News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 13, 2015: The presidential ambitions of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have become ensnared in a new scandal as it moves from ’emailgate’ to Haiti.
A new book claims her brother sat on the board of a mining company that received one of only two “gold exploitation permits” from the Haitian government after the State Department sent billions to Haiti and while Bill Clinton’s co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission was also added to the company’s board.
The bombshell revelations are the latest to rock the Clintons’ and are revealed by New York Times bestselling author Peter Schweizer in his new book, ‘Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.’
The book, according to the author, is the culmination of an exhaustive one-year deep dive investigation into the nexus between the Clintons’ $100+ million personal wealth, the Clinton Foundation, and the decisions Hillary made as Secretary of State that benefited foreign donors, governments, and companies.
Among the dealings revealed is a Haiti gold mine deal secured by a small North Carolina mining company registered in Delaware, which added her brother and the former Haitian prime minister to its board.
In the book, Schweizer reveals that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, sat on the board of VCS Mining of North Carolina, which in 2012 received one of only two “gold exploitation permits” from the Haitian government for The Société Minière Delta in Morne Bossa. It was the first mining permit issued in over 50 years.
Also sitting on the board was Jean Max Bellerive, Bill Clinton’s co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) and the former Haitian Prime Minister.
The deal reportedly outraged the Haitian senate in 2013 which according to IPS, said then that “genocide that accompanied the pillage of our mineral resources in the 15th century.” They also accused the state mining agency (the Bureau des Mines et d’Energie – BME) of granting “illegal” contracts and demanded the establishment of a commission to review all of the current mining contracts and “a national debate on the country’s mineral resources.”
VCS Mining in 2012 said it submitted the required “feasibility study” for the site, which maps out the steps they will take in order to prepare for mining, and it was finally accepted by the BME in November 2012.
IPS news quoted a VCS representative as saying at the time that his company has invested over four million dollars in the Morne Bossa site so far, and that since gold was first discovered by U.N. geologists in the late 1970s, “over 38 million (dollars) has been spent.”
VCS Mining meanwhile, in responding to the claims of impropriety insist that it obtained the permit before Rodham and Bellerive joined its board and actually had “been attempting to obtain Haitian government approval to develop mineral deposits in Haiti since 2009.”
“Mr. Rodham’s and Mr. Bellerive’s involvement with VCS began in October 27, 2013,” the company added in a statement. “Both parties were added and approved by the Board of Directors at the same time, almost a year after the final development permit for Morne Bossa was issued.
“At that time they were both asked to join the Company’s Board of Advisors. We never expected or asked Mr. Rodham for any special treatment and did not receive any. There was no quid pro quo concerning the Clinton Foundation suggested or offered and VCS has not received any financial assistance from any Clinton entity nor has the Company solicited any Clinton entity.”
Under Haitian mining law, an “exploitation permit” is valid for five years, and renewable up to 25 years. If further resources are discovered within the permitted area, the law allows additional renewals for up to 10 years.
Since 2013, the World Bank has provided technical assistance to the Haitian government in rewriting its mining laws, leading to a new mining law being drafted in 2014. Though Haiti has not seen large-scale commercial mining for decades, the government awarded multiple concessions in 2012 over opposition protests.
The World Bank has been involved in developing the Draft Mining Law in Haiti even as some Haitians worry that a massive expansion of Haiti’s mining sector will pave the way for the entry of foreign companies interested in “looting” the country’s significant gold and other deposits.
The Haiti Mining Justice Collective, a group of six Haitian civil society organizations, insists that “Mining exploitation has never contributed to the development of Haiti.”
“To the contrary, the history of gold exploitation is one marked by blood and suffering since the beginning,” the statement warned. “When we consider the importance of and the potential consequences of mineral exploitation, we note this change in the law as a sort of scandal that may facilitate further looting, without even the people aware of the consequences.”