President Medina visits cattle ranchers in Azua
Miguel Vargas opens Dominican Week in USA
Replanting in Valle Nuevo
Condoms and birth control pills to be sold at low cost pharmacies
ProConsumidor to clamp down on retailing of powdered milk
Floating bridge closed
Officials still have not declared assets
Cibao business union protests truck cartel
Billionaire businesses of Metro czar brought out into the open
The case of the Moca Pilgrim
Italian businessman arrested
El Seibo drug traffickers identified
Pedro Martinez’ administrator murdered



President Medina visits cattle ranchers in Azua
On Sunday, 7 May 2017, President Danilo Medina met with the Association of Cattle Farmers and Coffee Growers in the municipality of Las Yayas in Azua in the southwest of the country. He offered government financing to improve their production and listened to the needs of the community. 

As reported by the Presidency, the farmers sought help to improve their cattle production, want to renovate the coffee plantations, repair bridges and improve the water supply. 

President Medina was accompanied by Administrative Minister José Ramón Peralta, Public Works Minister Gonzalo Castillo and Agriculture Minister Ángel Estévez. Also the director of the Specialized Fund for Agroforestry Development, José Casimiro Ramos, and Carlos Segura Foster, from Bagrícola, the government agriculture bank. Also attending the meeting was Azua governor Walkiria Féliz. 

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...-yayas-de-azua


Miguel Vargas opens Dominican Week in USA
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado thanked the American people for their “kindness and solidarity”, for welcoming around 1.8 million Dominicans who live in the United States and work hard to support their families while contributing to the economic development of both nations, when speaking during the official opening of the 25th Dominican Republic Week in the United States (SemDomUSA 2017) at the Dominican Embassy in Washington, D. C. 

Vargas made the remarks during his keynote address at the ceremony to formally open the 25th Dominican Republic Week in the United States (SemDomUSA 2017). 

Vargas said that there were much to celebrate in the bilateral cooperation between the United States and Dominican Republic, such as the strong commercial ties and the robust attraction of investment and economic impact of DR-CAFTA. He also spoke of the ongoing deep cooperation on regional security issues and cultural affairs.  Vargas highlighted the success of the Dominican government in implementing a just immigration policy and maintaining a dialogue with Haitian government officials. 

Also present at the event was Dominican Ambassador José Tomás Pérez, Gedeón Santos, Dominican ambassador to the OAS, and representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce in the DR (AmChamDR), that organizes the event that continues until Friday, 12 May 2017. 

http://almomento.net/eu-miguel-varga...inicana/314011


Replanting in Valle Nuevo
The Ministry of the Environment has begun the process of restoring the forests in Valle Nuevo after banning farming in the region, as established in resolution 14-2016.

A press release from the Ministry of Environment states that 10,000 pine trees, and green ebony trees along with other varieties of trees have been planted on land that had been previously farmed. The effort seeks to regenerate the woodland. This is a follow-up to a first phase of the operation when the Ministry removed irrigation pipes that had provided water to the evicted farms. 

http://noticiassin.com/2017/05/medio...n-valle-nuevo/
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/05/0...da-valle-nuevo


Condoms and birth control pills to be sold at low cost pharmacies
Promese/Cal and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) signed an agreement for the procurement of condoms and other birth control products for sale to Dominican consumers at low prices at the 502 low cost pharmacies operated by Promese/Cal nationwide. As part of the agreement, UNFPA agrees to assist Promese/Cal in the purchase of reproductive health products and services.  

Antonio Peña Mirabal, director general for Promese/Cal made the announcement highlighting its importance. He said the agreement addresses the needs of the population for quality and low cost birth control products as part of the National Development Strategy. 

Peña Mirabal said a first shipment calls for male condoms, generic birth control pills (ethinylestradiol) and levonorgestrel that is used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. 

Arie Hoekman, of UNFPA, highlighted the importance of the agreement. The high cost of birth control products has been an impediment for young people to use effective birth control. He said early pregnancies are a major cause of continuing poverty and the UNFPA is pleased to be able to contribute with an effective solution.  


