Category Archives: Áreas Protegidas y Biodiversidad


Press release:

North Carolina

Los Cardones Project

The Federal Administrative Court decrees the nullity of the authorization that SEMARNAT had granted to the mining project “Los Cardones” for open-pit mining.

The project is located within the Sierra la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, in the municipality of La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico.

Based on a nullity suit filed by the Citizens’ Front in Defense of Water and Life (FRECIUDAV), the judiciary declared null the authorization granted by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to the Los Cardones mining project, which was intended to develop open-pit mining activity in Baja California Sur, so the unit must issue a new resolution where it considers the conclusions set forth in the judgment.

The above implies in practical terms that the promoting company is no longer authorized to endorse the environmental impacts of its project. The decision taken by the Tribunal does not imply in any way that the new resolution issued by the Directorate General of Environmental Impact (DGIRA) of SEMARNAT must be favorable to the claims of the mining company.

In the judgment issued on February 9 of this year, the Court establishes that the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure was not respected by the law in the matter, in the sense that productive activities in the buffer zones of Biosphere Reserves, can only be carried out by the communities that live there at the time of issuing the Declaration or with their participation.

“This is a fact that sets a precedent at national and even international level, we have managed for the fourth time to stop a mining mega-project that threatens our water and, therefore, our quality of life. The Citizen Front will continue working on the generation of legal instruments that will shield the state against the threat of mining mega-projects.

We trust that with this extremely important triumph achieved by all the South Californians who have contributed in this way to this citizen movement, public servants are aware of the importance of citizen participation in environmental management. Irina Trasviña, an official spokeswoman for FRECIUDAV, commented.

The area in which the mining activity was intended to be carried out is a Natural Protected Area (ANP) in the Biosphere Reserve modality, known as the Sierra La Laguna, the main source of fresh water supply for the south of the State. This decree dates from June 1994 and its management program from 2003. It is also listed on the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and in the priority sites for the conservation of the National Commission for the Knowledge and use of Biodiversity (CONABIO).

According to the promoter of the mining project, it was intended to occupy an area of 543 hectares distributed in a mining site (two cuttings, limestone mining, tailings dam, process plant and pluvial protection works), a 36 km aqueduct that would connect with a Desalination plant located on the Pacific coast, the opening of an access road, in addition to other infrastructures. All of the above, despite the fact that the ANP Sierra la Laguna decree prohibits within the reserve, “to dump or discharge pollutants into the soil, subsoil and in any kind of water current or reservoir, and to carry out polluting activities.”

“The organized civil society of Baja California Sur fought against toxic mega-mining on the three potential fronts: it smashed it into social networks, stopped its operation from civil resistance, and triumphed in the judicial contest in court. We are the first community in Latin America to succeed on all three fronts and stop the mining activity, before the start of its operations, “said Arturo Rubio Ruiz, legal counsel for FRECIUDAV.

Until today the Los Cardones project had tried several times to operate, with different names: “Paredones Amarillos” from the 90’s until 2010, then owned by the Canadian company Vista Gold; “Concordia” in 2010 and “Los Cardones” in 2011 and 2012. The company Vista Gold subsequently sold the project to the Invecture group (having as its main shareholder Ricardo Salinas Pliego) in 2013, which operates through the subsidiary “Desarrollos Zapal, SA Of C.V. “

Since 2014, with the participation of 37 Civil Society Organizations, FRECIUDAV has been integrated to lead a totally non-partisan movement, whose main objective has been to protect water supply sources and to curb the impulse of mining companies that intend to settle in the State, due to the serious environmental, social and economic impacts that these projects entail.

Citizen Front in Defense of Water and Life (FRECIUDAV)

Mallorca No. 1103 esq. Marcelo Rubio, Col. California, La Paz, B.C.S., 23070 Mexico

Tel. 612 1273464

Producers have 120 days to leave Valle Nuevo park

Constanza RD – Producers of Valle Nuevo in Constanza ask President Danilo Medina to listen to their requests and reject the term of 120 days granted by the Ministry of Environment to evict the park.

Like a bucket of cold water, the Ministry of the Environment, Francisco Domínguez Brito, fell onto the producers of Valle Nuevo, where he says that in 120 days the producers will have to leave the grounds of the park of Valle Nuevo.

valle-nuevo-academia-de-ciencias-dominguez-brito-2For the defender of Valle Nuevo, Narciso Isa Conde, says that with these measures, the Government is under pressure from powerful people.

