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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Monday, 2 January 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Monday, 2 January 2017

    2017: Agro-forestry Year
    13 die in traffic accidents over New Year holiday
    Medina to travel to Puerto Rico inaugural event
    José Ramón Peralta: DR to gain from Trump’s first two years
    Los Tres Brazos land resale put on hold
    Pepca receives Odebrecht contracts
    City government offers deals for paying garbage debt
    Bank robbery suspect Percival Matos shot dead by Police
    Swat operation to grab Percival Matos
    Woman dismissed from bank robbery case
    Police chief: more robberies were being planned
    Aguilas lead in first week of baseball semi-finals

    2017: Agro-forestry Year
    President Danilo Medina has designated 2017 “The Year for Agro-forestry Development,” describing sustainable forestry management as a national priority. He stressed that reforestation, conservation of forests and renovation of forestry resources were of utmost social interest.

    Decree 395-16 assigns priority to the promotion of policies aimed at improving agriculture output, mitigating greenhouse gases in farming, protecting river basins, countering the threat of deforestation while promoting harmonious farming and sustainable management of forests and forestry resources.

    13 die in traffic accidents over New Year holiday
    The Emergency Operations Center (COE) reports that at least 13 people died and 407 were injured over the 31 December 2016 holiday. These figures were registered between midday on Friday, 30 December and Sunday afternoon, 1 January 2017. A total of 347 traffic accidents were reported. The casualties include four minors (aged 14-17) and a woman. The traffic accidents occurred in the province of Santo Domingo, the National District, La Vega and Puerto Plata.

    A total of 37,721 volunteers and government agency staff participated in the security operation over the holiday weekend. The COE reported that this year’s traffic death total is seven fewer than in 2015.

    Meanwhile, Diario Libre reports that from Friday, 30 December 2016 to Sunday, 1 January 2016, they have reports of at least 33 deaths including 28 from gun and stab wounds. This total also includes the 13 who died in traffic accidents as reported by the COE, of which 12 involved motorcycles.

    Medina to travel to Puerto Rico inaugural event
    President Danilo Medina will be traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the inauguration of the governor-elect of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Roselló Nevares. Roselló was elected in the 8 November 2016 general election. The presence of the Dominican head of state at the governor’s inauguration ceremony is a tradition.

    José Ramón Peralta: DR stands to gain from Trump’s first two years
    Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta forecasts that the Dominican Republic stands to gain in 2017 and 2018 with the boost to the US economy during the first two years of the Trump presidency. “It may be taking on domestic debt, but in the next two years, at least, there will be growth,” he forecast, when analyzing what the Trump administration will bring for the DR.*He said that growth in the US meant more tourism and remittances for the DR.

    Peralta added that the non-implementation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which has not yet been ratified by the US Congress, would also be positive for the DR because it would open doors for more investors to come do business here instead. US President-elect Donald Trump has said the US will pull out of the 12-nation group on his first day in office in January.

    Peralta advised following developments in the area of immigration. Nevertheless, he said that most Dominican immigration in recent years has been legal and thus did not believe that Dominican immigrants would be worst affected.

    The senior government official was speaking during a recent meeting with the economic correspondents from the leading Dominican newspapers.

    Los Tres Brazos land resale put on hold
    President Danilo Medina has ordered the suspension of the issue of property titles and resale of property in the Los Tres Brazos area of Santo Domingo East (Decree 392-16). Several families have protested the high cost of the process of legalizing their property ownership. The announcement was made by Presidency spokesman Roberto Rodríguez Marchena.

    Decree 392-16 also calls for a stop to all evictions of people who have been illegally occupying properties in the area. Many of the residents have lived on the state property for more than 30 years. Dominican law grants property rights to illegal occupants after 20 years.

    The same decree creates a commission that was given 30 days to evaluate the sale of the land in the area with recommendations to report to the Presidency.

    The commission comprises Presidential legal advisor Flavio Darío Espinal, the director of the Permanent Commission of Land Titling Jose Dantes, and the Government’s Ethics director Lidio Cadet.

    Titulatec had received a contract from Inversiones Fernández Parache to secure paperwork and property titles for residents who had occupied land and property of the former government shoe factory on the property in Los Tres Brazos.

    In 2010, the government department in charge of the factory, Corde sold the contract to Inversiones Fernández Parache to legalize the ownership status of the occupants. Leoncio Almanzar was director of Corde at the time.

    Diario Libre reported that the owner of Titulatec, Jose de Pool Dominici is a close associate of Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado. De Pool Dominici is currently the administrative director at the Ministry of Foreign Relations and a business associate of Vargas. De Pool served in this same post when Vargas Maldonado was Minister of Public Works during the administration of former President Hipólito Mejía.

    Pepca receives Odebrecht contracts
    The Dominican Republic Specialized Anti-Administrative Corruption Department (PEPCA) has received the contracts signed with the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht for their evaluation. Attorney General Jean-Alain Rodríguez requested the documents in response to the publication of the case in which a New York court said that Odebrecht admitted to having paid US$92 million in bribes in the Dominican Republic to secure US$163 million worth of infrastructure building contracts.

    Anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Guerrero Pelletier said her department would analyze the contracts signed by the Ministry of Public Works from 2007 to 2012, those signed by the Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), and those signed with EgeHID.

    Attorney General Jean-Alain Rodriguez added that he would be meeting with the general manager of Odebrecht, Marcelo Hofke on 10 January 2017.

    Once again, the spotlight is on Víctor Díaz Rua, who served as Minister of Public Works during the administration of former President Leonel Fernández. The Dominican courts have rejected opening a corruption case against Díaz Rua.

    In September 2016, National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso said she would seek a Superior Constitutional Tribunal ruling to allow the opening of an investigation into alleged corruption by Díaz Rua during his term as Minister of Public Works. The Supreme Court had ordered the case to be closed, preventing it from being heard in the regular court system.

    At the time, the National District prosecutor Reynoso said that the Supreme Court decision reinforced the local “corruption jurisprudence.” She said the case had violated previous jurisprudence and laws, and especially the Dominican Constitution.

    In December 2014, the Víctor Díaz Rua corruption case was closed and filed away by the Court of Appeals.

    City government offers deals for paying garbage debt
    The National District municipal authority (ADN) is offering discounts for residents who wish to pay off their garbage collection debts.

    Now under Mayor David Collado, the city government is advertising 70% discounts for residents who have owed money for more than two years, and 60% for residents with less than two years for clearing the account in cash.

    It also has a second plan where debts can be paid in up to 12-month installments with a 30% discount on garbage collection debts.

    The discounts are especially beneficial for condominiums that may be behind in their payments.
    Payments can be made by telephone to 809 381-1400 or by Internet banking Banco Popular, Reservas, Scotiabank, BHD-Leon, and other banks or at ADN commercial offices. The discounts are offered through 30 January 2017.

    For more information, see the balance at or calling 809 534-5666 ext 221.

    Bank robbery suspect Percival Matos shot dead by Police
    On Wednesday, 28 December 2016, two days after being identified in surveillance videos of the armed robbery of the Banco Popular at Plaza Lama in Santo Domingo, former military officer John Emilio Percival Matos was shot to death at around 4pm in the “La Fuente del Placer” motel located in Bonao. Around RD$9 million in cash was stolen from the bank, and one security guard was seriously injured. Percival Matos’ identity was confirmed by his tattoos.

    In a press conference called on Thursday evening, 29 December 2016 Police spokesman General Nelson Rosario confirmed that Matos was alone when he was shot dead by police agents. The Police, using the motel telephone, said they warned Percival to come out of the motel cabaña to preserve his life. When he did not respond, they threw tear gas. The Police said Percival chose to get into his Ford Explorer to make a getaway from the motel while firing shots and they responded during the gunfight. According to the Police, Percival had time to fire 56 shots at the Police using the same M-16 rifle he had used to carry out the Banco Popular robbery on Monday, 26 December 2016 at 7:30pm.

    Rosario said that several hours prior to when the Police arrived and surrounded the cabaña, two people who were with him got into a taxi and left. It was confirmed that one of the men with him was Brayan Peter Félix Paulino, while the other was unnamed. Félix was also identified from the bank surveillance videos.

    The Police said they found RD$991,000 in cash in a plastic bag and RD$39,000 in a branded Banco Popular moneybag in the Ford Explorer in possession of the late Percival.

    On Tuesday, 27 December, President Danilo Medina met with security agency directors, including ministers of Defense, Interior and Police, National Police, National Investigations Agency, Armada, Army and Air Force to request a rapid solution to the robbery. He is reported to have instructed them to find Percival dead or alive. The security forces announced a joint operation to locate the suspects and 24 hours later Percival was shot dead.

    Percival’s father, retired General Rafael Percival Peña, accused the Police of murdering his son inside the cabana room and not inside his vehicle as per the official version of events. The former general said that his son’s body had been placed in the vehicle after being killed in the cabaña.

    The Police would later report that the taxi driver who transported the accomplices was also arrested.

    Swat operation to grab Percival Matos
    The administrator of the Bonao motel, “La Fuente del Placer” Humberto Jiménez has told Diario Libre that the late John Percival Matos and another three people (two men and a woman) arrived at the cabaña on Wednesday, 28 December 2016 at around 2pm and paid RD$350 pesos for a four-hour stay. The Police identified the woman as Ana Iris Linares Ramírez and one of the other men as Brayan Félix Paulino. They would leave shortly afterwards.

    When the Police Swat teams arrived, Percival Matos was the only one left in the cabaña. Jimenez said the Police surrounded the motel and called on Percival to surrender. The Police threw tear gas and Percival returned it, following by a gunfight.

    The Police seized the assault rifle and gun, and an undisclosed sum of money in a box of whisky found inside the Ford Explorer.

