SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic – Two people were fatally shot Tuesday in various parts of the Dominican Republic amid violent protests demanding investment in public infrastructure.
Police Col. Julian Suarez Cordero died after being shot during a demonstration at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, or UASD, in support of a 48-hour general strike in several northern provinces, authorities said.
Grassroots groups organized the strike to demand a public works program and the nationalization of the Pueblo Viejo gold mine, whose current operator, Canada-based Barrick Gold, is at odds with the Dominican government.
Another police officer, Col. Julio Justino Rodriguez, suffered a gunshot wound during the protest in Santo Domingo, a police spokesman said, while the media reported that a student was hit by a rock.
Meanwhile, Felix Hernandez died in the northeastern municipality of San Francisco de Macoris after being shot Monday night during clashes that police blamed on criminal organizations.
Four other people were hurt in that episode.
In the northwestern municipality of Esperanza, police Lt. Luis Manuel Lopez was also wounded by gunfire in the violent disturbances.
At the same time in the northern town of Bonao, at least 10 people were arrested at demonstrations demanding that the government cancel Barrick Gold’s contract to exploit Pueblo Viejo. EFE