Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dominican Republic activists are calling for Loma Miranda to be turned into a national park to save it from mining interests. (Photo: escapinsular.org)

'Capitalism vs. Nature': Dominican Republic Activists Fight to Save Mountain from Mining

Loma Miranda residents have set up camp on mountain grounds to protect it from government exploitation

Nadia Prupis

Activists are calling for the Loma Miranda mountain in central Dominican Republic to be designated a national park to save it from mining threats, which they call "a new form of colonialism."

A government plan to use Loma Miranda for nickel mining would result in irreparable environmental harm, the activists say. That, in turn, threatens the communities that depend on the mountain, which takes up 16 square miles, to provide fresh drinking water and other resources to residents through its springs, rivers, and creeks.

"It's one of the most important mountain systems in the Dominican Republic," Victor Medrano of the Ecological Society of Cibao told Al Jazeera. "It produces enough water to provide to the surrounding communities irrigation for the entire region and hydroelectric power."

The government announced its plans to mine Loma Miranda in 2014, prompting protests by residents and activists around the country.

In response, the Dominican Republic Senate passed legislation in August to designate the mountain a national park and protect it from exploitation by mining companies. But President Danilo Medina rejected the bill.

Al Jazeera continues:

Refusing to back down, activists established a permanent camp at Loma Miranda, from which they have launched a national movement to protect the mountain and founded the headquarters of a future national park.

“By the people’s decision, Loma Miranda is already a national park, and we’re here to defend it,” Sánchez said.

In fact, more than 80 percent of Dominicans support a mining ban at the mountain, according to a 2013 Gallup poll published in the paper Hoy.

Despite their efforts, the government appears to be pushing forward with mining plans, including by offering exploratory arrangements to foreign energy companies. At least one company, Glencore Falcondo, is currently conducting research there.

"It's a new form of colonialism," Rafael Jiménez Abad, a Loma Miranda camp leader and university professor, told Al Jazeera. "Our fight is about life or death. It's capitalism versus nature."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Fears of Escalation as Ukraine Answers Russian Missile Onslaught With Strike Deep Inside Invader's Territory

Ukrainian drones bombed two air bases more than 300 miles inside Russia, reportedly killing three soldiers, wounding four others, and damaging multiple warplanes.

Brett Wilkins ·


Patient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

"As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration's citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars."

Brett Wilkins ·


10,000+ Sign Open Letter Demanding Biden Order Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers

"No one, especially in the world's richest nation, should have to choose between forgoing pay or working through severe illness and family emergencies," says The Lever's letter.

Jessica Corbett ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo