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