Norberto Martinez president of the block of peasants of Constanza, asked President Danilo Medina to listen to producers and discard the order to leave the park within 120 days provided in the Ministry of Environment
resolution 14_2016.

These statements were offered during the panel “Valle Nuevo es Agua” (Valle Nuevo is Water) organized by the Academy of Science, where the attorney assured that they will continue to pursue the illegal coal business.


valle-nuevo-academia-de-ciencias-euren-aLic. Euren Cuevas Medina

Executive Director of the Institute of Lawyers for the Protection of the Environment(INSAPROMA)
valle-nuevo-academia-de-ciencias-eleuterio2aEleuterio Martinez

Coordinador of the Environmental Comission of Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo


Mor news on same subject:

dominguez-brito-euren-cuevas-valle-nuevo-academia-de-ciencias EL MOMENTO.COM:
Por: La Redacción,

Ministro advierte son irreversibles medidas para proteger Valle Nuevo

The event was organized by: valle-nuevo-es-agua-brochure


Protest outside the National Palace to demand Barrick Gold profits for communities

El Nuevo Diario, SANTO DOMINGO social leaders of Sanchez Ramirez, Maimon and Piedra Blanca now deposited at the National Palace a letter by which they requested the President Danilo Medina deliver the 5% of the profits of Barrick Gold to communities impacted by the activity of the Pueblo Viejo mine.

In the letter signed by more than two hundred grassroots organizations request the president abide by the Law of Environment and Natural Resources that includes a corresponding 5% as established in the 2017 General State Budget item.

“This request for enforcement of the law and institutionalization includes, Mr. President, our national commitment to accompany and monitor our local authorities to ensure that every penny of the 5% is invested in projects and development plans that achieve levels of decent life for most of our people “, adds the document.

Protesters say that up to 2014 the Executive Power had failed to deliver to the people affected by Barrick Gold over RD $ 1.300 million as mandated and entitled by Law 64-00.


On this occasion, activists were confident that the president “will do justice, comply with the law, and help communities installed on the most important mining reserves in the country so they may build a better future using the resources that belong to them.

The delivery of the document was carried out in conjunction with a peaceful demonstration outside the premises of the National Palace.


Source: here


Posted by: Enrique De León

If the government is receiving export revenues from the gold and silver mine Pueblo Viejo Cotuí, it is obliged to deliver 5% of these resources to communities for their development.

This is an obligation which is contained in Law No. 64-00 of Environment and Natural Resources, and the contract between the Dominican government and Barrick Gold the company that has leased the mine.

There is no justification for the government of Danilo Medina to not give communities the resources they are owed to them since 2012 when they began exports of gold and silver.

These exports have had a huge increase this year as a result of high prices of these two metals in the international market, being one of the main sources of income in the country.

It is outrageous that the government negotiated this down to 5% to the communities of municipalities between Piedra Blanca and Fantino. In other countries the percentage that corresponds to the municipalities and communities is much higher. For example, in Peru’s export earnings metals, oil and gas is 40% for municipalities and communities and 60% for the central government.

The logic of this percentage is that these resources are non-renewable, ie; will be exhausted at some point, so if the communities where these resources belong not have the opportunity to develop an alternative to the mining economy, when it no longer exists, they will be left with the hole in the ground, with the negative impacts of mining and higher levels of poverty. They will degrade into ghost towns, having once been rich, will end up more impoverished than their neighbors.


INSAPROMA: Protecting the Loma Miranda is a matter of life or death

Original article: Nacional, Friday, September 21, 2012

The Lawyers Institute for Environmental Protection (INSAPROMA) through its Executive Director, Euren Cuevas Medina, have expressed their opposition to the exploitation of Loma Miranda and say they are preparing a brief to submit to the appropriate courts, those responsible in any attempt to jeopardize access to water that is a fundamental right as provided in the Constitution of the Nation. This institution has a history of cases brought to court, as the case rockash, Dunas de Bani, its opposition to the installation of a cement plant near the Los Haitises National Park, the granceras of San Cristobal among others, joins the demands of the generality of institutions and sensible people in the country who claim the “declaration” as a protected area of Loma Miranda for its importance for the conservation of water.

Lic. Cuevas Medina, said that there are important precedents in cases similar to this, as is the judgment of the Administrative Court of Costa Rica that by claim of its community, were canceled all permits that had been granted to the mining company of Canadian capital,  Infinito Gold SA to extract 800 thousand ounces of gold in the town of Cutris of San Carlos, based on the danger of such exploitation to the access to water for the community and because of irregularities in the process of permits, in the famous “Crucitas” case.

