Medina inaugurates Los Mina VII power plant
Ministry of Foreign Relations announces prepaid funeral plans for the diaspora
Chamber of Deputies to review abortion ban
Felucho: Danilo Medina says he will retire
Bloomberg: Odebrecht’s corruption machine and the Dominican Republic
Odebrect accused arrive at Najayo
Request for Rondon not to go to La Victoria is being analyzed
So far no appeals in Odebrecht case
Altice to offer Netflix service to its clients
Dominican avocado and mango exports increased last year
Population warned about Las Americas International Airport exercise 
American policeman to go to jail for smuggling drugs into the country
DR to defend its title at Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup
Johnny Ventura at Casa de España



Medina inaugurates Los Mina VII power plant
President Danilo Medina was present for the inauguration of the Dominican Power Partners’ Los Mina VII located in eastern Santo Domingo. The natural gas-powered unit will contribute 114MW to the national power grid. 

The Los Mina is the biggest power central in the country, with capacity for generating 324MW. The new Los Mina VII plant maximizes the efficiency of Los Mina V and VI units by about 40%. 

Speaking at the inaugural, AES president Andre Gluski said that AES invested US$260 million investment in the unit. He highlighted the clean energy capacity of the power plant, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 330,000 metric tons. 

Gluski highlighted that the company has contributed RD$100 million in public works for the Los Mina area through an agreement with the Santo Domingo East municipal government. 

Gluski also spoke of the company investing more than US$1.3 billion in the country over the past two decades. AES generators contribute 938MW to the national power grid. 

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...e-inauguracion


Ministry of Foreign Relations announces prepaid funeral plans for the diaspora
The Ministry of Foreign Relations is promoting the new funeral and corpse repatriation services for Dominicans living abroad. The insurance is now offered at 147 Dominican missions abroad. 

The CieloRD plan includes transfer and the wake in the Dominican Republic, or funeral services and burial in the country of residence. Funds are added for unexpected expenses. The new funeral plans cost US$50 a year and covers both the funeral costs in the Dominican Republic or abroad. Credit or debit card and cash payments are accepted. 

The service was developed in response to the reality that around 600 Dominicans die abroad every year and relatives are hard pressed to cover the costs. 

The plan can be purchased online. For more information, see http://www.cielord.com


Chamber of Deputies to review abortion ban
The Chamber of Deputies will rethink on 13 June 2017 its vote to maintain exceptions to the ban on abortion in the cases of malformation of the fetus, incest and rape, and when the mother’s life is in danger. The Senate had eliminated the first three cases causing the President Danilo Medina to veto it for a second time. The bill would return to the Senate where the senators confirmed their vote against the exceptions. 

The bill now passes to the Chamber of Deputies where the deputies need to confirm or reject the changes incorporated by the senators. 

Gustavo Sanchez, spokesman for the ruling PLD party in the Chamber of Deputies, says it is likely the deputies will reinstate the changes. “We cannot only protect wealthy women, the woman who can take a plan to get an abortion abroad, when the poor woman can’t,” he observed. 

Recently, the director of the National Council for Prevention of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Victor Manuel Terreno says that the senate amendments shows the disdain senators have for women. He lamented the amendment and says it would have negative repercussions in the country if passed. He said more women will continue to die.  An estimated 75,000 abortions are carried out every year in deplorable conditions. 

As reported in El Dia, if the deputies vote against the senators, then the Penal Code revision will need to be submitted once more in a different legislature. 

http://eldia.com.do/codigo-penal-aho...a-camara-baja/
https://www.metrord.do/do/noticias/2...ominicana.html


Felucho: Danilo Medina says he will retire
President Danilo Medina is keeping an especially low profile in recent months, as the Odebrecht corruption scandal makes headlines. He has been known to avoid being where he may be obliged to answer reporter questions. 

Now Felix (Felucho) Jiménez, member of the Political Committee of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), says President Danilo Medina has authorized him to reveal that he will not be seeking reelection as President in the 2020 elections. In 2015, Medina pushed through a new Constitution that eliminated the clause in the 2010 Constitution that had prohibited him from running for President in 2016. As per the 2015 Constitution, Medina is banned from running again for President.   

Being interviewed on the morning television show AN7, Jiménez, who is president of the Dominican Petroleum Refinery, the Dominican government and Venezuelan government entity, said that President Medina gave him the assignment of making the announcement during a recent meeting where they met to discuss the Odebrecht bribes. 

Jiménez said that Medina authorized Felucho at his next media appearance, “to say in my name that Danilo Medina is not going to seek the presidential candidacy of the PLD and that Danilo will retire on August 16, 2020 and return to civilian life.”

President Danilo Medina has kept a notoriously low profile regarding accusations that link him to the Odebrecht bribes and overpricing scandal. The opposition has repeatedly accused Medina of accepting funds from Odebrecht for political campaigns, and the largest Odebrecht public work in the Dominican Republic, the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant center is a major center of controversy over irregularities in the tender and overpricing. 

