InvestigativeMEDIA, MiningWatch ask U.S. and Canadian ambassadors to intervene with Peru over detentions

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RIMROCK, AZ–InvestigativeMEDIA and MiningWatch, Canada, today sent a joint letter to the U.S. and Canadian ambassadors to Peru asking them to seek information from Peruvian officials about last April’s detention of John Dougherty and Jen Moore in Cusco, Peru.

Mr. Dougherty is the owner and editor of InvestigativeMEDIA and Ms. Moore is the Latin American Coordinator for Ottawa-based MiningWatch, Canada.

Peruvian National Police and immigration authorities detained Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore on the street after the screening of InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” at Cusco’s Municipal Cultural Center on Friday, April 21. The film had been dubbed into Spanish and Quechua.

The film documents Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations and highlights its deployment of the Peruvian National Police to beat and teargas protesters near its Constancia open-pit copper mine near Uchucarco, Peru in November 2014.

Hudbay confirmed in May that it continues to have a contract with the Peruvian National Police to provide security services.

Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore were taken to police headquarters and held for more than four hours and pressured to sign statements. Mr. Dougherty refused to sign any documents without an English-speaking attorney present. There was no warrant issued for their arrest.

The next day, the Peruvian Interior Ministry issued an inflammatory press release (English translation) accusing Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore of inciting civil disturbance that is punishable by expulsion from Peru for up to 15 years. The press release noted that Hudbay has all permits to operate in Peru.

Prior to their arrival in Peru, anonymous articles published in a Cuscso newspaper alleged that Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore were preparing “to ambush” Hudbay. Subsequent articles accused the two of inciting violence after several Hudbay copper concentrate transport trucks caught on fire.

“We believe the stigmatization in the press and by a public authority, along with the police harassment, illegal and arbitrary detention and our ongoing legal prosecution is a result of the privatization of the public security apparatus in Peru and about state authorities and Hudbay Minerals trying to exert control over what information communities living around the company’s Constancia mine have access to,” the joint letter to the ambassadors states.

The letter requests the ambassadors to ask the following questions to Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights:

  • Why were Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore subjected to this sort of surveillance, harassment and criminalization?
  • Why were police tracking their movements from April 18 to 20?
  • Why did the police fail to duly notify Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore and allow them the appropriate time to respond to any concerns about their migratory status, if that was indeed the concern, and instead illegally and arbitrarily detain them for four hours on April 21?
  • On what basis did the Interior Ministry publicly accuse Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore, on April 22, of having incited local campesino populations to violence and demonize them as a threat to public order, internal order and even national security.

Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore left Peru prior to a hearing that was scheduled for Monday, April 24. Both are currently represented by separate legal counsel. Police released an April 22 initial report that documented the screening of the film in several communities near Hudbay’s  Constancia open-pit copper mine. No other evidence has been released as of June 20.

Hudbay Minerals is currently seeking a federal Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its proposed $1.9 billion Rosemont open-pit copper mine planned for the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson, Ariz.

Canada’s National Observer reports on Peru detention of Dougherty and Moore

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Canada’s National Observer published an excellent story Friday, May 12, about InvestigativeMEDIA’s owner John Dougherty’s recent detention in Peru along with Mining Watch, Canada’s Jen Moore. Here’s the link: http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/12/news/detained-and-accused-peru-canadian-activist-suspects-foul-play

CFAX radio in Victoria, Canada interviews Dougherty, Moore on Peru detention

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Mark Brennae of CFAX radio in Victoria, Canada interviewed InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty and Jen Moore, Latin America program coordinator for Ottawa-based MiningWatch, Canada on Wednesday, May 10 about their April 21 detention by the Peruvian National Police and Peruvian immigration authorities after a Cusco, Peru screening of Dougherty’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals.

The 30-minute interview can be heard here:

http://www.iheartradio.ca/cfax-1070/shows/the-drive-with-mark-brennae-1.1821472

Peruvian police detain filmmaker after showing documentary critical of Hudbay Minerals

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(Phoenix, Ariz) The Peruvian National Police and immigration authorities detained InvestigativeMedia owner and filmmaker John Dougherty on April 21 after he finished screening his documentary film “Flin Flon Flim Flam” in Cusco, Peru.

