A less tragic Easter Week
Wilton Guerrero backs Codocafé over Indocafé
MasterCard purchases reach US$15 billion
Cocaine bust in La Romana
Dominican non-resident numbers down
Investigation into Venezuela plot
Mystery over Customs’ dismissals
Rivers disappearing in the west
Investigation into police brutality
Police ask for help to fight child sex exploitation
Jail on remand for insurance company robber
Fernando Osorio and Pavel Núñez at Casa de Teatro




A less tragic Easter Week
The Center for Emergency Operations (COE) has announced a death toll of 15 people for the 2017 Easter Week. Of these, 11 died in traffic accidents, three drowned and one was hit by a vehicle. The number of deaths was down from 23 registered for the same period in 2016 and 30 in 2015. 

COE director, General Juan Manuel Méndez gave the details at a press conference on Monday, 17 April 2017. It was the first time the COE waited for the end of the Easter Week prevention operation to report. General Méndez said that it was a quiet Easter Week with less fatal accidents than in the past. He said that there were 860 traffic accidents, involving 1,016 people. 

COE data is based on the period from Easter Thursday through Easter Sunday (13-16 April 2017). There were 707 accidents involving motorcycles, 100 car accidents cars and 5 accidents involving heavy trucks. 48 people were struck on our nation’s roads. In addition, 363 people were arrested for public drunkenness, including 20 minors.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...y-dos-ahogados
http://eldia.com.do/el-unico-reporte...-semana-santa/


Wilton Guerrero backs Codocafé over Indocafé
Senator Wilton Guerrero (PLD-Peravia) is taking the side of small coffee producers in protesting the Medina administration initiative to create the National Coffee Institute (Instituto Nacional del Café – Indocafé) that would replace the present National Dominican Coffee Council (Consejo Dominicano del Café – Codocafé). Guerrero says that the bill that would abolish Codocafé is a mistake. 

Meeting with coffee growers at the installations of the Movimiento Cafetalero y Acción Comunitaria (Movicac) in Baní, Peravia, the legislator said that any initiative on coffee growing has to take into account the small producers because they are the most directly involved in the development of the sector. “Others can be interested in the coffee sector as a business profit center, but the people that work the fields do so to bring food to their tables,” he said. 

He said that he himself comes from a family with a coffee growing tradition. Guerrero said he is hopeful that the coffee farms can be restored to their historic productivity using the appropriate technologies. 

Participating in the meeting and speaking out against Indocafé were Movicac president, Jorge Guerrero; the executive director of the Federación de Caficultores y Agricultores para el Desarrollo Agrícola in San Juan de la Maguana, Tony Luciano, and the president of the Núcleo de Asociaciones de Caficultores y Agricultores de San Cristóbal (NACAS), Cristino Lorenzo. Also present was the deputy director of Codocafé, Electo Santana. 

Representatives of these groups said that the bill that the President Danilo Medina sent to the Senate would exclude the coffee-growing organizations and take over the responsibility for drafting and implementing coffee policies in the country. Indocafé is being proposed as an autonomous government agency that would be affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture. It would be funded with a tax of RD$1 per quintal of harvested coffee but will be able to receive donations, loans and transfers. 

Coffee growing in the Dominican Republic is at an all time low. Coffee farmers attribute the collapse of the sector to the coffee rust disease and the lack of effective support from Ministry of Agriculture. 


MasterCard purchases reach US$15 billion
MasterCard cardholders in the Dominican Republic have made purchases in 2016 for US$15 billion, the credit card company reported. MasterCard has 29% of the total credit card market share in the country. 
http://hoy.com.do/consumo-personal-d...-mil-millones/


Cocaine bust in La Romana
The Police Antinarcotics Agency (DICAN) has announced that police officers confiscated 45 kilos of cocaine contained in 25 packages that were in a house in the Villa Hermosa sector of La Romana.

The drugs were found in two sacks in the closet of the main bedroom and the owner of the house, Daniel Guerrero Mejia was arrested as part of the investigation. 

The DICAN officers also confiscated RD$10,000, three telephones and an SUV.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...mana-BI6846560


Dominican non-resident numbers down
According to the Central Bank, fear of the immigration policies of United States president, Donald Trump, has led to a lower number of non-resident Dominicans visiting the country.

According to data from the bank, between January and March this year, a total of 170,358 non- resident Dominicans arrived into the country by air - that is down nearly 4% on the same period last year. In January the number non-residents visiting the US were up, but declined in February by 6%, the first decrease in three years and down by over 13% in March. 

Trump began his presidency on 20 January, and following the signing of executive orders the risk of expulsion from the country for those who have committed any crime, not only serious ones, has increased, leading to less immigrants likely to leave the country, being afraid they will not be allowed to return.

According to Central Bank governor, Hector Valdez Albizu, during a press conference, said the reason for the decrease in arrivals of non resident Dominicans is purely what he called “The Trump Effect”.