While the government has repeatedly denied receiving funds for political campaigns from Odebrecht, these statements contradict confessions previously made to the Brazil judiciary by now incarcerated Joao Santana (Medina’s strategic electoral campaign planner) and key Odebrecht executive Hilberto Silva. Santana was sentenced for playing a central role in a massive bribery ring run by Odebrecht. 
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...irse-FE7341227


Bloomberg: Odebrecht’s corruption machine and the Dominican Republic
In two long articles, Bloomberg news agency looks into the scope of the Odebrecht corruption schemes and how they operated in the Americas. The reporters call the “Structured Operations”, the Odebrecht bribery division, set up in Santo Domingo, “perhaps the farthest-reaching, most efficient corruption machine in modern business.” 
The Bloomberg news service story tells about the scheme in which the Brazilian construction company competed for large and lucrative contracts. The formula that for years worked well for the company involved “helping” politicians who in turn would “help” the company to accumulate extra cash by purposefully overpricing projects and submitting falsified invoices. The story explains how the corruption machine eventually spun out of control, ending in the prosecution and jailing of the company’s top executive, Marcelo Odebrecht, and dozens of others around the world as the wrongdoings surfaced. 

Written by Ezra Fieser, Bloomberg dedicates a separate feature to tell on Odebrecht’s Dominican operations. Santo Domingo hosted the three small offices and the conference room from where the notorious Structured Operations, the Odebrecht bribery division, channeled the funds to influence people with deciding power. 
The story tells how Angel Rondon, now under pre-trial arrest, allegedly funneled Odebrecht’s money to officials who, in turn, awarded Odebrecht contracts to build highways, dams, and other projects. The story reveals that in several cases, Rondón, as established in the indictment, allegedly convinced officials to approve changes to public-works contracts after Odebrecht had already won them, thereby boosting their value by millions of dollars.” 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...-like-this-one admitted to the fact. 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...nican-republic


Odebrecht accused arrive at Najayo
On Monday 12 June 2017, seven of the 13 arraigned for the Odebrecht case arrived in the Najayo model jail for the start of their pre-trial detention. They arrived at 1:30 pm from the Palacio de Justicia in Ciudad Nueva, with family members and followers showing their support. Additional security was posted outside the jail. 

On Monday, at the Najayo men’s prison the final touches were being made to the cells that will house the accused as they await trial in the Odebrecht case.

They are former Minister of Public Works, Víctor Díaz Rúa; lawyer Conrad Pittaluga; former Minister of Industry and Commerce, Temístocles Montás; former deputy Ruddy González; president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Andrés Bautista; former administrator of the Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE),César Sánchez; and the former directror of the Dominican Hydroelectric Generating Company (EgeHID), Máximo De Oleo Ramírez. 

Cells at Najayo and La Victoria jails were remodeled. News reports indicate that in Najayo the bathrooms were tiled, air conditioning was installed, and the walls were painted as well as electricity and telephone network was installed. In La Victoria a former office was transformed for accused Angel Rondon with a bathroom, walls painted and air conditioning installed. 

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-hoy-y-manana-
http://listindiario.com/la-republica...ados-odebrecht
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ntra-XC7343624
http://eldia.com.do/llegan-a-najayo-...aso-odebrecht/


Request for Rondon not to go to La Victoria is being analyzed
The Attorney General has said that he will evaluate a request made by the family of Ángel Rondón, asking that he not be sent to La Victoria.  They are concerned for his wellbeing. Judge Francisco Ortega ordered pre-trial detention for Rondón as requested by prosecutors. The Attorney General said that the request will be evaluated and responded to in due course.

http://eldia.com.do/procuraduria-eva...a-la-victoria/


So far no appeals in Odebrecht case
The lawyers for the defendants in the Odebrecht case will be appealing the coercive measures ordered by Judge Francisco Ortega Polanco to their clients during this week or next. However, no appeals have been submitted. Defense lawyers told the media they have 20 days, after the notification of a sentence, to appeal. 

Antoliano Peralta, lawyer for Andres Bautista, president of the Revolutionary Modern Party (PRM) along with Rafael Suarez, lawyer for Máximo De Óleo, said that they are studying and analyzing the ruling and their appeals may be ready this week. 

http://elnacional.com.do/preparan-ap...por-odebrecht/


Altice to offer Netflix service to its clients
The telecommunications company, Altice, has signed an agreement with Netflix to offer their service to clients in France, Portugal, Israel and the Dominican Republic, which number more than 50 million potential customers in these countries. 

The service in France will start today and the rest of the countries will be rolled out during 2017.
The agreement will mean that clients can download (stream) Netflix for films, series, documentaries and children’s programs.

Netflix is already widely used in the Dominican Republic through foreign subscriptions. 

Altice is the owner of the Orange and Tricom telecom operations in the Dominican Republic. 

