Allegations of brutality highlighted by protest at Hudbay shareholders' meeting

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

Photo: Megan Devlin

Angelica Choc confronted Hudbay Minerals at their shareholder meeting this morning as supporters of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network rallied below.

She's part of an 11-plaintiff suit against the corporation for alleged brutal attacks against Guatemala's Indigenous Q'eqchi' population in El Estor.

Choc says that during a community protest over forced evictions on September 27, 2009, her husband and community leader, Adolfo Ich, was surrounded, beaten, hacked with machetes and then shot to death by Hudbay security personnel. She's looking for justice.

Fellow plaintiffs German Chub and Rosa Elbira joined Choc in the boardroom. Chub uses a wheelchair after being shot at the same protest where Ich was killed. He still has the bullet lodged close to his spine. Elbira is part of a group of 11 women who allege they were gang raped by Hudbay personnel and police during an illegal forced eviction.  

Hudbay's president denies the allegations.

"When the president of Hudbay spoke inside the meeting he denied everything," Choc said in an interview afterwards. "He said 'it will be borne out in court.' I thought to myself: good. It will be borne out in court. I will bring my story to court and I don't have to be worried because that's where the truth will be heard."

Cory Wanless, one of the lawyers handling the case, said that Hudbay's strategy so far has been "blanket denial."

"Interestingly, they have not provided their version of what happened," he said. "They've provided no explanation as to how German ended up with a bullet lodged next to his spine [or] how Adolfo Ich ended up with machete wounds to the head and to the arm and a bullet wound to the head."

He said his clients journeyed to Canada to confront that denial directly.

"I noted that [the shareholders] were watching us, they were thinking and they were listening. It's possible that many of them did not know our stories before," said Chub.

"Hudbay knows that on September 27, the only people with handguns and shotguns were mine company security personnel," said Choc. "And yet, it denies that its security forces were involved."

She says that for Indigenous people like herself, justice is an uphill battle.

"It is those with wealth that are heard, not those that are poor. When you're standing up against a corporation it is very hard to achieve justice," she said.

Canadian mining companies are responsible for 75 per cent of the world's mines, and have a notoriously record when it comes to human rights.

Rachel Small, an organizer with the MISN, says the case of Chock vs. Hudbay is a groundbreaking case. She hopes it will pave the way for similar suits in the future. 

Though Choc's story was the focus of the rally, supporters alleged that Hudbay's transgressions are far from isolated.

Earlier this month, Manitoba Hudbay workers at the company's Flin Flon and Snow Lake operations went on strike. Those workers were also present at the shareholder's meeting.

"There really is no pardoning what has been done to us," said Choc. "But we hope that brothers and sisters in Canada will take into consideration our fight and we can work to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

A press release from Hudbay can be read here. Hudbay did not respond to a request for comment before press time. 

Megan Devlin is rabble's news intern for 2015. She hails from Toronto, but she's starting her Masters in Journalism in Vancouver. She got her start in journalism working at the Western Gazette where she was a news editor for volume 107 and online associate editor for volume 108.

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.