Local May 8, 2015 | 11:47 am

Dominican priest blames major forest fire on Glencore Nickel(Update)

Santo Domingo.- Rogelio Cruz on noon Friday said the fire continues in several areas. “We’ve got witnesses who say how they cut open a pathway to the areas of the planned excavations,” and not towared where the blazes rage.

Interviewed by phone on Colorvision Channel 9, the priest denied reports that his group attacked with stones several buses with volunteers and broke their windshields.

FILE.- Radical priest Rogelio Cruz warned Friday that he and other environmentalists who demand the creation of Loma Miranda National Park will not leave that area until Glencore Nickel’s Dominican Republic operation (Falcondo) removes seven backhoes and bulldozers allegedly placed there to mine strategic areas.

The outspoken prelate also blamed Falcondo for some of the latest wildfires, allegedly set to pave the way for mineral extraction.

"We will not move from here until the seven machines are brought down and remove people from the Army who are keeping us from climbing up to Miranda," the priest said. He said Army troops have prevented them from entering the wooded areas and asked the Defense Ministry to intervene and send helicopters to evaluate the situation.

He said a few small blazes were put out by the population last Sunday and that people who allegedly ignited the fires in several strategic points yesterday did so, “on instructions from the mining company.”

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