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...cana-GF7340901
http://deadline.com/2017/06/altice-n...ic-1202111551/


Dominican avocado and mango exports increased last year
The taste and nutritious properties of the Dominican mango and avocado have won over different markets, such as the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and other countries in Europe, as reported in Fresh Plaza.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, last year, avocado exports grew by 91.2%, going from US$16.6 million in 2015 to US$ 31.7 million in 2016. Meanwhile, mango exports increased by 28.8%, going from US$15.7 million in 2015 to US$20.2 million in 2016.

According to Jose Rosa, the president of the Avocado Cluster, the Dominican Republic produces 200 to 300 thousand tons of avocados per year, of which it exports around 30 thousand tons (10%). The remaining 90% is consumed in the country.

Rafael Leger, president of the Mango Cluser says that this year, the outlook is better because there are more mango orchards established. He said that the country had some 17,000 tareas, i.e. a little more than one thousand hectares, devoted to this crop in 2003-2004; now, the country has about 100 thousand tareas, i.e. approximately 6 thousand hectares.

Meanwhile, the outlook for avocado producers is not that great because the recent rains, which occurred when the plantations were flowering, damaging the future harvest. In addition, the downpours destroyed the roads that give access to the area of Cambita, in San Cristobal, where 35% of the green avocado plantations are, and producers cannot enter their fields.

Most of the avocado production takes place in the South: in San Cristobal, Elias Piña, Pedernales, Bahoruco, San Juan, Ocoa, Padre de la Casas, and Barahona. In addition, there are crops in Puerto Plata (Altamira), Moca (Villa Trina), La Romana, Hato Mayor, and El Seibo.

The most marketed mango is of the Keith variety, followed by the mingolo, banilejo, gold grain, and golden drop varieties. This fruit is mainly produced in Peravia, San Cristobal, Azua, San Juan, Barahona and Neyba. 

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/17...ased-last-year


Population warned about Las Americas International Airport exercise 
Aerodom is alerting that from 8:30pm on Monday, 12 June 2017 to 11am on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 a nighttime accident simulation operation will be carried out. Those living near the airport are especially alerted that sounds from sirens and ambulances are part of the simulation operation. 

http://hoy.com.do/aerodom-realizara-...te-en-el-aila/


American policeman to go to jail for smuggling drugs into the country
A former Miami-Dade police officer who was accused of helping smuggle firearms to the Dominican Republic pleaded guilty Monday, 12 June 2017, in a Florida federal court to unlawfully exporting firearms.

According to the Department of Justice, by pleading guilty, Michael Freshko admits that he used his position as a police officer to transport firearms past the TSA screening area at Miami International Airport. He confessed to handing off the guns to a co-conspirator near the departure gates. The co-conspirator would then store the guns in carry-on baggage and travel to the Dominican Republic aboard a commercial flight to deliver the guns to another associate.

Department of Justice officials said Freshko confessed to smuggling multiple firearms in October and December 2012. Six guns were smuggled in all, including four Glock .9 mm pistols, one Sig Sauer .9 mm pistol and one Sig Sauer 5.56 rifle.

Freshko faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison when he is sentenced. 

https://www.local10.com/news/crime/f...nican-republic


DR to defend its title at Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup
The Dominican woman’s national volleyball team is traveling to Lima, Peru for the Women’s Pan American Cup. The event will take place 17-25 June in Lima and Cañete, Peru. The Dominican team is the defending champion. The favorites to win the 17th edition of the tournament are the Dominicans, USA and Cuba. The teams are tied with four crowns each at the premier annual intercontinental women’s volleyball competition.  

Cuba won the inaugural event in 2002 and repeated in 2004-05 and in 2007. The United States finished first in 2003, 2012-13 and 2015 while the Dominican Republic won in 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016. Brazil that is not taking part in the competition this year, won it three times in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

The Dominicans are the team with more podiums with 14, adding seven silver medals and three bronze medals to their four crowns. The United States are next with 9 -two silver and three bronze medals.

The defending champions won their fourth title with a five-set victory over Puerto Rico in 2016 when the competition was held in Santo Domingo. It was the best ever finish for Puerto Rico who had two bronze medals.

Twelve teams –seven from NORCECA and five from South America- will be competing in two pools during the preliminary phase of the tournament.

The teams in Pool A, Dominican Republic, Peru, Canada, Chile, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago –will compete at Eduardo Dibos Coliseum of Lima during the preliminary pool play. The teams in Pool B, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela will play at Lolo Fernández Coliseum of Cañete.


https://www.norceca.net/Dominicans,%...20Am%20Cup.htm


Johnny Ventura at Casa de España
Johnny Ventura will be performing at the main hall of the Casa de España social club on Saturday, 24 June 2017 at 9pm. Tickets are RD$1,000. The gala performance is a benefit. The Casa de España is celebrating its 100th anniversary.