March 1, 2013

Senora Angelica Choc
La Union
El Estor, Guatemala

Dear Ms Choc,

As part of the Breaking the Silence Network, our small Antigonish group wishes to express our admiration and support for you.

We were encouraged to hear the recent announcement that HudBay Minerals has abandoned its legal argument that lawsuits against it can only be heard in Guatemala. We are very glad that finally Canadian companies are being held accountable for their actions abroad. This is all because of your courage in bringing a lawsuit against HudBay for negligence. We are sorry that it took people from outside of our country to bring these matters to our attention. It is embarrassing and shameful for us as Canadians. When Canadian companies go abroad, they should be upholding Canadian values. Unfortunately many of the companies are acting in our name but without our consent, and we do not support their actions. Even here in Canada, mining companies have been exploiting resources in an irresponsible way for many years, particularly in our First Nations communities.

Thank you for your example. You inspire us. When gas companies come to our province and county with the intention of extracting gas through the very damaging process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), you will be an example of resistance to us in our struggle.
Despite your sadness over the terrible loss of your husband, you have had the strength to channel your grief into such powerful social action. We admire your courage. We are also amazed by the courage of some of the other women who have testified about their rape by mining company security personnel, police and military during the forced removal of their village and families from their ancestral lands. We will continue to focus our attention on that case as well as yours.

Antigonish Breaking the Silence