ProConsumidor to clamp down on retailing of powdered milk
ProConsumidor is again alerting consumers to not purchase powdered milk sold in bulk in colmados or in small supermarkets repackaged in plastic bags. ProConsumidor says it will treat the grocery store owners who attempt to sell the milk separate from its original packaging as criminals. ProConsumidor has highlighted the significant health risks of this product. Colmado owners have been notified that this is a banned product.

http://noticiassin.com/2017/05/proco...eche-a-granel/


Floating bridge closed
The Metropolitan Transport Authority announced the indefinite shutdown of the floating bridge over the Ozama River in order to continue lily clean up on the Ozama River. The intense rains have delivered an unusual amount of lilies and plastic garbage that is accumulating against the bridge that leads to the Avenida España. Drivers are recommended to use the Juan Bosch and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez alternate bridges. 

http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=534104


Officials still have not declared assets
The president of the Audit Chamber of the Dominican Republic (CCRD), Hugo Álvarez Pérez stated that 5,177 government officials have not declared their assets and continue to not be in compliance with Law 311-14. Of those who have not made the declarations, 78% work in municipal governments. 

He said that Regulation 92-16 states that CCRD can request the National Treasury to retain the salaries of the government officials who do not comply with the required financial disclosures.  However, the CCRD cannot take any direct action against these officials.

http://hoy.com.do/lo-que-hara-la-cam...larado-bienes/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...cionarios.html


Cibao business union protests truck cartel
The Unión Empresarial Dominicana swore in its new regional board for the Cibao-Central region and new members and called for an end to the truckers’ cartel that affects the cost of construction in the country. 

The president of the truckers union, Fenatrado is awaiting trial, accused of the murder of the former UASD rector Mateo Aquino Febrillet. In the Dominican Republic, Fenatrado maintains control of cargo leaving ports, while security authorities of the nation have looked the other way. 

The national president of UED, Diorys Pol said the union will directly and firmly confront the monopoly in all legal instances. He highlighted the Dominican Constitution grants the right to choice of transporters. 

Pol said that the trucker monopoly increases production costs by up to 45%, a cost that is eventually paid by consumers. He demanded the intervention of the authorities. 

We want to hear from the ministers of Public Works and Industry & Commerce on the issue, and the Attorney General,” he stated. He said it is not possible that companies have to ask for permission from this cartel to transport goods, risking our safety – and all because a small group has used intimidation and extortion to keep its privileges. 

He was speaking for Moca and Espaillat province where the cartel continues strong. He wants Moca to achieve the freedom to choose their transporters that companies in Boca Chica, Higuey, Haina, Nigua, Baní, Villa Mella, Azua and San Francisco de Macorís have already achieved through the collective actions of the police and local prosecutors. 

The new members of the UED-Cibao Central are president Yovanny Campos, vice president Eduardo Paulino; Blas Santo, in charge of finances, and Rolando Alba in charge of public relations. 

The UED was founded in January 2017 to defend business interests of the members and achieve respect for free enterprise. 

http://noticiassin.com/2017/05/union...-carga-pesada/


Billionaire businesses of Metro czar brought out into the open
Investigative journalist Alicia Ortega aired on “El Informe de Alicia Ortega” on Channel 9 on 8 May 2017 results of an extensive nine-month investigation into undeclared business dealings by the head of the Metro Office (Opret) in the Dominican Republic, engineer Diandino Peña. The investigations began following the trail of the Panama Papers/ Mossack Fonseca law firm and were carried out together with the Puerto Rico division of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). 

In the interview, Peña appears confounded by the focus of the interview on his offshore operations with millionaire transactions that are not declared in his statement of assets made to the state. Peña said he thought he had been invited to speak about the Santo Domingo Metro, the major project that has experienced delays in the completion of the second part of the second line. The program was announced on social media and received outstanding ratings of television audiences. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykb7i_MaV4k


The case of the Moca Pilgrim
Juan Comprés (Guanchy), a local social activist in Moca, was released from all accusations after a Moca judge determined his rights had been violated. Comprés was accused of possession of 52 grams of cocaine. However, his defense team maintained that the drugs were planted on him either during or after his arrest. To complicate matters, Sinencio Elpidio Uribe Vilorio of the National Institute of Forensic Science (Inacif), examined the accused and found multiple bruising due to trauma.

