Two Canadian companies intend to mine for gold on a massive scale in the rainforest of the Dominican Republic, destroying the green vacation paradise. The cyanide to be used would poison the water and soils.
I am very concerned about the plans of the government of the Dominican Republic to permit open-pit gold mining in the central highlands. The Pueblo Viejo mine is located in a sensitive ecosystem, the soils of which are vital for regional agriculture. Rivers and a freshwater reservoir that the entire republic relies on are also nearby. The cyanide used in gold mining threatens to poison the region’s environment, endanger the residents’ food security, and jeopardize the water supply of the entire population of the Dominican Republic.
The two companies operating the Pueblo Viejo mine, Barrick and Goldcorps, are known for their violations of environmental regulations and human rights. In Argentina and Peru, the population is protesting against the pollution of water sources by Barrick’s mines. The Dominicans are therefore taking to the streets and calling for the annulment of the Pueblo Viejo contracts. A broad coalition of 100 Dominican organizations is urging the government and the companies to cancel the mining project. They also criticize the lack of transparency with which the contracts were concluded, the tax breaks granted to the mining companies to the detriment of the Dominican government, the failure of Barrick and Goldcorps to pay compensation, and the unfulfilled promise of secure jobs.
Gold mining is not only a threat to social stability and the environment, but also to alternative forms of economic development in the Dominican Republic.
In solidarity with the Dominican people and out of deep concern for the environment in your country, I call on you to annul the contract at the Pueblo Viejo mine.
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