in Toronto related to a case against a Canadian mining company that formerly was operating through a subsidiary in Guatemala. The outcome of the case could have wider repercussions for Canada-based mining companies who do business overseas.

Base and precious metals miner Hudbay Minerals (TSX,NYSE:HBM) is defending itself against allegations that five women from a remote Guatemalan community were raped by employees of one of Hudbay’s former subsidiaries.

According to the CBC, the five women came to Toronto for pre-trial questioning by Hudbay’s lawyers, in connection with three civil suits filed against the Toronto-based firm. States CBC:

“They concern the alleged killing of community leader Adolfo Ich in 2009, a separate shooting that left another man paralyzed in 2009 as well as the gang rape of 11 women in 2007.”

CBC Radio host Anna Maria Tremonti featured the story last week during The Current current affairs program. During the program a CBC reporter said the women feel they cannot get justice in Guatemala for their allegations, none of which has been proven in court.

The national broadcaster also reported that Hudbay’s lawyers are arguing that the trial should be held in Guatemala, and that “the parent company isn’t responsible for the subsidiaries actions” according to a lawyer for the Guatemalans quoted by CBC.

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