New minimum salary for agronomists
National Council of Magistrates meets
Jamaica Prime Minister is visiting
DR mid ranked in Fragile States Index
ECLAC-ILO study reveals marked differences in Dominican immigration 
Hipolito Mejia wants to be President again
Odebrecht bribe names expected soon
Trouble at Punta Catalina thermoelectric central
Rains and hot weather forecast
Nacho Zuccarino in Santo Domingo
Colorín, colorado… comedy at Sala Ravelo



New minimum salary for agronomists
President Danilo Medina has announced a minimum salary of RD$35,000 for agronomists beginning in June. He said that from this date, the Ministry of Agriculture will adjust their salaries.

President Medina made the announcement in a ceremony in Nagua, Maria Trinidad Sanchez province on Monday, 15 May 2017 on the occasion of the National Agriculture Day, when he recognized the work of several agricultural workers.  

He said that his government wanted to improve the lives of Dominican people and that from July the salaries of the military and certain public servants would also increase.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...cos-del-sector


National Council of Magistrates meets
On Monday, 15 May 2017, the National Council of Magistrates (CNM) met for the first time in the last six years. It was a first for President Danilo Medina. The CNM is in charge of choosing the judges of the Constitutional Court, Superior Electoral Court, and the Supreme Court of Justice. Civil society and opposition parties are demanding the new judges not have a political affiliation. 

The members of the Council of Magistrates of the Nation met for an hour at the office of President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace. Attending the first meeting were President Danilo Medina, Attorney General Jean-Alain Rodríguez, Supreme Court of Justice president Mariano Germán Mejía; Supreme Court of Justice judge Frank Euclides Soto Sánchez; the president of the Senate Reinaldo Pared Pérez and the president of the Chamber of Deputies Lucía Medina, both of the ruling PLD party, and opposition senator José Paliza and deputy Josefa Castillo, as representatives of the party with the second largest representation in Congress, both of the PRM. 

During the first meeting the members decided to adopt a new ruling for the election of the judges for the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) and the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). They also decided to postpone for the end of the year the replacement of the Constitutional Court judges. The CNM members also agreed that a technical team head by legal advisor to the President, Flavio Darío Espinal, would examine CNM proposals. President Danilo Medina was named spokesman for the CNM. Likewise, the members agreed that a standard form be used to present the profiles of the aspirants to be judges in the high courts. 

The eyes of political and social sectors across the country are looking to see what the outcome of the meeting will be, as its task is to elect all the judges for the Superior Electoral Court for a new period. The ruling PLD party is majority in the CNM. The main opposition party, the Revolutionary Modern Party (PRM) headed by Andres Bautista, has said that it is up to President Medina to decide on the democratic climate for the 2020 elections and whether he will install “a dictatorship”. The CNM will choose the replacements of the five judges of the TSE: Mariano Rodríguez, Mabel Féliz Báez, José Manuel Hernández Peguero, John Guiliani, and Fausto Marino Mendoza. 

In addition to the calls for new judges in the Superior Electoral Court, the CNM was convened to choose at least four judges in the Supreme Court of Justice. Those that need to be replaced are Judge Julio Castaños Guzmán, who resigned to take on his new responsibility as president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), and Judge Martha Olga García Santamaría and Dulce Rodríguez de Goris, given that they have reached the retirement age for judges (75 years). Judge Víctor José Castellanos has stated he would like to retire, citing health reasons. 

Secretary general of the Social Christian Reform Party (PRSC), Ramón Rogelio Genao, has said that the current 17 members of the Supreme Court of Justice should have their performance evaluated due to changes scheduled for 2018, although those who have performed well, he stated, could of course stay as members, whereas others could be replaced. 

The CNM members agreed to postpone for the end of the year the review of the 13 judges of the Constitutional Court and the replacement of the four judges whose terms expire on 22 December 2017. These judges were elected in 2011 to serve six-year terms.  

Representatives of the Green March Movement warn that judges will not act with independence if the judiciary continues to be controlled by the Presidency and the political committee of the ruling PLD party. The Green March Movement promotes an end to impunity in the Dominican Republic. 

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ruta-FM7086531
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ento-JL7094083
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...l-del-pld.html


Jamaica Prime Minister is visiting
Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness arrived Monday, 15 May 2017, on an official visit. Fernando Gonzalez Nicolas, president of the Commonwealth Round Table in the Dominican Republic, has said the visit is an indication of the great interest of Jamaicans in strengthening political and commercial ties with the Dominican Republic. 

Honorary consul for Jamaica in the Dominican Republic, Enrique de Marchena Kaluche, says the successes of Spanish investors in tourism in the country lead to Dominican construction firms working in Jamaica on the construction of resorts there. 

