Nafta: Chemical Used by Canadian Mining Company Causes Skin to Rot in People Living Near Storage Tanks

Affected resident. Diario Libre
Diario Libre, the largest-circulation daily in the Caribbean, is reporting that the people of the town of Quita Sueño de Haina are being stalked by a deadly, silent enemy which causes cancer and rotting of the skin. The residents of Quita Sueño de Haina, a small community not too far from Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, are suffering an extensive list of ailments.

Falconbridge, a company which since the US invasion of 1965 has held a very prominent role in Dominican society, has over the past couple of years been implicated in multiple scandals. This latest scandal, however, promises to shock the conscience, as people describe conditions and suffering unheard of in modern times.

Over the past 15 years, multiple studies have been conducted and all indicated that Nafta was poisoning the people of Quita Sueño, but residents report that it has been an uphill battle trying to stop the Canadian company from using the deadly chemical in the vicinity of vulnerable people.

A community leader in Quita Sueño told Diario Libre: "We saw people die frequently, but we didn't know what was happening. Right by my house a couple died within a span of several months of each other."

Although Falconbridge claimed not to be storing Nafta near populated areas, it's possible that deadlier chemicals are being stored in the community.

Ligia Estefany, a resident of Quita Sueño, told Diario Libre that before the storage tanks, her children did not suffer from asthma, but that anytime the company begins transporting and releasing the stored chemicals, she has to "run with her son to the hospital."

Due to the level of influence which Falconbridge wields over the Dominican government, it is unlikely that any action will be taken to protect the residents of Quita Sueño.