On March 11th, 2011, an appeal by Ecuadorian Campesinos, who claim they were assaulted by security forces hired by a Canadian mining company in Ecuador, have been dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Marcia Ramírez, Polivio Peréz and Israel Peréz had sued Canadian mining company Copper Mesa Mining Corporation and two of its directors as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange, which the Ecuadorians say listed the mining company on its stock exchange after having been warned that money from the listing would lead to violence.
In the ruling, the Court recognized that “[t]he threats and assaults alleged by the plaintiffs are serious wrongs. Nothing in these reasons should be taken as undermining the plaintiffs’ rights to seek appropriate redress for those wrongs”, but nonetheless ruled against the Ecuadorians.
“I know Marcia, Polivio and Israel will be disappointed that no one will be held accountable for the violent attacks they endured at the hands of the Canadian mining industry,” said Murray Klippenstein, legal counsel for the Ecuadorians. “Armed men linked to Canadian mining company Copper Mesa came into their community and attacked them. The directors of Copper Mesa based in Toronto were shown photographs of this attack. You would think at the very least, that when directors of a Canadian corporation have been warned and given evidence that company personnel are assaulting people, they would have to do something to stop further violence. The Court said that under Canadian law, directors don’t have to do anything whatsoever.
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