 

The documentary reports on Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide mining operations.

More than a dozen plain-clothes officers surrounded Mr. Dougherty and Jen Moore, Latin American program coordinator for MiningWatch, Canada, on the street outside the Cusco Cultural Center and forced them into a vehicle without a warrant. They were taken to the immigration office in Cusco. In a statement released early Monday, Mining Watch, Canada detailed Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore’s unlawful apprehension.

Police held Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore for four hours before being released early Saturday morning. Mr. Dougherty refused to sign documents or declarations police were pressuring him to sign without the presence of English-speaking legal counsel.

Peru National Police officer Edgar Abarca Lezama holding documents during detention proceedings Cucso, Peru against John Dougherty and Jen Moore.

Peru National Police officer Edgar Abarca Lezama holding documents during detention proceedings in Cucso, Peru against John Dougherty and Jen Moore.

An immigration hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m., Monday, April 24 at immigration offices in Cusco.

Upon the advice of legal counsel, Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore left Peru on Saturday. Peruvian attorneys will represent Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore at the immigration proceeding. Mr. Dougherty intends to contest the immigration case and is pursuing all other legal remedies. The police allege Mr. Dougherty was prohibited from screening the film under a tourist visa. Filmmakers attending film festivals routinely enter Peru under tourist visas.

“I strongly believe that Hudbay directed the Peruvian National Police and immigration authorities to detain us because Hudbay does not want the Peruvian people to know the truth about its long history of environmental contamination, allegations of serious human rights abuses and conflicts with local communities near its Constancia mine in Peru,” Mr. Dougherty says.

“Hudbay has had a contract to pay the Peruvian National Police for security services in the past and I believe that such an agreement is still in place,” Mr. Dougherty says. “The company is now taking the dangerous step of using the state to criminalize a journalist engaged in the distribution of truthful information that it wants to hide.”

This relationship between Hudbay and the Peruvian National Police has previously been reported in the media and elsewhere.

At no time since the film’s release in October 2015 has Hudbay stated there was an error of fact. “Hudbay was given every opportunity to comment on the film during the production and refused,” he says.

Hudbay also appears to have direct influence over the Peruvian Interior Ministry, which issued a statement Saturday (English translation) that strongly suggested criminal charges were being prepared against Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore for allegedly inciting rural communities to take violent actions against Hudbay.

“In fact, the documentary shows Hudbay’s contract employees, the Peruvian National Police, taking violent action in Nov. 2014 against Peruvian citizens peacefully marching and protesting Hudbay’s alleged failure to abide by agreements,” Mr. Dougherty says.

At no time during question and answer sessions after the screenings of the film in Peru did Mr. Dougherty suggest or encourage any violent action against Hudbay or any other mining company. Ms. Moore made no public statements during any of the events. Her role was to act as a translator for Mr. Dougherty.

“The fact that Ms. Moore was detained for doing nothing more than translating shows how far Hudbay and its police contractors are willing to go in its shameful attempt to silence free speech and intimidate the press,” Mr. Dougherty says.

The film screenings in Chamaca, Velille and Cusco were free and open to the public. DVD copies of the film were distributed free and Mr. Dougherty encouraged their reproduction and distribution. Hudbay and other mining supporters were welcome to attend the events and ask questions about the film, which they did.

Hudbay’s effort to stop the distribution of the film will not succeed. The film will be shown at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 25 at CCPUCP, Avenue Camino Real, 1075 San Isidro, Lima.

Mr. Dougherty will attend the screening and answer questions via Skype.

The documentary, dubbed in Spanish and Quechua, reports on Hudbay’s history of contaminating Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada with heavy metals and poisoning children; legal proceedings in a Toronto civil court where the company stands accused of murder, a shooting that paralyzed a man and gang rapes in Guatemala; conflicts with Peruvian communities where police used teargas and beat peaceful demonstrators and Hudbay’s plans to build the Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson.

Mr. Dougherty’s tour in Peru was assisted by Cooperacción and Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras – Cusco. These groups arranged for screenings in different communities where they have developed relationships with community leaders. The organizations had no role in the financing, production, and editing of the film. Mr. Dougherty paid for all his expenses in Peru and conducted no commercial business.

