Police agents stopped a group of Dominican youths of Haitian descent from marching on Aug. 13 in Monte Plata, in the central province of the same name, to demand that the government respect their rights as citizens. The protesters, members of the youth movement Reconoci.do, were trying to march from the city's central part to the local Civil Status office, the registry for identification documents. According to the group's spokesperson, Ana María Belique, the protesters applied for a permit from the Monte Plata government but were turned down on the grounds that they weren't Dominicans and had no right to demonstrate. When they attempted to march without a permit, a police contingent commanded by a Col. Antígua dispersed them with tear gas, arresting eight protesters. Three of those arrested were beaten by an agent from the robbery unit identified only as "Papo," who told them to hold their demonstrations in "their country."
Residents of the area around the city of Cotuí, the capital of the Dominican Republic's central province of Sánchez Ramírez, held a protest against the Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation on Aug. 8, charging that the company's giant Pueblo Viejo gold mine was contaminating drinking water and affecting residents' health and their crops. The residents also complained that the company's trucks had been causing accidents. Pueblo Viejo, constructed on the site of a state-owned mine shut down in 1999, is scheduled to open this month. Barrick Gold is the largest open-pit gold mining company in the world; it maintains 27 mines, in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Tanzania and the US. (Adital, Brazil, Aug. 8, from TeleSUR; Prensa Latina, Aug. 8)
The Pueblo Viejo gold mine in Cotuí in the Dominican Republic's central province of Sánchez Ramírez is starting operations this August, Jamie Sokalsky, CEO of the Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation, told investors on July 26. The new mine, on a site abandoned by the state enterprise Rosario Dominicana in 1999, will produce up to 125,000 ounces of gold this year and reach full capacity during 2013, Sokalsky said.