Priest Warns against Mining at Loma Miranda, Dominican Republic


There has been a wave of activism in the Dominican Republic to try to save Loma Miranda, in central La Vega province, from incursions by Canadian mining company Glencore Xstrata Nickel Falcondo. It was recently declared a National Park, after the Chamber of Deputies passed the bill in an emergency session with two roll calls, dealing a blow to a planned nickel mine.

The priest Rafael Columna on Thursday became the latest Catholic prelate to warn that the Loma Miranda (central) wilderness will be defended “even with their life” if the senators try to undermine the population’s determination. The Sabana del Puerto parish priest called Miranda an non-negotiable natural resource which is home to countless species found only in that mountain located between the provinces Monseñor Noel and La Vega provinces.

He accused the miner Xstrata Nickel Falcondo of bribing the senators to approve the extraction of metals, despite the rejection by the Chamber of Deputies. “We’re awake, alert and ready for action on attempts to ignore the report rendered by the United Nations Development Program, and the Dominican Academy of Sciences.”

La Vega bishop Antonio Camilo and radical priest Rogelio Cruz have already made similar warnings against exploiting Loma Miranda, and call for its designation as a National Park.

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