Head of security at Hudbay Minerals’ former Guatemalan mine pleads guilty to killing community leader and shooting bystander
TORONTO and PUERTO BARRIOS, Guatemala, Jan. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On January 6, 2021, a Guatemalan court accepted the guilty plea of Mynor Padilla, the former head of security at Hudbay Minerals’ Fenix mine. Mr. Padilla admitted he was guilty of “homicide committed in an emotionally violent state.” The guilty plea relates to the brutal killing of Indigenous community leader Adolfo Ich Chamán at the Fenix mine in 2009 when the mine was owned by Hudbay.
Mynor Padilla, a former lieutenant-colonel in the Guatemalan army, also pleaded guilty to the charge of “culpable injury” for the shooting of Germán Chub Choc, the same day. Germán Chub Choc is now paralyzed.These criminal acts of violence against Indigenous Guatemalans are key parts of ongoing precedent-setting lawsuits in Canadian courts against Hudbay Minerals and its former Guatemalan subsidiary Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel (CGN), brought by Ich’s widow Angelica Choc, Germán Chub Choc and others. The Canadian lawsuits have received worldwide attention as precedents for holding multinational mining companies liable in their “home” country for abuses at mines they operate abroad.“Today is a momentous day. This has been an incredibly long road to partial justice for Angelica Choc and Germán Chub,” said the plaintiffs’ Canadian lawyer Murray Klippenstein. “In a country where, according to Human Rights Watch, over 99% of violent crime goes unpunished,1 today’s guilty plea by the former head of security for Hudbay’s mine is nothing short of remarkable.”“Hudbay has spent more than a decade and a small fortune in legal fees denying that their security personnel had anything to do with the brutal killing of Adolfo and the paralyzing of Germán. This was one of their key defences,” said Mr. Klippenstein’s co-counsel, Cory Wanless. “With this admission of guilt by the former head of security at Hudbay’s mine, it will be difficult for Hudbay to continue to argue that it does not bear responsibility for the killing and shootings.”Murray Klippenstein, Klippensteins, Barristers & Solicitors, (416) 937-8634 (cell phone), [email protected]Cory Wanless, Waddell Phillips PC, (647) 886-1914 (cell phone), [email protected]__________________
1 https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2011/country-chapters/guatemala See also: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/guatemala