Fredericton – Angelica Choc, a Maya Q’eqchi’ woman from Guatemala, will be in Fredericton on Nov. 1st, sharing a horrific day in her life that is rooted in a Canadian company’s quest to mine on her indigenous community’s land. Four years ago, on Sept. 27, 2009, Angelica Choc says her husband, Adolfo Ich Chaman, a teacher, father of five children and mine opponent, was shot and hacked to death by a security guard for HudBay Minerals, a Toronto-based mining company.
Today, Angelica Choc is struggling for justice for the murder of her husband. She is taking her case to a Canadian court and she is making legal history in Canada. On July 22nd, an Ontario Court made a precedent ruling that allowed a case against a Canadian company over actions of one of its international subsidiaries to go ahead for the first time in a Canadian court. Angelica Choc is one of 13 Mayan Q’eqchi’ from Guatemala suing HudBay. Other claimants on the court case include 11 women who say they were raped, some gang-raped, by the mine’s security guards and German Chub, a young man who was shot by a security guard and left paralyzed on the same day that Angelica Choc’s husband was murdered.
“We are humble people. We earn a living through our sweat. The only thing we have fought for is our land. Our land is the reason we suffer, the reason, in my case, I lost my husband, why my companions were raped, and why German is in a wheelchair — for defending our land. Our lawsuit has a lot to do with our resistance and the defense of our land,” said Angelica Choc in a recent interview.
Angelica Choc will speak at two events in Fredericton on Friday, Nov. 1st. Both are open to the public.
Noon hour talk at UNB Law School: Angelica Choc will speak at the UNB Law School at 12 noon in Room 2, Ludlow Hall, UNB, on Friday, Nov. 1st. Hear Angelica’s story and learn about the litigation between Maya Q’eqchi’ plaintiffs and HudBay.
Cinema Politica premiere of Defensora: A new film about Angelica’s community’s struggles, Defensora, will premiere at Cinema Politica at Conserver House, 180 Saint John St. at 7:00pm on Friday, Nov. 1st. Angelica Choc will speak after the film screening. Defensora is a documentary about Maya Q’eqchi’ resistance against mining in Guatemala. Tensions run high against a backdrop of violence and forced evictions. The film takes audiences into the lives of resisters who struggle to reclaim their ancestral lands and seek justice in Canadian courts for alleged human rights violations.
Tracy Glynn is a writer and editor for the NB Media Co-op.