Communities first noticed animals dying. Then they said their children got sick. And the fruit started to mold and rot while still hanging on their trees.
For over a decade, Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic has been devastating the lives of those living in the six nearby villages.
And now Barrick has applied for a permit to expand the mine, which would displace seven more communities and bring further devastation to the area.
Sign this petition to demand that government officials deny Barrick Gold’s dangerous permit to expand the Pueblo Viejo mine.
The Pueblo Viejo mine has been accused of contaminating the local rivers with heavy metals and chemicals to the point where locals have reported no longer wading in the streams they once bathed in for fear of getting rashes and skin lesions.
For over a decade, the surrounding communities have been forced to depend on bottled water for all of their drinking, cooking, and washing needs. And there is widespread fear that the local produce is also contaminated.
They have tried to convince the government and Barrick to relocate 450 families that live downstream from the El Llagal tailings dam, which holds Pueblo Viejo's mining waste. But so far their demands have been ignored.
Last year, Barrick submitted plans to build a second tailings dam near the El Llagal dam so that it can store even more highly-contaminated waste water. The expansion would allow the Pueblo Viejo mine to remain open for at least 20 more years. And this second dam would likely repeat and compound already existing environmental and human rights issues from El Llagal.
But the Dominican government hasn’t approved the permit yet. That is why we must support local efforts to convince government officials to shut down the dangerous expansion project, and relocate the communities already impacted by the El Llagal dam to a safer area.
Add your name to support local communities in the Dominican Republic fighting against Barrick’s devastating plans.