Local January 9, 2014 | 12:55 pm

Dominican Republic groups would ‘radicalize’ fight against Xstrata Nickel mine

Santo Domingo.- The organizations that demand the protection of Loma Miranda on Thursday warned they’d radicalize their fight if Government officials and senators continue to halt legislation declaring it a national park.

The Chamber of Deputies passed a bill declaring Loma Miranda a National Park last year, but has been stalled in the Senate since, despite that most lawmakers said they would vote in the onset.

"Lawmakers have shown an interest to curtail this bill, responding to the interests of the miner Xstrata Nickel Falcondo," said the priest Rafael Columna, who read a statement at a press conference held in the Dominican Medical Association.

"This fateful plan to let the bill expire in the legislature (Jan. 14), for which the Government and political elites are also to blame, will not succeed because of the popular grassroots resistance, and the churches, before this expiration, these organizations will radicalize their struggle, while the Government’s shoulders and political sectors represented in the Senate will bear its political cost, against the national interest," the priest said

The organizations opposed to mining at Loma Miranda, located between La Vega and Monseñor Noel provinces, will stage an "ecological walk" Jan. 31, starting 2:30pm at the Duarte highway. "They don’t leave us another choice put for us to enter the Duarte Highway and also embrace ourselves to the trees that inhabit Loma Miranda."

The La Vega Ecological Society, the Loma Miranda Water Committee, the Bonao Environmental and Social Committee, the Bonao Neighbors Union, Falpo and are some of the organizations in the protest.

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