Comprés insisted that the drugs were planted on him and accused the Minister of Interior and Police Carlos Amarante Baret, and the head of the police in Moca, Colonel Nelson Valenzuela Madera, of being ringleaders of a group against him and other heads of the Green March Movement that is preparing for a Azua Green March on 21 May 2017. A video has been circulating on social media that could be interpreted as evidence that the drugs had been planted on him.

Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez had ordered a high level prosecutor to visit Moca to widen the investigation into the recently arrested member of the “Los Peregrinos” of Moca, Juan Comprés, by Moca police.  Via a press release, Rodriguez announced that he has also instructed the head prosecutor of Espaillat province, José Aníbal Carela, to ask for periodic appearances rather than jail time.

The central office of the National Police has now suspended those officers involved in the arrest of Comprés and has ordered the Police inspector, the Director of Internal Affairs and the Director of Intelligence Crimes to go to Moca and conduct a thorough investigation.

In Santo Domingo, a spokesperson for the Green March Movement said the case is part of a plot of the Medina administration to destabilize the peaceful protests against corruption and impunity by instructing the Minister of Interior and Police to harass and detain key Green March leaders, such as Comprés. 

http://eldia.com.do/tribunal-ordena-...-juan-compres/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...cha-verde.html
http://listindiario.com/la-republica...o-juan-compres
https://www.metrord.do/do/destacado/...n-compres.html
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...inos-CF7034026
https://www.loquesucede.com/nacional...s-de-balaguer/


Italian businessman arrested
Migration Department (DGM) inspectors have arrested Italian businessman Armando Cascati, when he was trying to leave the country by way of the Puerto Plata International Airport, General Gregorio Luperón, in Puerto Plata. The reasons for his arrest are unknown.

Cascati has investments in the country of over US$50 million in Sosua and Montecristi.

His family says the arrest was illegal. Meanwhile Cascati has been sent to the National Police Headquarters in the Northern Region. 

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/05/0...salir-del-pais
http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...hlight=Cascati


El Seibo drug traffickers identified
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) and the prosecutor’s office in El Seibo named the Colombian, Venezuelan and three Dominicans being held in connection with a discovery of 1,104 kilos of pure cocaine over the weekend.

Prosecutor Kenia Romero said that those arrested were Colombian Jaime Alberto Barrinca Sánchez, Venezuelan Mario Hernández and Dominicans Sergio Ramírez Colomé, Cristóbal Mota and Marcelino Reinoso Ciprián, the last two are from Miches.

The drugs were discovered on a farm belonging to a man only identified as Monchy, who has not been found by the authorities. 

According to the investigation, the Colombian was in a red Ford pickup, where 105 packages were found.  Another 23 packages were found in a storage building at the farm. Inside the house, 600 packages of drugs were being stored in five 55-gallon drums.  

Investigators suspect that there may be more drugs hidden in the area and so raids are ongoing.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...eibo-AX7033893


Pedro Martinez’ administrator murdered
On Sunday afternoon, 7 May 2017, unknown persons killed the administrator of a farm owned by former Major League baseball player, Pedro Martinez in the community of Mata Naranjo, in Hatillo.

The victim, who was beaten to death, was identified as 33-year old Eleno de los Santos de los Santos, and according to the medical examiner Macier Quiroz Mejía, suffered severe head and facial trauma.

His body was found by Saida Jaime Núñez, who also worked at the farm.
The police say they are looking for one Polibio Morillo, a companion of the victim with whom he was supposedly arguing with just hours before Santos de los Santos was found. 

http://elnacional.com.do/matan-admin...edro-martinez/


Rains to continue
The Emergency Operations’ Center (COE) has increased the number of provinces under alert for the rains to 18, with three on yellow alert and 15 in green. The COE reports that rain will continue throughout a large portion of the country due to a front moving in from Cuba. 

Those on yellow alert are the provinces of Duarte, especially Bajo Yuna, Barahona and Puerto Plata. Those provinces on green alert are Monseñor Nouel, La Vega, Valverde and Monte Plata, Dajabón, Santiago, Pedernales, Independencia, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, Sánchez Ramírez, San Cristóbal, Elías Piña, Espaillat and Montecristi.