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Loma Miranda: The state will have to pay an indemnity

SANTO DOMINGO. The Minister of Energy and Mines, Pelegrin Castillo, warned that with the law which declares Loma Miranda a National Park, the state will be assuming the commitment to pay a high indemnity to Glencore-Xstrata and a group of private property owners.

He made it clear that it is ironic that Glencore-Xstrata, which acquired the mineral rights of Falcondo a few years ago, and having their environmental impact study rejected, and the absence of a social license put into evidence, by virtue of a law from the National Congress which authorizes expropriations, ends up receiving huge income for compensation, and “in a certain way is relieved of its environmental and social obligations.”

Castillo said that in the absence of a Law of Territorial Organization and with the Constitution of 2010 which reinforced this scheme of protected areas, it becomes highly convenient that the declaration of new protected areas, especially national parks, counts on the support of multiple disciplinary scientific studies of major national and international credibility.

“Unfortunately, those studies in the case of Loma Miranda have not been carried out. So that these compensations to a group of property owners and to an important transnational mining company, without a thorough knowledge on the real value of the expropriated area and the possible amounts of the indemnity payments, constitute a high risk decision of unforeseeable consequences,” stressed the Minister of Energy and Mines.

Castillo pointed out that because Glencore-Xstrata is a mining firm with headquarters in Switzerland it will have the option to invoke the Reciprocal Protection Agreement on Investments between the Dominican Republic and the Swiss Confederation of 2004, so that it is probable that this difference ends up being resolved in international courts.

A strike against the law

The Chamber of Commerce and Production of the province of Monsignor Nouel convened a strike of all the businesses for today, Monday, in demand that President Danilo Medina not publish the law which declares Loma Miranda a National Park.

Through a press communiqué the entity declared this Monday to be “a black day and a day of mourning,” due to the congressional approval of the legislative proposal which protects the mountain system located between this province and La Vega.

They announced that the businessmen and former employees of the Falconbridge Dominicana (Falcondo) will march this morning through the streets of the city of Bonao, and a peaceful and civic protest in search of the government permitting the mining exploitation of part of Loma Miranda.

Source: DiarioLibre

Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM
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