The legal basis of the writing that are developed by INSAPROMA is declared in the Constitution of the Republic in its articles 14 to 17, 66 and 67, international conventions such as Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification and Drought, General Law of the Environment and Natural Resources No. 64-00, specifically Article 178 which states “Any person or association of citizens has an active legal right to denounce and sue for any fact, action, factor, process,or omission or obstruction, which has caused, is causing or may cause damage, degradation, damage, contamination and / or deterioration of the environment and natural resources.”

Paragraph.- Also may require before the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and any other authority established by this law and legislation, or to the Office of Environment and Natural Resources, compliance with the obligations established by the this Act and other environmental laws, environmental quality standards, regulations, demanding cessation, correction, or repair of the anomalous situation that drives or cause, and stipulated penalties for offenders.

Obviously, this article gives active legal right to every person not only for a “fait accompli” that has damaged the environment, if not for any action, factor or process or omission or impeding them that in the future may harm or endanger the natural resources and in this case that danger where Falconbridge Xstrata Nickel mining threatens to pollute and do away with a green lung that is Loma Miranda where 22 rivers are generated that feed water to the provinces of Monsignor Nouel, La Vega, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Duarte and Sanchez Ramirez, as stated by the ecologist and member of the Academy of Sciences and the Environmental Commission of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Luis Carvajal Núñez. This would affect more than one million people and agricultural properties.

INSAPROMA warns the mining company Falconbridge Xstrata Nickel that continuing with the permitting process for the exploitation of Loma Miranda will be met in the courts and authorities of Environment and Natural Resources calling them not to grant an environmental license whereby a serious Environmental Impact Study would certainly prove this mining project as non feasible.

Dominguez Brito’s successes – OPINION
By Staff Writer – Nelson Reyes Star

September 9, 2016

He has started on the right foot, the minister has given show of political capacity, technical-scientific management and passion for nature.

The appointment of Francisco Dominguez Brito as minister of environment filled to the people of Santiago and the country with hope, because, after a disastrous management, recognized and verified by the president of the Republic himself in several visits to different regions of the country that converted in surprise to him and which are the most obvious evidences that our country was or is going in a very bad way, as we are slowly creating a desert with people.

domingo-britoWith the arrival of the new minister it seems to have found a romantic with great political and legal capacity to do decent work in favor of our natural resources and with aspiration to sustainable development.

I must stress that I did not have the slightest hope that the rate of destruction would change with the appointment of Brito. However, knowing the work being done; the appointment of technical and administrative staff who will accompany him and the various meetings of the minister with the most representative organizations in the country, also with the visits that he has made to the places most devastated by human unconsciousness, I have no doubt that the apparently I was wrong.

It seems that for the first time we have in the ministry of environment a combination of fundamental elements for efficient environmental management, these are: political knowledge, technical and scientific knowledge and passion for nature and thereby to see this implemented in practice we only have to wait a few months to see endeavors that we Dominicans must support, because it is the only guarantee to change the course of the disorder that our country faces in environmental matters.

I take this opportunity to make a call to civil society, entrepreneurs and political parties to present initiatives to assist the Minister to exercise the authority it takes to promote environmental collective rights over individual interests. We have the basis for efficient and sustainable management, in this case, we assign the necessary authority to enforce laws.

I hope that what I am writing becomes a reality and that the appointment of Eduardo Rodriguez, provincial director (Santiago) and Domingo Rodriguez, general manager of provincial and municipal offices of the environment are the bases to direct Santiago and the country on the right track, but if it is no so, then we have no other way than to take gun and that it be what God wants.



Press release,
Tuesday, August 23,
Santo Domingo, D. N.

At a press conference held in the morning, the National Committee to Combat Climate Change, CNLCC suggested actors involved in the discussions of the Pact for Reform of the Electricity Sector to take into account climate change for the electric energy matrix be sustainable.


It was said that it should achieve an Electrical Pact to benefit the country and the planet, establishing a model of power generation with low emissions of carbon dioxide and with little environmental impact.

It advocated in favor that the Electrical Pact establishes an electrical matrix based on renewable energy, de-carbonization of energy and of the economy, converting Punta Catalina to natural gas, the drastic reduction of losses in the supply of electricity, the immediate reduction of electricity rates by at least 30% and an efficient social control and oversight to ensure the institutionalization, transparency and zero corruption in this sector. “Without these points, the Electrical Pact would have been for nothing,” it was said.

