Local March 18, 2015 | 12:57 pm

Religious leader asks probe of gold miner in Dominican official’s murder

Santo Domingo.- The Christian organization Paz Dominicana on Wednesday demanded an investigation of Barrick Gold into the murder of Energy and Mines deputy minister Victoriano Santos and his son Victor, claiming that the Canada-bsed miner has a suspicious history.

Quoted by elnuevodiario.com.do, organization spokesman Rafael Guillen said coping with Barrick is dangerous.

"Here in this country, everyone knows that you risk your life when you confront the mining company. It hasn’t been once or twice that people have warned me about my life as I continue our efforts in the courts to seek the suspension of mining because of the alarming pollution their operations produce. These people cannot withstand opposition. Our struggle has awakened the sensitivity of important sectors of the nation, because this struggle is a political struggle, it’s a patriotic and human struggle," Guillen said.

"On Tuesday February 10 I participated in the Government of the Afternoon radio program and denounced that after participating in a protest against the Barrick mine in Cotuí, several vehicles followed me, and only stopped the pursuit when I called Consuelo Despradel in Z101FM. Then I told the country in a note sent on Sunday February 15 that I felt threatened with death in my fight against the mining company. It was published by several national media," he said.

"Every crime leaves its trail, I hopefully that the investigative agencies aren’t intimidated by this company, they should probe Barrick Gold. The murder of the Deputy Minister and his son must be investigated. What conflicts of interest could’ve Mr. Santos handled with this mining company, the authorities cannot discard the hypotheses on the reasons which led to his assassination, to establish the motive is to envision the crime and with it to no longer proceed blindly," the religious leader said.

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