Farmers block roads to demand far pay for Barrick Gold mine lands
CONTUI, Dominican Republic.- Hundreds of farmers of the community El Yagal, who were evicted from their lands to make way for the Barrick Gold mine, Tuesday blocked the streets with trunks, torched tires, debris and stones, to demand that the government relocate tem and reassess their properties.
They demand fair payment for their lands by the authorities, and affirm that many were forced to sell and that the government bought each 630 square portion for RD$8,600, but resold to Barrick for US$28,000, which they say is unfair.
Also they denounced that since the start of evictions in 2008, more than 600 families have to receive one cent.
Farmers’ spokesman Manuel Lantigua, quoted by news source hoy.com.do, said a large number of the people affected are senior citizens and have only their land to live on. “They were forced to leave, because the government had declared the lands eminent domain, because it had sale commitments with Barrick. This fight goes on permanently until we’re located in the lands pledged in the New Yagal and the fair price the land’s worth is paid to us.”
He said people have refused the money offered because they consider that the government “wants to pay a pittance compared with the amount Barrick is paying.”