Pacto Electrico 01It considered that one should not miss the current situation that the Dominican Republic is living, where there are no long-lasting contractual commitments because of recently terminated Madrid Agreement, to replace imported fossil fuels by renewable energy sources such as sun, wind and water, very abundant in our environment.

It was suggested that the Electrical Pact adopt the low emission of carbon dioxide along with the economic cost to tender and sign new long-term contracts with electricity generators.

It called the Electrical Pact a step backward that eventually supports that more than half of electricity generation be produced based on coal with the possible entry into operation of Punta Catalina coal plants in 2018, when the world is moving towards the renewable energy.

“It would be like a backflip, the twentieth century to the nineteenth century, replacing oil with coal, when we have all natural, technological and legal conditions to move towards a XXI century energy free of fuel supply costs”.

It was noted noted that neither the sun nor wind nor water bill us, allowing for an electric and energy matrix at very low cost, free of imports of oil, gas and mineral coal that consume annually the equivalent of 7.6% of Domestic Gross Product of the Dominican economy.

It was explained that in the Law on National Development Strategy No. 12/01 it was agreed to realize the Electrical Pact because of the seriousness of the country’s situation in regards to climate change, so it established, as the focal point of this covenant, reducing dioxide emissions especially from the electricity industry and de-carbonization of the energy system and the national economy.

“While it is true that levels of CO2 emissions from the Dominican Republic can not be compared with those of developed countries, although we are at the head of the Caribbean and Central America, immediately after Trinidad Tobago, however we are one of the ten most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change, such as cyclones, droughts, sea level rise and diseases associated with temperature increases producing by global warming, ”

It was argued that it is vital that the Electricity Pact agreed convert Punta Catalina from coal to natural gas, which is a solution that would save this project from stagnation to have this conversion cost below 25% of the investment remaining to finish building it and also would count on the soft financing from multilateral banks by stop being coal powered.

Pacto Electrico 03It was urged the Electricity Pact set the goal of 85% renewable energy by 2030, in order for the country to achieve its energy sovereignty, reduce emissions in the electricity sector from 20 million tons of C02 per year to only 3 million tons, and a power supply is achieved with the cheapest rates in our history in a sustainable way.

The CNLCC as a non-negotiable point requires immediate reduction in at least 30% of the current electricity tariff. “If the Electricity Pact does not produce this reduction it will disqualify before the people, no matter what arguments are used to justify not taking this measure or worse, to increase the electricity tariff, as suggested by the Superintendency of Electricity by applying the so-called technical rate.”

“How to explain that during the last two years that much of the savings of the oil bill as a result of the drop from $140 to less than $40 a barrel, has been applied in the construction of Punta Catalina, instead of lowering automatically the electricity tariff at the consumer level as required by law? “it was asked.

I was also demanded that the Electricity Pact benefit people with compensation for blackouts as established by the General Electricity Law No. 125-01.

It was also noted that while electric power from renewable sources is introduced, 35% of current technical losses and electricity fraud must be reduced in less than three years.


Pacto Electrico 02


Judges will hear the case against Minera Falconbridge Dominicana SA, its President David Soares, together with the accused Geraldo Trinidad and Giovanny Bloise. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The provision is contained in Order No. 301-2016 TFIJ-058 of the Second Criminal Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the Judicial District of San Cristobal, chaired by Judge REGINA BISCAYNE CARVAJAL.

Environmental Jurist Lic. Euren Cuevas Medina said he was confident that the mining company Falconbridge Dominicana SA, its President David Soares, the accused Geraldo Trinidad and Giovanny Bloise will receive an exemplary sentence for causing health damage and death to people from toxic gases emission for more than 15 years. The jurist Cuevas Medina Continues saying with this criminal action, Falconbridge Dominicana (Falconbridge), David Soares, Geraldo Trinidad have violated Law 64-00 on the Environment and Natural Resources and the Law 42-01 on Public Health to the detriment of inhabitants of Quita Sueño, Haina, Province of San Cristobal especially the families Castro Delgado and the Dominican State.


