Supreme Court of Canada won't hear appeal from supporters of slain Mexican activist

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear an appeal from family and supporters of a Mexican activist who was killed after opposing a Canadian company's mining project.

The applicants had asked the top court to review a federal ombudsman's decision not to investigate the matter.

The case stretches back to 2007 when Calgary-based Blackfire Exploration Ltd. opened a barite mine in Chiapas, Mexico, prompting local opposition, demonstrations and a blockade of a route to the project.

After being beaten and threatened with death for leading protests over the mine's environmental and social effects, activist Mariano Abarca was fatally shot outside his home in November 2009.

Members of Abarca's family and organizations concerned with mining abuses asked the public sector integrity commissioner in 2018 to probe whether there was wrongdoing by members of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico.

The Federal Court concluded it was reasonable for the commissioner to decide not to investigate on the basis the embassy had broken no code of conduct, a ruling upheld last year by the Federal Court of Appeal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2023.

The Canadian Press