Fighting for Their Water and Their Lives, Communities Take Direct Action Against Barrick Gold in the Dominican Republic

Gain, Klaire

Publisher:  Upside Down World
Date Written:  30/11/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23351

People who live near the Pueblo Viejo gold mine iin Dominican Republic struggle to gain accountabilty from the Canadian-owned companies running it. Their environment has been poisoned and they want funds for 600 families to be relocated.



After years of attempts for dialogue with little response from the company, community members have taken direct action. Since the early hours of Nov. 6, they have occupied space outside of Barrick Gold's production site. Armed with signs, pollution masks and their voices, community members have chained themselves to chairs, refusing to leave until the demands of relocation for more than 600 families impacted by the project are met....

Individuals within the community, along with experts in the field, maintain that the alleged increased contamination within the area could be caused by the extensive use of cyanide at the Pueblo Viejo mine and the lack of suitable measures to dispose of the residue acid mine drainage. Experiences of those in surrounding communities confirm this, with neighbors stating that gases and odors emitted from the mine and tailings ponds induce debilitating symptoms. A youth from Las Piñatas explains, "when we are at school and the odor arrives we vomit, we have nausea, we have headaches, we are dizzy … everything. The teachers have to send us home and we can’t even learn."

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