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.