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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 10 May 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 10 May 2017

    Central Bank: Economic growth is on target
    Dominican Republic to issue more international bonds
    Mayor David Collado says trucks need to stay away from the Malecón
    Yimi Zapata sworn in as president of UASD students
    UASD students occupy Attorney General’s office
    Generals investigate Juan Comprés case
    Students poisoned by chemicals from factory in Boca Chica
    Motorcycle-caused deaths among children
    Dominican Jesus Pascual Cabrera Ruiz extradited from Spain
    Latin American table tennis youth qualifier at Parque del Este
    94 voices at the Santo Domingo Music Festival

    Central Bank: Economic growth is on target
    The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic has announced that the economy increased its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 5.2% during the period January to March 2017, which is consistent with the macro economic projections made by the Central Bank and international organizations.

    In releasing its Preliminary Economic 2017 First Quarterly Report, the Central Bank indicated that economic activity is continuing to grow with the cyclical tendency of the Monthly Economic Activity Indicator (IMAE) standing at 5.9% for March. The growth was fueled by increases in real values in the financial intermediary sector (8.5%), agriculture (7.5%), construction (7.2%), hotels, bars and restaurants (6.6%), local manufacturing (5.1%) and commerce (5.0%). 

    The report highlights the support given to the agriculture sector by means of the Ministry of Agriculture and loans from the Agriculture Bank, which increased to RD$4,612.5 million in the first trimester of this year, some 43.2% higher than the same period in 2016.

    Due to the heavy rains at the end of last year, a lot of construction of bridges and roads occurred in Puerto Plata and other parts of the northern region, which led to an increase in the sales of construction products such as cement (3.5%) paint (14.3%) and the import of asphalt (14.3%).  

    The Central Bank also highlighted the increase in the hotels, bars and restaurant sector of 6.6% spurred by an increase in tourism income of 9.9% between January and March 2017, due to higher number of visitors, with 557,517 arriving by air in April that is an annual increase of 15% over the same time last year.

    Dominican Republic to issue more international bonds
    According to fixed income investors, the Dominican Republic is expected to return to the cross-border bond market again this year to begin to meet its 2018 funding needs. Investors state that the sovereign's debt is in high demand due to the Dominican Republic's projected high levels of economic growth and its lowering current account deficit. 

    Rated B1/BB-/BB-, the Dominican Republic's credit ratings do not seemingly reflect its quality as an issuer, a bond buyer told Latin Finance magazine, giving investors a higher chance of snatching up more yield when the new bonds are issued.

    The Dominican Republic came to the cross-border market in January with a 5.95% $1.2bn 2027 bond led by JPMorgan, while local bank BanReservas joined as co-manager.

    Mayor David Collado says trucks need to stay away from the Malecón
    National District Mayor David Collado announced next week he is signing an agreement with the Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET) and the Dominican Republic Association of Industries (AIRD) that would restrict the hours when heavy trucks can circulate on the Santo Domingo’s famous seaside drive. The agreement would not allow trucks to turn on Av Máximo Gómez to Av. Independencia. 

    Collado said he has already reached an agreement with the Federación Nacional de Transporte (Fenatrado). He said once the Ministry of Public Works finishes the Circunvalación de Santo Domingo highway, trucks will no longer be able to circulate on the Malecon at any hour.

    Yimi Zapata sworn in as president of UASD students
    Despite a pending accusation of US visa fraud, UASD psychology student Yimi Zapata was sworn in as president of the Federation of Dominican Students (FED) at the state university (UASD). 

    Notwithstanding the pending legal case, Ivan Grullón, the rector of the state university, feels good about the change at the FED. He regarded the change of command from Ambiorix Rosario, a medical student with nearly 30 years studying the career at the UASD, as a major achievement of his term as rector. Rector Grullon said that despite the ongoing legal case, there is no procedural recourse that could have impeded that Zapata be sworn in the position. 

    Zapata has been accused, together with Luis Báez, and the foundation Líderes del Futuro, of sending a group of students from Peravia province to the United States with illegal documentation. The students thought they had been enrolled to participate in the Model United Nations Program, but were deported upon arrival to New York City.  

    Upon taking office, Zapata accused Peravia senator Wilton Guerrero of leading a campaign against him.

    UASD students occupy Attorney General’s office
    Seven female and three male students from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) entered the anteroom of the office of the Attorney General, Jean Alain Rodríguez, to urge for “an end to impunity”. The students remained there for around five hours after which they met with a deputy Attorney General who received their letter of requests and committed to act so the demands be met. 

    After the students refused to leave the anteroom of the Attorney General, security forces were called in and these shut the students in the room and sprayed pepper gas in the room. The 911 Emergency System paramedics were called in to determine the effects on the students. Afterwards, they would meet with the deputy attorney general and reach an agreement to leave. 

    The youths were protesting the perceived delays in taking action in the Odebrecht bribes scandal and demanded an independent audit as part of the investigation. The Attorney General Office announced the start of the investigation five months ago. To date, no have been made.

    The protesting students arrived with regular clothes and upon entering the anteroom removed their shirts to remain in grey t-shirts with the slogan “jail for corrupt people, no impunity.” The students communication that called for “A cry for dignity” that demanded for the publication of the names of those people who have received bribes from the Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht.

    The students claimed they knew that Rodriguez was evading, hiding, lying or otherwise manipulating the system to avoid the public disclosure of those that may have be involved in the scandal. The protestors said that obfuscation amounted to coordinated campaign to deceive the public. 

    The students had refused to leave the lobby while demanding an investigation of all of the government employees and businesses involved in works carried out by Odebrecht, including the current President and former Presidents Leonel Fernandez and Hipólito Mejía.

    Moca Police chief removed in Juan Comprés case
    The Moca Police commander, Colonel Nelson Valenzuela, was removed and left without a post yesterday, after three generals appointed by the National Police carried out investigations regarding the arrest of community leader Juan Comprés (Guanchy) of the Movimiento Verde los Peregrinos in Moca. Valenzuela was replaced by Colonel José Veloz, who had been stationed in Santiago. 

    Three Police generals questioned community activist Juan Comprés (Guanchy) after he was released from jail when Moca judge Cuevas determined that in making charges for possession of cocaine his fundamental rights had been violated. The generals were sent to interview Compres by Police director Major General Nelson Peguero Paredes. Comprés had been released from jail after a Moca Judge Anderson Cuevas determined his rights had been violated. 

    A video circulated on social media, that may show evidence that the drugs had been planted to incriminate Comprés. The generals are from the inspector general of the police, the director of internal affairs and criminal intelligence. 

    Comprés has been active in organization for the Green March Movement that calls for an end to impunity in the country and a trial against politicians and businessmen involved in the Odebrecht bribes case.

    Students poisoned by chemicals from factory in Boca Chica
    Yesterday, Monday 9 May 2017, at least 22 students suffered chemical intoxication at the Pedro Antonio Batista Public School in Boca Chica, east of Santo Domingo, from gas coming from a factory near the school. 

    The students were taken to a local health center where two of those affected are said to be in a serious condition. They were given IVs and connected to artificial inhalers. 

    The factory was closed and its owner arrested while the situation is being investigated by Dr. Alcibiades Hernández, deputy regional director of Public Health and the director of the School District, María Suárez.

    Border crossing to Haiti closed
    Authorities and transport union members from Haiti have closed the border gates from Dajabon to Ouanaminthe in Haiti to protest the Dominican authorities’ decision to not to allow motorcycles from Haiti to cross into the Dominican Republic.

    According to sources, the measure was enacted by Dajabón mayor Miguel Cruz to avoid traffic accidents caused by the Haitians when they come into Dajabón to go shopping. The decision has also affected Dominican workers who cross daily into Haiti and are now stranded there unable to return.

