Dominican Republic: thousands march against Barrick Gold

Up to 3,000 Dominicans marched in CotuĂ­ in the central province of Sánchez RamĂ­rez on Apr. 3 to protest against the Pueblo Viejo gold mine, which is operated by the Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. Many of the protesters were local, but several dozen youths had walked the 105 kilometers from Santo Domingo, starting on March 31. An encampment was set up in CotuĂ­ by the same young activists that successfully demonstrated last year for a suspension of construction of the Consorcio Minero Dominicano’s cement factory near Los Haitises National Park.

The protests against Barrick targeted what the organizers said were irregularities in the government’s contract with the company, which owns 60% of the mine–the Vancouver-based multinational Goldcorp Inc. owns the other 40%. The protesters also accused Barrick of damaging the environment and archeological sites.

Rice farmers joined the protest because of pollution issues; Mauricio MarĂ­a, president of the National Rice Producers Federation, said the rice farmers of the northeast would disappear if Barrick and the government couldn’t control pollution of the water going into the Hatillo dam near CotuĂ­, a source of water for rice farms. Juan RodrĂ­guez Acosta, director of the Museum of the Dominican Man, has charged that Barrick Gold is dynamiting mountains whose caves contain traces of the indigenous Taino culture.

Adding to the bad publicity for Barrick, 326 workers from the mine’s night shift had to be hospitalized on March 15 for food poisoning—nearly 10% of the operation’s 3,500 employees. Barrick said the problem was bacterial and blamed it on the company that contracts to supply food at the mine, but the Academy of Sciences and the Autonomous University said the cause was a toxic agent of chemical origin. (El Nuevo Diario, Dominican Republic, April 3; El Nacional, DR, April 3; La Raza, Chicago, April 3 from El Diario-La Prensa correspondent; Primicias, DR, April 4; Winnipeg Free Press, March 15 from AP)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, April 4.

See our last post on the Dominican Republic and the mineral cartel in Latin America.

    1. No to the Barrick Gold In D.Republic
      Barrick Gold and AnthonyC are full of Sh**

      Look at the facts:

      International Repercution of Barrick Gold in Dominican Republic
      Protest against Barrick Gold en Canada:
      Protest against la Barrick Gold in Facebook:
      Protest against B.Gold in Australia:
      Protest against
      Lawsuit against B Gold in USA :….lawsuitreWesternShoshonetribesUSA
      Damage of B. Gold in New Guinea:….ple+vs.+Barrick+Gold.-a0206689257
      Protest in Chile:….-chile-over-mines-near-the-border

      Of course , you can find way more than that

      Any questions?

    2. Dominican gold protests: we cited our sources
      El Nuevo Diario reported that “about 3,000” protested Barrick. El Nacional reported “hundreds of persons” without giving a specific number. The Primicias article is no longer at the Primicias site, but is available on a blog; the April 4 headline read: “Thousands of citizens march against Barrick.” How could “all the media reports” have said “only 50 people joined this march”?

      As the price of gold rises on international markets, the transnational mining companies are getting more and more reckless and destructive in their efforts to make a quick profit off the mineral. The result has been more and more resistance from local communities all through the region. It’s hardly surprising that this is now affecting the Dominican Republic.