Five years after the murder of Adolfo Ich

The Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network and the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network wish to express our support and solidarity to the family and friends of Adolfo Ich Chamán who was killed on September 27th, 2009, when security for the Fenix mining project opened fire on community members near El Estor, Guatemala. We also express our support and solidarity to the family and friends of others who were wounded in the shooting, including German Chub who continues to live with grave medical problems as a result of his injuries that day.

As people gather together to remember Adolfo and to demand justice for his murder and the violence that took place on this date five years ago, we want you to know that we continue to stand in solidarity with you. We denounce the murder of Adolfo Ich as a targeted act of violence against a respected Maya Q’eqchi’ community leader and an outspoken critic of human rights violations and environmental damage caused by corporate mining activities. We denounce the injuries of the others who were wounded on that day as violent repression of the right to defend your land and communities. We demand that justice be served for these attacks, and we demand an end to continued violence, threats, and intimidation against your communities.

It is our belief that Hudbay Minerals, a Canadian mining company, was responsible for the violence that took place on this day five years ago. The mine security personnel who carried out the shootings had been hired by CGN, the local subsidiary of Hudbay Minerals, whose headquarters are in Toronto, Canada. Mynor Padilla, then head of security for CGN, stands accused of murder for his part in the violence. We recognize that this was but one incident in a long history of violence perpetrated by those who want to evict you from your land in order to exploit it and that the violence and the threats against your community, friends and family continue to this day. We are committed to continuing to stand with you today, tomorrow, and in the struggles to come. We also commit to continuing in the struggle to hold Canadian mining companies, including Hudbay Minerals, accountable for their actions. In solidarity with the commemoration events being held in El Estor, we are also holding events here in Canada, including in front of HudBay’s corporate headquarters in Toronto.

We also stand in solidarity alongside other communities that continue the fight to defend their land, communities, and the rights of Indigenous Peoples and that take daily risks to their security as they courageously confront the ongoing violence carried out by greedy imperialist extraction companies and their security forces both in Guatemala and on Turtle Island.

This is a long and difficult struggle for justice, towards the reclaiming of territory, towards safety, peace and self-determination.

In remembrance of Adolfo and all those who have become martyrs for their communities, and with admiration and respect for the strength and dignity of all who participate in any way they can in this important struggle, we send our love and a firm commitment to solidarity and ongoing support.

Adolfo Ich Chamán, presente en la lucha.

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