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

Klaire Gain

El agua vale mas que oro,” or in English “Water is worth more than gold,” a young boy chants along with members of his community in Las Piñitas, Dominican Republic. He was born and raised here, neighboring the largest foreign direct investment project the country has ever seen – the Pueblo Viejo gold mine.

Pueblo Viejo, owned by Canadian companies Barrick Gold Corporation (60 percent) and Goldcorp Inc. (40 percent), two mining companies with notoriously abysmal human rights records, began commercial production in 2012. Since then, community members of Las Piñitas, Las Lagunas, El Naranjo, and La Cerca have expressed great concern regarding environmental devastation, which they believe has directly impacted their health and livelihoods.