Tag Archives: barrick gold

Barrick Gold Coal Plant

ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT
BARRICK GOLD COAL PLANT

In 2002, the Dominican Government had contracted with Placer Dome to exploit Cotuí Gold Mines. This contract gave 25% of net profits to the country. He noted that after the company recouping the investment capital (about 350 million dollars), the Dominican state was left holding 51% of the shares. In addition, the lands expropriated from the peasants for the exploitation, as well as the environmental remediations had to be covered by the mining company.

By 2006, Barrick Gold had bought Placer Dome’s mining rights and immediately “demanded” that the Leonel government change the previous contract to another that only benefits the multinational. The new contract removed 25% of the net profits for the country, now that the “claimed” investment was of 4.5 billion dollars and the state would have to wait for the company to recoup it completely before the majority of the shares could be in the name of the people and State. Now the contract was 97/3, that is, of every 100 pesos generated in the mines, 97 were of the company and 3 for the country.

Expropriations and environmental remediation now had to be paid by the state, that is, the Dominican people. This abusive contract, was sent by the President with the recommendation that they approve it immediately. For which, “the congressmen” did not have to read it, not even to know what it was. They just had to approve.

The disregard of the president and the congressmen against this country did not stop there, and immediately a permit was given to the company to install an coal fired power plant in the Cayo de Barahona area. This plant would produce the energy that the company demanded for the mines of Cotuí. And to bring the energy from Barahona to Cotuí, an “electric avenue” had to be built from Barahona,  passin through Azua, Ocoa, Bonao and crossing the Sanchez and Duarte highways.

Immediately the “crazy people” that we are, from Barahona, those that oppose the gold-diggers that call this “development”, we looked for information about this type of coal power plants and we found that in the United States, those plants had been prohibited because it was verified the coal used, produced very toxic gases and particles and that in that nation were the cause, of at least 19% of abortions or abnormal births of children and the increase, by 150%, of cancer deaths in adults, in the areas where these plants were located.

This data was found in works written by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Earth Policy Institute, both from the United States. We gave our voice of warning and opposed that crime against this impoverished province and then the “bastard developers” showed up there and accused us of being enemies of development.

Some “political leaders and union leaders of the ruling party” voiced at the top of their lungs, “let the coal plant come now” with it, development will come to Barahona! It was later rumored that these characters had received payment for their “work” and then the same characters were used by the Barrick Gold for “delivery of backpacks and notebooks to children” especially in what is now Central Villa.

In other words, Barahona would be used as a cheap energy production center for the mining company and we would receive fly ash and thus gain the abortions, birth abnormalities of our children and the increase of cancerous diseases, and let’s not forget that some members of the “gold-diggers” were going to receive payment for their support and prostitution.

Another aspect that we would gain was the fact that the leached water from the damp coal piles deposited in the ravine (action to be done constantly) would drain as wastewater to the Caribbean Sea in the area behind the deposit; Which involved massive poisoning of fish by the ingestion of mercury and other chemicals contained in the coal. Fish that we would also eat.

This crime could only be avoided when in an “encounter” organized by Barrick Gold in Costa Larimar, the most committed voices with the Sustainable Development spoke and showed copies of the damages those plants cause to the health. Those voices silenced the voices of the “paid” ones, and in the end, Bishop Felipe Nunez said “gentlemen of the Barrick, gather your belongings, now that Barahona has spoken, and here, you are not wanted”.

It is very unfortunate that in Cotuí people get contaminated, sick and die, their waters are polluted, their lives are reduced and the money that the company earns, the government places them as part of the Economic Growth and as development of our country. Have you seen the devil?

We will continue on another occasion, my dear friends.

Rafael Matos Féliz
For Sustainable Development

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.

protestan-frente-al-palacio-beneficios-barrick-gold-2

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

COMMUNITIES ARE ENTITLED TO BENEFIT FROM THE RESOURCES OF ITS TERRITORY

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.

 

ON THE DAY OF THE TREE

 ON THE DAY OF THE TREE

BY JORGE VELEZ LIZARDO
Executive Director of INSAPROMA

Tree Day maintains a slight confusion among interested of this worthwhile theme. The question is raised by the fact that in many parts of the world its celebrated on different dates.

It is clear that the World Tree Day was established on 28 June 1969 by the World Forestry Congress held in Rome in 1969.

Sweden was the first country in the world that instituted one day each year as “Tree Day”, which occurred in 1840. The emigration of Swedes to the United States, led this “valuable cultural heritage”, which served that in North America in 1872, instituted its “Tree day”.

Canada adopted August 21 to celebrate Tree Day. This event took place in 1860.

Argentina has been a driver of forestry. On August 29, 1900, the National Council of Education, by Dr Estanislao Cevallos, instituted that date to celebrate the “Tree Day” celebration which came into effect in 1901.

In Venezuela was declared May 29 Tree Day, this happened in 1940. Although there is a resolution of the Ministry of Education May 19, 1951 ordering celebrating a Tree Week, establishing Tree Day on the last Sunday of the month of May. Previously “The Tree Party” was celebrated in all schools as a matter of obligation, which was on May 23, according to the decree of 10 April 1905 of Cipriano Castro. In 1909 the date was moved to May 15. Currently, its instituted as last Sunday in May.
In Colombia there is a celebration of National Tree Day, an event that takes place on April 29.

