Local March 5, 2013 | 4:17 pm

Dominicans won’t accept “blackmail,” top deputy warns Barrick Gold

Santo Domingo.- Chamber of Deputies president Abel Martinez on Tuesday warned Barrick Gold Corp. that "pressure, extortion or blackmail" will not be accepted by the Dominican people, and stated his strong support for president Danilo Medina’s “crusade” to renegotiate the mining contract.

He said the contract can’t wait one more day without being modified, and that the lower Chamber is ready to move from words to action. He noted Medina’s latest call to Barrick Gold to dialogue, but cautioned that the deputies wouldn’t do so any longer.

He said tomorrow (Wednesday) is the deadline to sit and renegotiate the contract and stressed that the topic of Barrick Gold will be debated permanently. "Let me be clear, the Chamber of Deputies or any of its members or Congress will not allow this affront to continue."

The lawmaker, speaking after a motion to support Medina passed with 126 votes to one, said the Government, the Dominican people, Congress and the President have the dignity, the fairness and constitutional mechanisms to be compensated with a contract which reflects current gold prices.

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