De Marchena said other tourism companies operating in the Dominican Republic are also interested in expanding to Jamaica. The Dominican Republic has surpassed Jamaica as the preferred US vacation destination. De Marchena is a former president of the Caribbean Hotels Association. 

Prime Minister Holness has said he would also look into promoting Jamaica and the Dominican Republic as multi-destination vacation plans. “When tourists come to the region we want them to have an easy time shuttling between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic; the idea is to have a multi-destination strategy to market the Caribbean,” he stated. At the present time it is very expensive to travel to Jamaica from the Dominican Republic. 

Dominican investments in Jamaica have increased, and Holness would like to see more. González Nicolás highlights the significant Jamaican investments in the country in the financial and agro-industrial sectors in recent years. On occasion of the visit of Holness, González points to Jamaican companies operating the stock market broker Banco JMMB and to Jamaica Producers that manages banana plantations in the northwest. He said Dominicans have investments in Jamaica in the fertilizer sector and a Dominican company is the largest private generation company in Jamaica. 

Likewise, in a press interview, Prime Minister Holness has described the Dominican market: “It is a significant market that does not operate in the sense of trade bloc but could potentially develop into a trade bloc with the loosening of trade and diplomatic issues between the US and Cuba.” 

Holness explained that Jamaica is one of the leading commercial partners of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. He said trade is US$103 million a year, with Dominican exports to Jamaica at US$56 million, and imports at US$47 million. 

https://www.thebusinessyear.com/domi.../guest-speaker


DR mid ranked in Fragile States Index
Dominican Republic ranked 109th of 178 countries listed by the Fund for Peace’s 2017 Fragile Sates Index. Haiti is ranked 11th. 

The top 10 ranked states as the least fragile are: Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Canada. Uruguay (167th), Chile (150th), Argentina (140th), Barbados (139th), Panama (137th), Bahamas (134th), Antigua & Barbuda (131st), Trinidad & Tobago (128th), Grenada (123rd), Cuba (119th) are the top 10 ranked in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The 12 indicators used for the analysis are security apparatus, factionalized elites, group grievance, economic decline, uneven economic development, human flight and brain drain, state legitimacy, public services, human rights and rule of law, demographic pressures, refugees and IDPs, and external intervention. 

The creators of Fragile States Index it as a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure. By highlighting pertinent issues in weak and failing states, The Fragile States Index—and the social science framework and software application upon which it is built—makes political risk assessment and early warning of conflict accessible to policy-makers and the public at large.

http://fundforpeace.org/fsi/


ECLAC-ILO study reveals marked differences in Dominican immigration 
According to a new study published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Office for the Southern Cone of Latin America of the International Labour Organization (ILO) around 6.2% of the working population in the Dominican Republic is made up of foreigners, with a concentration in agriculture and construction. The report also established that the immigrants have a strong presence in occupations with relatively low skill levels. 

The report is entitled “Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Labour Immigration in Latin America”, and states that the number of foreigners in the Dominican labor market is the second highest in the region, only superseded by Costa Rica with 12.3% of its workforce coming from abroad. Below the Dominican Republic is Venezuela with 5.8% and then Argentina with 5.6%. 

In the case of the Dominican Republic, most of the foreigners work in agriculture, representing 20.1% of workers in that sector, followed by construction at 15.6% and then mining at 6.1%. 

In general, the organization says that the salaries of immigrants in the Dominican Republic are lower than nationals, but there are exceptions in the cases of women and foreign employers who earn more than Dominican nationals. 

The ECLAC states that unlike the rest of the region where most foreign workers are female, there are more male foreign workers in the Dominican Republic.  

The report includes the Dominican Republic among the countries that have received the largest numbers of immigrants, together with Argentina, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, and Costa Rica. The report indicates most of the immigrants to the Dominican Republic are male (61.5% male to 38.5% female). In this respect, the Dominican Republic is the exception. In all other countries, women immigrants comprise the majority, which corroborates the feminization of intraregional migration, according to the study. 

The report indicates that whereas in the other countries there are no major differences between the different age groups in terms of the proportion of immigrants, in Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Panama, the proportion of immigrants is relatively high (14%) among the core groups of the working-age population (20-49 years). This would seem to reflect the preponderance of recent and current labor migration flows.

In several countries, a large share of economically active immigrants come from a single country, and this is especially so in the Dominican Republic (86% from Haiti), Costa Rica (76% from Nicaragua), the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Ecuador (68% and 54%, respectively, from Colombia), according to the report. 