    John Percival Matos’s body was taken to the morgue of the Public Hospital Marcelino Velez in Herrera. The media reports that although he was not carrying identity documents, he was identified by his tattoos.

    Percival Matos was the main suspect in the recent armed robbery of the Banco Popular at Plaza Lama in Santo Domingo on the evening of Monday, 26 December 2016.

    A 36-year old security guard, José de Jesus Reynoso of the La Confianza security transport company was seriously injured in the robbery. Marcelino Velez Hospital director Frank Soto said that Reynoso has undergone surgery of the liver and colon and remains in a serious condition. A fellow security guard, German Meran, who also was injured has since recovered.

    Former army lieutenant John Percival Matos was the son of retired general Rafael Percival Peña.

    Woman dismissed from bank robbery case
    Ana Iris Linares Ramírez, the 23-year old woman who is known to have accompanied Brayan Peter Félix Paulino before fleeing from Cabaña La Fuente del Placer in Bonao in a taxi, turned herself in on Thursday, 29 December 2016, a day after the Banco Popular bank robbery in Santo Domingo.

    She said she turned herself in after learning that the man with whom she was traveling was being sought by the Police. She said she had known Brayan Félix for around 10 days.

    Félix is the main suspect in three bank robberies as an accomplice of the late former military officer John Percival Matos.

    Linares was questioned at the prosecutor’s office from 10:40am to 4:20pm. She turned herself in to the Police in Santiago on Thursday evening and was sent to the Police headquarters in Santo Domingo where she remained for two hours and then was taken to the prosecutor’s office.

    According to Police, Linares Ramírez accompanied the bank robbers to La Vega where they purchased a Toyota Road Runner model 2004, license plate G18511 for RD$600,000 at the Chevy Comercial dealership on Av. Pedro A. Rivera. She is reported to have provided her ID so that the vehicle could be registered in her name.

    Linares, originally from Bonao, worked as a dancer at an entertainment center in Santiago. She was identified as Paulino’s girlfriend. She was released on Saturday after the interrogations on Friday.

    The vehicle was purchased with RD$600,000 after RD$3.7 million in cash was stolen from the Banco Popular values transporters at the Plaza Lama on Monday, 26 December. The vehicle was later abandoned at the intersection of Maximo Gomez and 27 de Febrero avenues in Santo Domingo.

    Linares told the press that Percival was shot at inside the cabaña La Fuente del Placer in Bonao.

    Percival was the main suspect in three bank robberies, in which one guard was murdered, and another is seriously injured. Before the bank robberies, Percival was also accused of robbery of a small plane in 2011 from the La Isabela Airport and transported to Venezuela in 2011, but was cleared in 2013 and only discharged from the army after 10 years service.

    Police chief: more robberies were being planned
    Director general of the National Police Nelson Peguero Paredes has produced a list of around two-dozen potential targets for robberies. In a press conference on Friday, 30 December 2016, the Police presented a handwritten note with names of several businesses that the bank robbery gang led by the late John Percival Matos was planning to target. The note was reportedly found in the vehicle in which Percival Matos was killed on Wednesday, 28 December at a motel in Bonao.

    Peguero Paredes said the gang had a plan to destabilize the government with all the robberies.

    Percival was staying at the Cabaña La Fuente del Placer on Wednesday, 28 December after carrying out a robbery at the Banco Popular in Plaza Lama on Monday, 26 December 2016.

    The list included bank branches in the Megacentro and Sambil malls in Santo Domingo and Colinas Mall in Santiago, as well as gas stations on the Jacobo Majluta, Charles de Gaulle, 27 de Febrero and Tiradentes avenues. It also included the Edesur office on Rómulo Betancourt Avenue, the La Sirena store on the Duarte highway, Plaza Lama on Av. Nicolas de Ovando, the Las Americas highway tollbooth, and the La Sirena store in Hato Mayor. Plaza Lama on Av. 27 de Febrero, where the last bank robbery occurred, was also on the list.

    Peguero Paredes said that the gang were planning to escape on a plane by flying it to Haiti.

    Aguilas lead in first week of baseball semi-finals
    In the first week of the round robin to decide the playoff teams, the Aguilas Cibaeñas lead followed by the Tigres del Licey a half game away. The Leones del Escogido are a game and a half away and the Gigantes del Cibao, which have lost the two games they have played, are two games behind.

    The round robin continues until 17 January. To follow the games, see

    It was also announced on Tuesday, 27 December 2016 that Ruben Sosa of the Escogido was chosen the Most Valuable Player of the 2016-2017 regular season. In the same vote, Escogido player Kelvin Marte was chosen Pitcher of the Year. Ramon Torres was rookie of the year and Bob Dickerson, also of the Gigantes was Coach of the Year. The event is organized by Producciones Dominicana Apolo.

    For information on upcoming events:

    Archived News stories:

    Archived Travel News stories:
    Last edited by Dolores; 01-02-2017 at 08:44 AM.


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