Created on Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:37
Written by Anthony Fenton
Schnoor v. Imperial Canada
by Anthony Fenton
A very interesting battle on the horizon, pitting a documentary filmmaker against the Canadian Ambassador to Guatemala, Kenneth Cook. Recall that when Cook was Ambassador to Haiti in 2001-2004, he was the point man for Canada's role in the destabilization of and eventual coup d'etat against the democratically elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide.
In 2007, Cook spread misinformation about the filmmaker, Steven Schnoor. An open letter sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs in February 2007 stated:
"Multiple sources, including Guatemalan church leaders, have now attested that Ambassador Cook has been engaging an active campaign of disinformation to discredit what Schnoor has brought to light in his recent work, which examines the conduct of Canadian mining companies operating in Central America, and traces complicity in human rights violations by such companies."
Now, Schnoor has filed a defamation lawsuit (.pdf) against Cook in small claims court.
teven Schnoor originally attempted to address concerns regarding the Ambassador’s role in the conflict through dialogue with the Department of Foreign Affairs, but after receiving a form letter that failed to address any of the serious concerns raised by him, Steven reluctantly decided that a defamation lawsuit against Ambassador Cook in small claims court was a necessary and more effective way to defend both his film and the voices of the indigenous Mayan Q’eqchi’ that Canada has marginalized. It is expected that a trial will be held in mid 2010."
Full details and background concerning the case are at: SchnoorversusCanada.ca. Also check out the very interesting timeline of 'Canada's History in El Estor, Guatemala
.' It's great that someone put this together, since there are likely few Canadians who realize how far Canada's imperial & corporate interests in the country reach back, and how sordid are the details. I'll post updates on the trial as they emerge. [h/t]