Hudbay Minerals: Confronting a Corporate Criminal

Joanne Jefferson and I co-wrote the following article for Alternatives Journal, check it out on their site.

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Chief Arlen Dumas of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation speaks to a crowd gathered to confront Hudbay over its illegal operations on their territory and across Turtle Island. Photo by Clayton Thomas-Muller.

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The scene was absurd: four activists, each with a bundle of 75 black and gold helium-filled balloons, riding an escalator. As we reached the top, we clipped our banner to the bundles and let go, watching our work rise slowly toward the hundred-foot ceiling of the lobby of a downtown Toronto office tower. Suddenly there were security guards rushing toward us. One of them jumped to make a grab for the bottom edge of the banner. We held our breath. He missed by mere inches and groaned. And then for just a moment, everyone in the lobby was standing still, staring up, as our huge painted banner rose until the balloons bumped and jostled against the ceiling. The bold red letters made our message clear: “HUDBAY MINERALS, CORPORATE CRIMINALS.”

Outside on King Street, we joined the group of protesters who had already been standing in the pouring rain for more than two hours. A banner just like the one we had raised inside was stretched out, soaked, between two elders from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. They had traveled from northern Manitoba to confront Hudbay at this shareholder meeting where important decisions were being made by people who may have a financial stake but whose lives will never be directly impacted by the actual workings of any of the company’s mines.

Hudbay Minerals is one of several Canadian-owned mining companies censured by environmental activists, human rights organizations and more recently by mainstream media for carrying out violent forced evictions, murdering a community leader who resisted one of their mines, robbing Indigenous peoples of their lands, supporting brutal police and security operations and criminalizing anyone who has tried to resist their mining projects around the world and here in Canada. Hudbay has gained increasing attention recently because they are the first Canadian company to be tried in Canadian courts for crimes committed at mines overseas.

See the rest of the article at Alternatives Journal.

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2 comments

  1. Colin McKenzie

    Overblown, heated rhetoric and a gross mis-representation of the facts regarding Guatemala. The writer should remember all charges are allegations only. Having spent several years with the Que’chi, all is not what it seems.

  2. Rachel Small

    Colin, I would be interested to hear precisely what you would consider to be “a gross mis-representation of the facts.”

    That said, I would hardly expect you, as the former Vice President of Exploration for Skye Resources and Director of Exploration for Inco –where you led the evaluation and development of precisely the mining project in Guatemala that this article deals with– to support efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the horrific acts of violence that Q’eqchi’ communities around the Escobal project have experienced.

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