Local March 6, 2013 | 4:40 pm

Dominican Republic’s Catholic Church enters Barrick Gold flap

Santo Domingo.- One of the country’s senior Catholic bishops on Wednesday asked Barrick Gold Corp. to respectfully reciprocate president Danilo Medina’s call to renegotiate the contract for the Pueblo Viejo mine in Cotuí (northwest).

Monsignor Ramon Benito de la Rosa Carpio said, "in the same manner that the President has been respectful to them (Barrick), trying to save the legal aspect, I think they within the legal framework should adhere to it."

When asked about Barrick Gold’s attitude with the Dominican government, Santiago’s Metropolitan Archbishop said although multinationals are part of today’s world, they also shouldn’t believethat they are the masters of the world and of countries.

"In this problem of Barrick Gold, the Church has always supported the Dominican people and support the government when the people agree. The nation voices it (contract renegotiation) and if the government supports it, how can we not support it," the prelate said.

"I always believe that first of all, in general, all these international business organizations reach an agreement with the countries and they have to be respectful and countries must have some rights on that and, secondly, I think that the President has been very respectful and continued institutional pathways," de la Rosa said.

The also president of the Dominican Bishops Conference acknowledged that the multinationals are very powerful and "we are very small countries and I also believe that we must respect the law, but small countries must also have some legal protection against these giants."

Interviewed in the National Palace after meeting with Medina and senior officials, de la Rosa added that what the president has proposed to the mining company is very logical and adheres to the laws.

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