    Motorcycle-caused deaths among children
    According to a report published by the Gonzalo Rodriguez Foundation, called “Study concerning conditions of children on motorcycles in Latin America”, concludes that motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of death of children and adolescents in traffic in Latin America.

    The study, presented at a conference in Montevideo, was carried out in 28 cities in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Uruguay, and describes the danger to children who ride motorcycles in these countries. 

    It is the first time that such an integrated study has been conducted.  In addition to the Foundation other collaborators on the study were the World Bank, Latin American Development Bank, the UPS Foundation and the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory. 

    According to the data, there are nearly 30 million registered motorcycles in these countries and the fatality rate due to motorcycle accidents increased from 0.8 per 100,000 inhabitants and in 2010 to 3.5 per 100,000. 

    The highest rates of fatality are in Colombia (3.6 per 100.000 inhabitants), Brazil (2.9 per100,000 inhabitants) and Paraguay (2.5 per100,000 inhabitants). 

    The number of deaths of 15-17 year olds in Paraguay and Argentina has increased compared to other minors, reaching 120 in Paraguay in 2015, whereas in Argentina more than half of those under 17 who died in motorcycle accidents between 2012 and 2014 were 16 or 17 years old. In Brazil in 1996 there were 1% of motorcycle fatalities were minors and rose to 26% in 2014.

    In the Dominican Republic, data shows that children between the ages of 15 and 17 accounted for 9.1% of motor vehicle accident deaths. 

    Countries such as Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay have minimum age and height requirements for riding on motorcycles.  Argentina, Colombia and the Dominican Republic do not have these requirements.

    The report recommends that the governments of these countries should regulate the use of motorcycles by young people and enforce rules regarding use of safety gear and lights in the daytime.

    The use of safety equipment for motorcycle drivers varies by city.  In Buenos Aires, 95% use of motorcycle drivers wear a helmet, but only 3.8% use visible clothing and in Rio de Janeiro, 99.1% use a helmet and 8.5% visible clothing.

    When it comes to minimum ages, the youngest motorcycle drivers in the study are in Dominican Republic and Colombia.  In the Dominican Republic, 10.98 % of children who drive motorcycles are 12 years of age, while in Galapa in Colombia the figure is even higher - 26.1% of drivers are 12 years old.

    Dominican Jesus Pascual Cabrera Ruiz extradited from Spain
    According to the Attorney General’s office, Jesús Pascual Cabrera Ruiz has been extradited from Spain. He is accused of laundering money linked to drug dealing. 

    Cabrera Ruiz, who was arrested by Interpol last year in Spain, was brought back to the Dominican Republic on Monday, 8 May 2017, and will soon appear in court in La Romana, where the public prosecutor’s office will seek preventive custody for Cabrera Ruiz. 

    At the time of writing this report, he was being held in the jail at the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD).

    Latin American table tennis youth qualifier at Parque del Este
    The president of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Thomas Weikert will be in Santo Domingo for the Friendship Youth Olympic Games Qualifier (YOG Continental Qualification) to take place in Santo Domingo Friday, 12 May to Sunday, 14 May 2017. The event will be held at the Parque del Este table tennis pavilion. 

    The event is organized by the Dominican Republic Table Tennis Federation. Juan Vila is the tournament director. The teams will be staying at the Hamaca Hotel in Boca Chica. 

    Players born between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2003 are eligible to compete in the tournament. Two boys and two girls will qualify from this competition for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games to represent Latin America. The 3rd Youth Olympic Games will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 6th - 18th October 2018.

    94 voices at the Santo Domingo Music Festival
    Directed by Elioenai Medina, on Thursday, 18 May 2017 at 8:30pm, 94 voices of the National Choir will perform the Beethoven 9th Symphony at the National Theater.  Piano player Behzod Abduraimov will accompany the choir. 

    The biannual event is directed by National Symphony Orchestra director Jose Antonio Molina and organized by Fundación Sinfonía. 

    See the program for the Festival of Santo Domingo:
    Last edited by Dolores; 05-10-2017 at 09:07 AM.


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