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Haiti - Economy : The Senate voted the suspension of Mining Permits in Haiti
Following this announcement, the Senate convened in January 2013, Jacques Rousseau, Minister of Public Works and the engineer Ludner Remarais, Ing, Director General of Bureau of Mines, to explain about these permits. At the end of the hearing, the senators have estimated that these contracts were awarded outside of legal norms and had agreed to adopt a resolution to ask the government to suspend the contracts already signed.
Yet Ludner Remarais seemed to have been clear on this issue by stating last month "There is no work. There were no exploitation, and for the moment there can not be of exploitations of metal mines. Because it does not happen like senators say [...] The exploitation of a deposit can not be done overnight. The license is granted simply to allow all the work and studies necessary for the preparation of the mine [...] the allegations raised by senators, that mining operations are underway around the country, are false and misleading the public [...] when you do not know something, the wisdom wants that these informations are asked to us [...]"
It seems that despite these statements and invitations to verify on site the facts alleged, the Senator remained on their position. Wednesday, February 20, 15 senators out of 16 (the President not voting) passed a resolution calling for the cessation of all approach aimed at the extraction of mineral resources of the country without consulting Parliament.
Full text of the resolution :
"Considering Articles 98.3, 109, 111, 128, 139, 215, 216 and 276 of the 1987 Constitution amended.
Considering the genocide that accompanied the plunder of our mineral resources in the fifteenth century;
Considering the liquidation orchestrated of the national heritage during the American occupation;
Considering the current inability of the country to negotiate peacefully its mineral resources in a context of political imbalance, of weakness of the state increased by the military occupation of the country by multinational forces;
Considering the waste of resources already registered - in non-priority areas - after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, due to the absence of a national consensus face the challenge of reconstruction;
Considering the opacity as well as the evaluation and actual estimates of the resources already identified regarding the gross value of minerals;
Given the trauma induced of experiences of the Haitian State with the "Reynolds Haitian Mines" in Miragoâne and Canadian society SEDREN SA in Gonaives on the establishment of contracts or agreements not conform to best interests of the Nation;
Given the high unemployment rate (80%) that resulted from the very serious economic crisis facing the country;
Given the serious environmental risks inherent in this type of activity and given the already alarming degradation of our environment.
Witnessed the difficulties faced by the national authorities to curb the simultaneous crises that took place during these days in the country.
Aware of its role as co-custodian of national sovereignty and its obligations to defend the interests of the nation, the Senate of the Republic considers and declares the moment inappropriate to undertake transactions authorizing the operation of our strategic resources.
Thus, the Senate of the Republic adopted this resolution and request expressly and solemnly to the Executive to :
Article 1 : Adjourn immediately to the execution of operating permits already signed with Somine S. A. the "VCS Mining", or any other entity.
Article 2: Establish an expert committee consisting of executives of MTPTC, of the State University of Haiti, Haitians living abroad and of Parliament in order to analyze the various contracts already signed.
Article 3: Organize a national debate on the country's mineral resources, their potential and how to use them in the context of a consensual plan of national Refoundation.
Article 4: This Resolution is transmitted to the Executive for law suites.
Given to the Senate of the Republic, February 20, 2013, Year 210th of the Independence."
Following the signatures of Senators Simon Dieuseul Desras (President), Steven Benoit Irvenson (First Secretary) and Joseph Joël John (Second Secretary)
HL/ PI/ HaitiLibre