Dominican Republic Protests Barges

Dominican Republic Protests Barges
Dominican Republic Protests Barges

"Out with the barges!" Residents of the Dominican Republic protested the installation of thermoelectric vessels intended to increase energy production in a province of the island, as they denounce polluting emissions.

Neighbors of Los Negros beach, located in the province of Azua, in the south of the Caribbean island of 11.3 million inhabitants, chanted slogans and lit candles as a sign of condolences for the environmental damage in the protest held in this place close to a wildlife refuge.

"Whoever wants the barges to take them to his house", "The criminal barge, they have to take it", they exclaimed.

"Barges that generate a level of pollution that is damaging the health of the entire population, because the smoke penetrates directly into the houses," environmentalist Juan Adalberto Beltre said.

The protesters, who wore caps and T-shirts printed with the slogan "No barges in Los Negros", moved to the beach from where the boats, located a few meters from the coast, can be seen.

In 2022, the Ministry of the Environment of the Dominican Republic granted permits to anchor two barges with which the government seeks to increase from 180 megawatts to 400 megawatts of thermoelectric generation in the area. The environmental license was granted after an "evaluation process," the firm said in a statement released in March 2023.

The mobilization, which brought together about 150 people, took place a week before the presidential elections on May 19, where President Abinader, candidate of the Modern Revolutionary Party, will seek re-election.

"Human health is being damaged here. The ecology, the mangroves, and the marine species are being damaged," said Juan Adalberto Beltre.

Residents report that the barges of the Turkish company Karadeniz Holding emit smoke and dump wastewater into the sea.