• Lorraine Arroyo
  • BBC World, @bbc_arroyo

Dressed in a baseball cap, T-shirt, jeans and sports shoes, Rogelio Cruz is an unconventional priest. The religious is touring the Dominican Republic to unite the opposition of the population to a controversial mining project in Loma Miranda, in the north of the country.

Despite the fact that Cruz says he has been in a «permanent fight» for three years to prevent his country from «handing over the resources of that mountain to a transnational company,» a cause shared by many Dominicans who have taken to the streets in recent months to protest, his name did not make headlines until the beginning of the month, when they called on citizens to practice «civil disobedience.»

It was after President Danilo Medina vetoed a law, already approved by the Congress of the pro-government majority, which provided for turning Loma Miranda into a National Park, a movement that would prevent the Dominican company Falcondo, a subsidiary of the multinational Glencore, from exploiting the mountain.

But now, with the objections presented by the president, the green light is given to the possible exploitation of that hill located in the province of La Vega, where it is estimated that there are some 20 million tons of ferronickel.