Reforestación 2-2 Reforestación 3-2 Reforestación 4-2

Reforestación 1-2El pasado miércoles 20 del mes de abril, se inició el proceso de restauración del daño ambiental causado al Parque Nacional Los Humedales del Ozana, producto de la deforestación. En tal virtud después de más de 3 años de una batalla legal incoada por Diego Torres Reyes, con su abogado Euren Cuevas Medina, Director Ejecutivo del Instituto de Abogados para la Protección del Medio Ambiente y la acusación presentada por el magistrado José Espinal Beato, Procurador para la Defensa del Medio Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales, lograron que la Primera Sala de la Cámara Penal del Juzgado de Primera Instancia del Distrito Judicial de Santo Domingo dictara la sentencia penal No. 546-2016-SSEN-00029, NCI núm. 00546-2015-00235, de fecha veintiséis (26) de enero, que entre otras cosas decidió: “Declara culpable al señor Julio Felipe Benítez Rojas, de violar las disposiciones de los artículos 138, 169, 172, 174 y 175 numerales 1 y 2 de la ley 64-00, sobre medio ambiente y recursos naturales, por el hecho de este en el mes de octubre destruir especies de la flora sin contar con la debida autorización del Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, causar daño al medio ambiente con la tala de varios árboles ubicado dentro del sistema nacional de áreas protegidas de conformidad con el decreto 206-02 en consecuencia le condena a la pena de 6 meses de prisión y una multa de trescientos (300) salarios mínimos del sector público, así como al pago de las costas penales del proceso.

De los fallos que tiene dicha sentencia es el hecho de que no contempla una de las cosas más importante que es la restauración del daño, en tal sentido los actores civiles, querellantes y los imputados llegaron a un acuerdo que contempla la restauración del daño ambiental, para que los actores civiles y el Ministerio Público no continúen con el proceso en la fase de apelación y casación, es por ello que para el beneficio de todos los involucrados y de la sociedad en sentido general, se le dio mayor prioridad a la restauración del daño que es lo más importante.

Esta sentencia y este hecho deben servir de referente para que otros ciudadanos se abstengan de cometer delito ambiental, toda vez que hay una sociedad que vigila y una justicia que castiga, los hechos tan terribles como la destrucción del medio ambiente y los recursos naturales afectando los intereses colectivos y difusos de toda la humanidad.

CNLCC: CDEEE does not want transparency by classifying information as reserved
Friday, February 5, 2016

The National Committee to Combat Climate Change (Cnlcc) considered that the classification as confidential of information and documents related to coal plants of Punta Catalina, by the Dominican Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEEE), is an action intended to permanently hide from the scrutiny of public opinion the decisions taken by the authorities on this project and a refusal to all those who demand transparency in governance.

The social agency noted that “the vice president of CDEEE, Ruben Jimenez Bichara, by administrative act OAI-01/2016, dated January 15 this year, classified as reserved information with regards to the coal plants of Punta Catalina and the contract for planting mahogany trees in the vicinity of these plants, to refuse to supply the Lawyers Institute for Environmental Protection (Isaproma), which had required under Law No. 200-04 on Free access Public Information.

Clarifies that the administrative act undersigned Jimenez Bichara, in its first resolution reads that “the information required by the Lawyers Institute for Environmental Protection (Insaproma) is classified as confidential, because of overriding public interest, in its request number 591”.

The company explains that in the aforementioned application by the administrative act required that the CDEEE, copy of the reforestation contract for the management and mitigation of damage to the coal plants of Punta Catalina, signed between the CDEEE, the Ministry of Environment and the Consortium Dominican Mahogany (Concadom).

Similarly, states that it was also requested information on the total budget allocated for the construction of thermo electric plants, detailed distribution of fund amounts that have been invested in the construction, the source of this funding, and the name of the owners of the land where they are built.

The National Committee to Combat Climate Change called serious the statement by the CDEEE on the information and documents relating to the construction of plants in Punta Catalina, because this classification is to justify the refusal to permit the public know the details of this project that is under serious suspicion of corruption.

The document states that this administrative act of the CDEEE is a response not only to Insaproma and other organizations that have submitted the application of an injunction for environmental preventive protection before the Administrative Court against the coal plants of Punta Catalina, but for all actors participating in the Electrical Pact that have requested the same or similar information.

It further notes that this administrative act confirms and reinforces the non-transparent and illegal conduct of the authorities as per a recently revealed scandal of the secret agreement with the company Pinegy Commercial Group, SRL, which according to the organization, the company is very close to the entourage of the President of the Republic.

The movement questioned how the government intends that discussions of the National Pact for the Reform of Electricity Sector continue? When the sector responsible shield with stealth to hide the information and documents proving their permanent and blatant violation of the laws and the Constitution of the Republic.