On average, 10% of those who visit the country are Dominicans who are not resident here, but the arrival of foreigners continues to increase with 4.78% more in the first three months of the year, some 1,495,249.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...pais-FB6838623


Investigation into Venezuela plot
The director of the National Investigations Agency (DNI), Retired Admiral Sigfrido Pared Pérez, does not believe that the Dominican Republic has been used to conspire against the Venezuelan government. Nevertheless, he told journalists he has promised to delve more into investigations following a complaint by former Vice President of Venezuela, José Vicente Rangel. Pared Perez who was interviewed at the Presidential Place said that Venezuelan opposition groups could have met here. He said he would set up a team here to work in coordination with Venezuelan intelligence agencies.

Rangel complained that plans to destabilize the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, and his government were orchestrated within the Dominican Republic. He remarks were based on a six-month investigation. 
http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...aduro-desde-rd


Rivers disappearing in the west
According to Marcelo Guzman, in charge of the district of the Rio Limpio community in Elias Piña, around 55 rivers and streams have dried up in the Central Mountain area as they pass through the communities in what is called the “Loma de Maco” between Elias Piña provinve and the province of Dajabon.  Deforestation is believed to be the major factor that has resulted in many of region’s waterways drying up.   

Guzman said that the Artibonito, del Valle, Neita and Masacre rivers have all disappeared in the area with people ignoring and violating the environmental laws that seek to protect waterways.  Guzman complained that no one seems to care enough about this environmental crisis.

Guzmán said that the area was the source for more than 100 rivers and now fully half of these rivers and streams have vanished due to deforestation. He blamed Haitians who live in the area for much of the deforestation. Guzman also claimed that government authorities have not to protect the natural resources of the region.  

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/04/1....pvoEmPcW.dpuf


Mystery over Customs’ dismissals
The Customs Agency has dismissed a group of agents who were working at Las Americas Airport, who, as it turns out, were mostly affiliated with the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). 

The group said that they were submitted to lie detector tests and were later fired with no explanation. At the same time, they blamed their dismissal on the head of Customs Intelligence Department, Ramon Valerio and his son, Nellk Valerio, who also works for the organization as supervisor and administrator. 

Among those dismissed is the coordinator of the “Movement AILA with Danilo,” Vicente Romero who supported the recent reelection of the president which has apparently caused great concern among his fellow employees at the airport, saying he was a model and honest employee and an excellent person held in great affection by his fellow employees.

Also dismissed were Luis Alberto Escolastico, Miguel Osoria, Julia Rosario, Edgar Días Jiménez and Isabel Mesa de la Cruz, all members of the PLD and who had been working for several years in Customs at the airport. 

The Director General of Customs, Enrique Ramírez Paniagua, has demanded an explanation of the situation, given that many were long time employees of the institution. 

http://www.elnuevodiario.com.do/app/...aspx?id=530501


Investigation into police brutality
The National District Prosecutor is investigating an incident where a 17-year old minor was threatened by police officers last Friday, 14 April, 2017, in the Caliche sector of Cristo Rey.

A video that has been circulating on social media shows uniformed officers, including Colonel Leopoldo Mariñez, beating the girl, identified as Gisselle Sánchez. The video shows her being dragged by the hair and assaulted by the officers. 

Yeni Berenice Reynoso said that an investigation has been opened and that the incident is being reviewed by the internal affairs department.

http://eldia.com.do/fiscalia-investi...en-cristo-rey/
http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...o-en-las-redes


Police ask for help to fight child sex exploitation
The police have announced that via the Department of Migration Control and the Investigation of Human Trafficking that they have rescued six minors who were being sexually exploited. 

The institution said that in the first months of this year, 57 people have been arrested, including seven foreigners, involved in this kind of crime. They went on to say that child sex exploitation occurs more often in tourist areas, which is why security in these areas is being increased. 

The police have asked for anyone with information about people who may be victims of this crime to call 809-682-2151 Ext. 2478 and 2395.  

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...os-sexualmente


Jail on remand for insurance company robber
A National District court has ordered George Michel Ramirez (Maicol) to serve a three month in preventive custody sentence.  Ramirez is one of those accused in the robbery at the ARS insurance company in Piantini.

Ramirez, who was sent to jail in Azua, is accused of robbery and criminal association.

The robbery happened on 28 March 2017, at around noon when the accused was waiting on a motorcycle while his companions, Elias Jeury Paredes Martínez and member of the police Luis Enrique Reyes took the money.

According to the prosecution, Elias Jeury Paredes Martínez assaulted the driver and an employee and demanded the money, while Luis Enrique Reyes attacked the security guard. 

A total of US$200,000 plus RD$5 million was taken, but then Reyes was shot by the security guard and collapsed with the money still on his person. 

The other two escaped - but Paredes Martinez died in what the police characterize as a shootout with the officers. Reyes is still in hospital.

http://eldia.com.do/dictan-3-meses-d...-constitucion/


Fernando Osorio and Pavel Núñez at Casa de Teatro
Venezuelan singer-songwriter Fernando Osorio will be performing with Dominican Pavel Núñez on 21 April 2017 at 9pm at Casa de Teatro. “El oficio de hacer canciones” is the show the two prepared in 2012 at International Book Fair. Both songwriters have been nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards. Also part of the 21 April show will be the Santiago pop duo, Grupo Frankos. Tickets are for sale at Casa de Teatro for RD$1,000.

http://m.elcaribe.com.do/2017/04/17/...io-casa-teatro