Quechua version:

Spanish version:

 

Vancouver Island University added to Flin Flon Flim Flam tour

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InvestigativeMEDIA has added Vancouver Island University to its list of July screenings as it concludes its cross-Canada tour presenting the documentary film “Flin Flon Flim Flam.”

The film will be shown in five locations in British Columbia between July 9 and July 15.

“I’m delighted that professors at Okanagan College and Vancouver Island University are sponsoring screenings of the film that documents Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations,” said filmmaker John Dougherty.

“This documentary brings an important message to Canadians about the operations of a multinational mining company that is rarely discussed in the mainstream media that is suppressed by Canada’s right-to-reputation law,” he said.

The film documents how Hudbay Minerals contaminated its home town of Flin Flon with heavy metals; stands accused of human rights atrocities in Guatemala that has attracted coverage in the New York Times and the Toronto Star; used the Peruvian National Police to beat demonstrators at its Constancia mine site and is seeking to destroy one of the world’s most sensitive desert-aquatic environments in southern Arizona.

Amnesty International’s Human Right Radio interviewed Mr. Dougherty in June on CJTR 91.3 FM in Regina. The interview is available as a podcast from Amnesty International’s Human Rights Radio.

Mr. Dougherty will answer questions from the audience following each screening. Admission is free.

The tour continues in July with screenings at 7 p.m., July 9 at the Okanagan College Lecture Theatre, Kelowna; 3 p.m., July 10 at the Salmar Classic in Salmon Arm; 7 p.m., July 12 at the Cinematheque in Vancouver; 7 p.m., July 14, Vancouver Island University, Building 200, Theatre Room 203, Nanaimo, B.C. and 7 p.m., July 15 at The Vic in Victoria.

Documentary about Hudbay Mining gaining attention during Canadian tour

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REGINA, Saskatchewan—Arizona investigative journalist John Dougherty’s cross-Canada tour showing his documentary film “Flin Flon Flim Flam” was featured last week in a Canadian newspaper story and a one-hour radio show hosted by Amnesty International.
The radio interview was broadcast live on CJTR 91.3 FM in Regina and is available as a podcast from Amnesty International’s Human Rights Radio. The wide-ranging interview discussed the key facets of the documentary that focuses on Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations in Manitoba, Guatemala, Peru and Arizona.

The issues highlighted in Dougherty’s film continue to receive national and international attention. Just today, the Toronto Star reported on the far-reaching implications of criminal and civil legal proceedings occurring in both Guatemalan and Canadian courts regarding the murder of a leader of a local indigenous community in that Central American country.  In today’s, article Hudbay remarkably would not acknowledge whether or not it is paying the legal costs of the alleged murderer.

The Toronto Star article comes on top of an April New York Times article critical of Hudbay’s role in the same case. [Read more…]

After Successful Canadian Debut, More Screening Dates Added for Hudbay Documentary, Flin Flon Flim Flam

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(Chicago) After a successful debut in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, InvestigativeMEDIA is adding three locations on its trans-Canada tour to screen its groundbreaking documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam”.

The 51-minute film documents the notorious history of Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations. Hudbay is one of Canada’s oldest mining companies and was featured in a critical story earlier this year in The New York Times for alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala.

The exposé reveals Hudbay’s widespread environmental contamination of its primary operating base in Flin Flon, reports on allegations of murder, gang rapes and shootings in Guatemala, reveals Hudbay’s hidden conflicts with indigenous people in Peru and the company’s plans to destroy one of the world’s most biologically-diverse ecosystems in Arizona that is home to the only known wild jaguar in the U.S.

In addition to six upcoming screenings in June including Winnipeg on June 7 and Flin Flon on June 10, InvestigativeMEDIA has added three stops in British Columbia in July.

The film will be shown at 7 p.m., July 9 at the Okanagan College Lecture Theatre in Kelowna; 3 p.m., July 10 at the Salmar Classic in Salmon Arm and  7:00 p.m., July 15 at The Vic in Victoria. InvestigativeMEDIA will also show the film in downtown Vancouver at 7 p.m., July 12 at the Cinematheque.

