Dispute over Xstrata Nickel mine sparks riot in front of Dominican Congress
Santo Domingo.- Two groups in dispute over the Glencore Xstrata nickel mine project at Loma Mirada (central) unleashed a riot in front of Congress Wednesday morning, hurling stones and debris at each other, while several rioters were seen wielding guns and one shot fired.
The police at first failed to control the groups as the melee prompted workers to obverse the melee in front of the congressional esplanade, from adjacent government office buildings in the down sector of Centro de los Heroes (La Feria).
The rioters sought to force Xstrata Nickel Falcondo mine employees away from the site, while the radical priest Rogelio Cruz –who has headed the campaign against the mine- tried to speak with the workers to calm the situation.
After nearly half our antiriot police arrived and fired tear gas as the protesters, who fled along a side street next to the building.
Police chief Manuel Castro called the group “vandals” and announced an investigation into the confrontation which didn’t result in any injuries thus far.
The conflict, according to local media, arose when bus drivers of the FNETRANO union, who oppose the mining project and support that Loma Miranda declared a National Park, confronted the mine workers.
Local media also say the reporter Gilbert Guzman and Falcondo worker Porfirio Rodriguez resulted with injuries.