Towns near Barrick Gold mine demand their US$28.3M cut
Santo Domingo.- Hundreds of community leaders and residentsof towns impacted by Barrick Gold’s mine at Pueblo Viejo (central) gathered Mondayin nearby Cotuí to demand that president Danilo Medina and Congress disburse 5% of the profits which the government receives.
In the activity organized by organizations grouped in the"Campaign to develop mining communities," from the towns of Maimonand Piedra Blanca demanded that Medina and legislators comply with the environmentLaw, which orders that 5% of net profits from mining activities is delivered tosurrounding communities to invest in development projects and mitigation ofimpacts.
"It’s a shame that naturally rich communities live inpoverty, and whose basic needs go unmet. Our communities are among the poorestin the northern region," said the nun Luisa Suarez, head of the TrainingCenter for Women, CEFORMOMALI, who served as spokeswoman.
Suarez said the community and farmers organizations form partof the campaign to ensure that each peso of that 5% is used to develop projectsand not end up in the hands of corrupt politicians “as in other occasions.”
According to figures provided by the organizers, until 2014the government had failed to hand over more than RD$1.3 billion (US$28.3million) to the mine’s surrounding towns for extracting and exporting gold andother valuable metals.
"What’s ours isn’t a pittance. It’s all of it. It’s5%. And it’s ours now," the nun said.