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Castlegar filmmaker to debut movie 'Defensora' in Nelson

Contributor
By Contributor
June 4th, 2015

On May 22, 2015, Angelica Choc, a Mayan woman from Guatemala confronted shareholders of Canadian Mining Giant, Hudbay Minerals Inc. at their annual general meeting held in Toronto. With incredible dignity and courage, she told shareholders of the brutal killing of her husband, Adolfo Ich (allegedly) by Hudbay security personnel during a community protest near Hudbay’s mine site on September 27, 2009. She also told them how on the same day security personnel (allegedly) shot German Chub, a young man who is now paralyzed from the waist down. She also spoke of 11 Mayan women who were raped during a violent eviction from their nearby village in 2007, actions that were (allegedly) ordered by the mining company.

While the company denies these charges, in 2013 an Ontario court judge found sufficient evidence to send these three related cases to trial in the Canadian civil court system at yet-to-be-determined date. If Hudbay is found guilty at trial, it would be the first time a Canadian resource extraction company acting abroad would be held accountable to the rule of law on Canadian soil. Indeed, it is a true “David and Goliath” story that has ground-breaking implications for all Canadian companies acting at home and globally.  

These stories are depicted in Defensora, a beautiful, award-winning film that will be shown at the Shambhala Performance Theatre at Selkirk College, Tenth Street Campus, Nelson on Friday, June 12, 2015 at 7 pm. Special guests include a live appearance by Castlegar filmmaker, Rachel Schmidt and a “Skyped” appearance by long-time human rights activist, Grahame Russell of the NGO, Rights Action.  A suggested donation of $10 (sliding scale) will be accepted at the door and all proceeds will go to Rights Action to help support the ongoing struggles for justice for these plaintiffs and other Guatemalans and Hondurans facing similar harm from foreign corporations.

By attending this film, local people will have the opportunity to be part of the solution through education, solidarity and recognizing the immediate parallels between similar struggles at home and globally.  Moreover, local people will learn how to make a difference in their own lives as well as the lives of others. 

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