Assassination in Guatemala of nephew of Angelica Choc, plaintiff in Hudbay Minerals lawsuits. Indications that murderers were actually seeking to kill José Ich, son of Angélica Choc, and witness in Hudbay lawsuits
Statement by Choc and Ich families, through Rights Action, April 11, 2018
During the late evening of March 30, 2018 and early hours of Saturday, March 31, several people brought Héctor Choc to the outskirts of the El Estor community (Guatemala), and beat him to death with rocks and other objects. Héctor died while being rushed to the Puerto Barrios hospital.
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Witnesses (who spoke on conditions of anonymity due to fear) explained that one of the assassins said: “It’s not Ich, let’s go.” “Ich” is how José Manuel Ich Choc, Angélica’s son and Héctor’s cousin, is known in El Estor.
The Choc and Ich families demand justice for this most recent attack against them and denounce that the murder of Héctor (apparently planned ahead of time) was probably an attempt against the life of José Ich.
Jose Ich: Witness in trials against Hudbay Minerals and CGN (Guatemalan Nickel Company)
José is a witness in the criminal case against Mynor Padilla in Guatemala and in the civil lawsuits against Hudbay Minerals/CGN before Canadian courts for his father’s murder on September 27, 2009, which was committed by Mynor Padilla (a former lieutenant colonel in the Guatemalan army who then worked as head of security of Hudbay Minerals/CGN) and the security forces under his control.
Due to the accumulated sorrow from suffering so many attacks and aggressions over many years, the Choc and Ich families waited several days before publicly denouncing this most recent attack and political crime.
-In 2008, Ramiro Choc – Angélica´s brother— suffered imprisonment as a political prisoner for six years, for his work in defense of the rights and lands of the Maya Q’eqchi’ peoples
-In 2009, Mynor Padilla, then head of security of Hudbay Minerals/CGN along with security agents under his control, murdered Adolfo Ich.
-In 2016, men fired their weapons against Angélica´s home while she was inside sleeping with her two younger children.
-In 2018, María Choc – the sister of Angélica and Ramiro—was arbitrarily detained (“criminalized”) by the Guatemalan state, for her work in defense of the rights and lands of the Q’eqchi´ peoples.
-Throughout these years, members of both families have faced constant harassment and threats for their work and struggle in defense of the rights and lands of the Q’eqchi´ peoples, particularly the Choc family – Angélica and José—due to their participation in legal proceedings in Canada and Guatemala.
In addition to the pain and suffering for yet another political crime that forced them to bury another loved one, the families are now extremely concerned for the safety of José Ich.
The Choc and Ich families request national and international solidarity and support. They continue to demand justice, and to demand an end to impunity in Guatemala (and Canada) for all the political crimes against them for their work in defense of the human rights and land rights of the Q’eqchi’ peoples.
For more information
· In Guatemala: Victor Manuel Cuz and Sofia Cuz (parents of the deceased Hector) and Angelica Choc, Telephone/ Whatsapp (Angelica): +1 502 4487-7237
· In Canada: Grahame Russell, Rights Action, +1 416-807-4436, firstname.lastname@example.org