“Concerned Canadians who attended the first three screenings stayed after the film and engaged in a vigorous discussion about mining issues in Canada and abroad,” says InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty, the film’s director. “Hudbay has operated with near impunity for more than 85 years. It’s time to hold the company responsible for its environmental and social abuses.”

Future Canadian Screening Dates

Date & Time City & Theater
June 7, 2016 Winnipeg
7:00 PM Cinematheque
June 10, 2016 Flin Flon
7:00 PM Hapnot Theatre
June 14, 2016 Saskatoon
7:00 PM The Broadway
June 17, 2016 Regina
7:00 PM Regina Public Library
June 22, 2016 Calgary
7:00 PM Globe Cinema
June 25, 2016 Edmonton
4:00 PM Garneau
July 9, 2016 Kelowna
7:00 PM Okanagan College Lecture Theatre
July 10, 2016 Salmon Arm
3:00 PM Salmar Classic
July 12, 2016 Vancouver
7:00 PM Cinematheque
July 15, 2016 Victoria
7:00 PM The Vic

Hudbay executives brush off invitation to speak at Canadian premiere of documentary critical of Hudbay’s worldwide operations

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TORONTO—Arizona independent filmmaker John Dougherty on Thursday personally invited Hudbay Minerals’ top executives, directors, and shareholders to attend the Canadian premiere of his documentary film “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the company’s troubled worldwide operations.

Mr. Dougherty extended the invitation during Hudbay’s annual shareholder’s meeting and offered an opportunity for Hudbay to answer questions following the upcoming screening of the film at 7:00 p.m., May 24, at the Royal Cinema in downtown Toronto.

Alan Hair, Hudbay’s President and CEO, brushed off the offer saying, “Thank you for the infomercial.” He then immediately adjourned the meeting.

Toronto is the first stop of a 13-city tour spanning Canada that will include stops in Montreal on May 25 and Ottawa on May 26 before heading west to Winnipeg on June 7 and Flin Flon on June 10.

The film documents Hudbay’s history of pollution in Flin Flon, conflict with First Nations in Manitoba, alleged atrocities at a nickel mine in Guatemala, brutality in Peru, and plans to construct a massive open-pit copper mine in Arizona in an environmentally-sensitive area that is the home to the only known wild jaguar in the United States.

The Canadian release of the film comes shortly after the New York Times in a front-page, Sunday story reported on allegations of Hudbay committing serious human rights abuses in Guatemala.

Hudbay is the subject of three civil suits in Toronto from Guatemalan peasants who allege the company committed gang rapes, murder and a shooting that left a man paralyzed.

Canadian author Alain Deneault will join Mr. Dougherty for the Montreal screening to answer audience questions following the screening. Mr. Deneault is the co-author of Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World’s Mining Industries.

Publication of the book was delayed two years after Vancouver-based Barrick Gold threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against the authors and publishers.

The Hon. John McKay, a Liberal Member of Parliament, is sending his Legislative Assistant to attend the Ottawa screening. Mr. McKay called for stronger oversight of Canadian mining operations abroad in the wake of the New York Times story.

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Award-winning journalist screening Hudbay exposé during Canadian tour

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Film highlights miner’s record of human rights and environmental abuses

(Phoenix, Ariz) Arizona investigative journalist John Dougherty will begin a 10-city Canadian tour on May 24 at the Royal Theatre in Toronto to screen his documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals, Inc.

The Canadian release of Mr. Dougherty’s exposé comes shortly after a New York Times April 2 front-page story reported on Hudbay’s dismal human rights record in Guatemala and pending civil litigation in Ontario that has national consequences for Canadian mining companies operating abroad.

Hudbay stands accused of murder, a shooting and gang rapes in connection with conflicts with indigenous communities in Guatemala. The film includes interviews conducted in September 2014 with many of the same Guatemalans featured in the Times story.

“Hudbay has a long history of tightly controlling information released to the media and the public,” Mr. Dougherty says. “This film produced in the United States provides a rare glimpse into the operations of one of Canada’s oldest mining companies without the threat of a defamation lawsuit that has been used by Canadian mining companies to stop publication of information in Canada. [Read more…]