Contrary to other countries were immigrants do not represent an important part of the labor force, the study reveals that the Dominican Republic is the country in which the participation rate of immigrants surpasses that of natives by the widest margin. The immigrant population does not include a large group of students (22.6% of non-economically active immigrants and 8.2% of the 10-or-older foreign-born population) or many retirees and pensioners (3.2% of non-active immigrants and 1.1% of 10-or-older immigrants). And in the Dominican Republic, as well as in other countries with a relatively very high participation rate among the immigrant population (the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama), immigrants participate in the workforce at a higher rate than natives across all age groups.

http://repositorio.cepal.org/bitstre...1700341_en.pdf
https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...oral-EJ7083789


Hipolito Mejia wants to be President again
Former President Hipólito Mejía headed up a meeting in Santiago with his followers, where he highlighted the growth of his initiative to be a presidential candidate again in 2020 called “H20”.  Mejia announced he is working to win the convention for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) and from there go on to win the general elections in 2020. 

The 76-year old Mejía said that he and his followers would work 24 hours a day to win the nomination for the PRM in order to remove the current government, the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) from power. Mejía says that if elected he would fight corruption, impunity and citizen insecurity. 

Mejia was accompanied by a team of his followers including César Cedeño, Sergio Grullón, Rubén Reinoso, Víctor Méndez, Vicente Díaz and René Lantigua.

http://almomento.net/mejia-dice-busc...guridad/316037


Odebrecht bribe names expected soon
There is much expectation the government will release the list of those Odebrecht has named that may have taken bribes to secure contract work in the Dominican Republic. 

The authorities in charge of the investigation have said that no later than Friday, 19 May 2017, the Brazilian authorities will hand over the list of names or at least hand over documents that could provide the proof to point the finger at those people in the country who may have taken bribes.

Attorney General Jean Rodriguez said a month ago that he expected to have the list of name of those who may have taken bribes from Odebrecht by this Friday, as the date was part of a deal with Odebrecht who promised to hand over the information within 30 days of 18 April. 


Trouble at Punta Catalina thermoelectric central
In Nizao, Bani, a mixed patrol of the police and Air Force stopped traffic over the weekend in the communities of Catalina and Carreton near to where the Punta Catalina thermoelectric central is being built, following picketing last weekend by the project’s workers who are demanding better working conditions.

The contingent was headed by police major, Maldonado, and they stopped all vehicles trying to reach the area.

The Colombian and Dominican workers were striking demanding a salary increase, social security and the rehiring of those employees who had been dismissed

Colombian Oscar Lemus described the working conditions as deplorable and that a companion had lost his life, due to the lack of safety during the construction. 

Rafael (Pepe) Abreú, president of the National Council of Union Unity (CNUS), accompanied protestors over the weekend and managed to meet with the project executives.

By Monday, 15 May 2017, traffic had returned to normal and trucks were once again taking materials to the project.

http://elnacional.com.do/restringen-...torno-plantas/


Rains and hot weather forecast
According to the National Meteorological Office (Onamet) starting today, there will be an increase in rain and thunderstorms across the country and temperatures will continue to be high.

Onamet explained that the rains will be due to the high level of humidity and a weather front which is beginning to cross the country.

The rains are expected in the provinces of Hato Mayor, El Seibo, Monte Plata, Sánchez Ramírez, Duarte, María Trinidad Sánchez, Samaná, Hermanas Mirabal, Espaillat, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Valverde, Santiago Rodríguez, Monte Cristi, Elías Piña, Dajabón, San Juan and Azua.

The Center for Emergency Operations (COE) in an 8pm report on Monday, 17 May 2017 has announced that it has declared 17 provinces under yellow and green alert due to possible flooding and mudslides as a weather front coming from the east of Cuba, brings rain over the next 24 to 48 hours.

The provinces under yellow alert are Puerto Plata and Espaillat (Moca). Others under green alert are: Monseñor Nouel, Barahona, La Vega, Elías Piña, San José de Ocoa, Pedernales, María Trinidad Sánchez, Montecristi, Duarte (especially Bajo Yuna), Santiago, Dajabón, Santiago Rodríguez, Valverde, San Cristóbal, and San Juan de la Maguana.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...uras-calurosas
http://coe.gob.do/index.php/boletines


Nacho Zuccarino in Santo Domingo
Participate in a workshop with head creative of Google, Nacho Zuccarino. “The New Normal” workshop will be on 23 May 2017 at 2pm at the Blue Mall. Tickets: US$200. For more information, call 809 224-1118 or see http://www.we.com.do


Colorín, colorado… comedy at Sala Ravelo
Guillermo Cordero presents starting 15 June 2017 at the Sala Ravelo drama hall of the National Theater the play, “Colorín Colorado… este cuento sí ha cambiado” with the stellar performances of actresses María Castillo, Carlota Carretero and Karina Noble. The comedy focuses on the empowerment of women. The play will be performed starting Thursday, 15 June, with shows on Friday, 16 June at 8:30pm and a performance on Sunday, 17 June at 6:30pm.