CANADIAN COURT SAYS YES TO GUATEMALANS’ LAWSUIT AGAINST MINING FIRM

The British Columbia Court of Appeal in Canada has rejected an attempt by mining company Tahoe Resources to throw out a lawsuit by seven Guatemalans allegedly injured during a peaceful protest in 2013 against the company’s Escobar mine. The ruling ‘represents the first time that a Canadian appellate court has permitted a lawsuit to advance against a Canadian company for alleged human rights violations committed abroad,’ says the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), which forms part of the plaintiffs’ legal team. CCIJ’s director, Matt Eisenbrandt, calls the ruling ‘landmark.' ‘Despite a lack of regulation by the Canadian government,’ he says, ‘we hope these recent developments in the courts signal an end to corporate impunity for human rights violations.’ According to the CCIJ, there are numerous other cases advancing in Canadian courts in which companies are accused of severe human rights abuses - and others involving Guatemala too. (30-01-17)

David Hill