Mexico celebrates Tree Day on the second Thursday of July, according to the decree of 1959 of President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, although there is another permanent decree for the celebration throughout the month of July the “Fiesta of the Forest”.

Guatemala celebrates Tree Day on May 22 by the decree 30-2003. This environmental party in Guatemala has a great feature because it provides that the Ministry of Education, in coordination with the Agriculture and Environment must promote “Campaigns for National Reforestation” in educational establishments across the country and the promotion of educational campaigns that contribute to reforestation.
The Dominican Republic celebrates Tree Day in May, this event was instituted by Decree 2944 of August 21, 1957, published in the official gazette 8154, which establishes the first Sunday in May as a day for its celebration.

From the fact that the first Sunday in May 1957 was on day 5th, it has since created the confusion that is the 5th the official date, but it is actually the first Sunday of May each year, this is why this year it corresponds to Sunday 1st.

As noted, what matters is that we devote a special day to honor and reflect in favor of the tree, in order to remind us and that we value the importance of plants and forests for people and the planet. Among other things, environmental goods and natural resources and environmental services they provide.

We need to establish the difference between environmental goods and natural resources and environmental services, the first meaning,”the physical products of nature, such as wood and food” and understood by the latter, those “benefits, the use of which is indirect as generating oxygen, carbon sequestration (CO2), groundwater recharge, scenic beauty, “among others.

The forest system provides a abundance of wealth to mankind, including the replenishing the aquifer, play a vital role in regulating climate and hydrological cycles and provides the availability of potable water; with the growth of its roots aerate the soil and control erosion, which translates to an intervention in conservation and land reclamation; They capture and absorb carbon dioxide, which is transformed into the same plant nutrients to the rest of the living beings; preserve, provide and protect biodiversity; synthesize and release oxygen and nitrogen as part of photosynthesis; decompose and recycle organic waste; involved in reducing the impact of natural phenomena intervene in the assimilation and reduction of air pollutants; intervene in regulating the climate, purifying the air and reducing global warming; They are pollinators by excellence for plants in commercial and wild crops; maintain biological pest control; They provide scenic beauty and recreation; They serve as food for humans, animals and birds, serve as habitat and shelter to dozens of living things, including humans; are sources of timber for building; provide fruits, rubber, cork, dyes, fibers, oils and medicines, latex used to make tires, tubes, clothing, rubber, glue and paper; many countries use trees as cultural and civilization symbols, serve to develop attractions for tourism and recreation; They provide shade in areas of high sun exposure and serve as a source of artistic and literary inspiration.

Despite the importance of the forest system, it is alarming that global deforestation progresses.

This May, should be taken as a reference and auspicious date to reflect on its importance and the need to protect and preserve, if taken as a parameter, forests that covered the earth have gone through a process of mass destruction. About 78% (29 million square kilometers of forests) have disappeared for various reasons, including: logging, conversion to livestock, agriculture, mining, reservoirs, roads, airports, forest tracks, logging, fires, population growth and climate change and the remaining 22% of the land is threatened by the same causes. 60% of the global forest area remaining on the planet are in Brazil, Canada, Congo, United States, China, Indonesia and Russia. An estimated one hundred countries have lost their primary forests and a dozen may lose them in the coming years.

The Dominican Republic continues making efforts for environmental protection, under which it  boasts a comprehensive legal framework on environmental matters. Among these instruments, the 64-00 law of 18 August 2000 on environmental and natural resources and the 202-04 law of 30 July 2004 called Sectorial Law on Protected Areas which identifies a number of areas, that qualify as “Scientific Reserves, Sanctuaries, National Parks, National Marine Parks, Natural Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, Forest Reserves,Panoramic Roads and National Recreation Areas”.

But the truth is, that although the Dominican Republic, has a legal framework that is consistent with international guidelines, it seems that efforts vanish on the way, since both the Dominican Republic and almost in the world, man, political power and large interests have become the number one enemies of nature and natural resources, because on one hand we see the efforts and on the other, we see indifference that states maintain allowing large forest devastation, as is the case of the Dominican Republic, the disaster provoked by the multinational Barrick Gold mining, authorized and supported by the State and the Dominican government.

In honor of the trees, I would like to offer you these verses of Don Alberto Cortes and the great poet Antonio Machado (in Spanish to preserve poetic integrity):

MI ARBOL Y YO
“Mi madre y yo lo plantamos
en el límite del patio,
donde termina la casa.
Fue mi padre quien lo trajo
yo tenía cinco años
y el apenas una rama.”

“Al llegar la primavera
cultivamos bien la tierra
y lo cubrimos de agua
con trocitos de madera,
hicimos una barrera
para que no se dañara.”

“Mi árbol brotó, mi infancia paso,
hoy bajo su sombra que tanto creció,
tenemos recuerdo mi árbol y yo.”
Alberto Cortes

POEMA DEL ARBOL
“Árbol, buen árbol, que tras la borrasca
Te erguiste en desnudez y desaliento,
Sobre una gran alfombra de hojarasca
Que movía indiferente el viento.”
Antonio Machado