Medina government proud of removing scrap metal operations from Ozama
Technology to be used to bring order to Dominican transit
Less time to get a Dominican driver’s license
Developments on Puerto Plata Santiago roads
Jaime Aristy Escuder named Punta Catalina’s general manager
Electricity Pact could be signed soon
Minister of Foreign Relations Miguel Vargas insists on dialogue in Venezuela
Migration Agency cracks down on illegal athletes
Mainly Haitians deported
DR spends RD$3 billion in health services for Haitians
Ruben Maldonado will preside Chamber of Deputies
Judicial Branch swears in new judges
PC calls for Odebrecht to fulfill its deal with the Attorney General Office
Odebrecht audit goes on
Alert to suspect pyramid scheme
Jail riot leaves seven injured
Apart-hotel manager is lead suspect in Canadian tourist robbery



Medina government proud of removing scrap metal operations from Ozama
The Medina administration is proud of having rid the Ozama and Isabela rivers in Santo Domingo of carcasses of ships. The old ships that were being dismantled in the river basin were to be exported as scrap metal. However, the dismantling of the vessels was causing contamination of the environment. The Presidency reported the joint effort of the Ministry of Environment, Dominican Armada (Navy), and the Port Authority was successful in halting the operation.

On Monday, 31 July 2017, at the Sans Souci Naval Officials Club, the government marked the occasion of the removal of the last ship, the Precon Express I, under the Zanzibar flag that had been located at the Seaboard dock. The event was hosted by Vice Admiral Miguel Peña Acosta.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Environment Francisco Domínguez Brito highlighted the importance of the removal of the boats to restore the environmental integrity of the river. He called the effort an environmental revolution for Greater Santo Domingo where the East and West are united by the rivers. He said the goal is that in 10 years, people and companies have become aware of the correct management of residual waters.

Also speaking at the event was Victor Gómez Casanova, director of the Dominican Port Authority. He said with commitment and political will, 23 boats were removed in seven months.

During the event, the individuals who participated in the boat removal operation were recognized. These were Navy captains Manuel Elías Rodríguez, Marcos Montás Lluberes and José David Rojas, together with Army colonel Julio César Rodríguez Burgos.

The effort began when the Ministry of Environment issued Resolution 13-2016 that banned the breaking up of boats on the Ozama and Isabela. In the declaration, the Ministry said it was of national interest and national priority to rehabilitate, rescue, preserve and achieve sustainable use of the river basin as ordered in Decree 260-14 by President Danilo Medina. The Ministry is now focused on removing industrial pollution and human settlements that likewise contaminate the important waterway.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...tiro-de-ultima


Technology to be used to bring order to Dominican transit
Engineer Claudia Franchesca de los Santos, the new director of the Transit and Transport Institute (Intrant) says that technology will be used to impose law and order to the present chaos of Dominican transit. Those violating the Transit and Transport Law 63-17 will be unmasked in photographs.

Furthermore, she announced that those using public transport will pay only once to board the metro, skylift and Omsa buses. She highlighted that the transportation unions will be converted into companies and integrated into the system. She said these services will keep their subsidies. The Metro, skylift, Omsa will be privatized.

In the interview with Listin Diario, she says that as part of the first phase of the implementation of Transit and Transport Law 63-17, meetings have been taking place since September 2016 with stakeholders in order to orient them about the new law.

She refuted the generalized belief that violations to traffic laws are a cultural issue for Dominicans. She said when Dominicans go abroad they obey the traffic laws. She said it is thus not a cultural issue, but a personal decision of each driver. She explained the new law establishes the Transit Security and Ground Transport Agency or Digesett (Dirección General de Seguridad de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre) as responsible for supervising the implementation of the law.

She explained the Intrant is now focusing on the granting of licenses for public transport route operation. She said there will be an awareness campaign that will instill order and supervision across the sector. De los Santos said Digesett will be using electronic control media to supervise the compliance of the law. She mentioned infrared devices at the traffic lights indicating the intersection if a driver has obstructed the pedestrian crossing or violated a traffic light. The equipment will take a photo of the vehicle with its license plate in the front and back as evidence of the violation. The first devices will be installed on the 27 de Febrero corridor.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...o-y-transporte


Less time to get a Dominican driver’s license
The director of the National Transit and Transport Institute (Intrant), engineer Claudia Franchesca de los Santos announced that in compliance with Transit and Transport Law 63-17, starting 4 August 2017 applicants need only wait 15 days after taking the written test and receiving a restricted driver’s permit to apply for the driver’s test. In the case of those under 18 years, a 45-day window will apply after taking the written test. Nevertheless, the restricted driver’s permit will be valid for six months.

http://eldia.com.do/intrant-anuncia-...cion-licencia/


Developments on Puerto Plata Santiago roads
The Ministry of Public Works announced the start of works to improve Puerto Plata-Santiago roads.

This means the Gran Parada in Puerto Plata as well as in La Cumbre and Los Quemados, the so-named 47-km panoramic route across the northern mountain range (Cordillera Septentrional). The works called for paving of some sections, construction of drains to reduce erosion by rainwater.

Minister of Public Works Gonzalo Castillo said that the construction of the new 32 km road from Santiago to Puerto Plata is a priority of the Medina Administration. This road would reduce driver’s time to Puerto Plata from Santiago to 23 minutes, much less than the hour and a half at the present time. He said this would be a boom for tourism development in the north coast.

In the North Coast, he also mentioned that 80% of the Circunvalación Norte de Santiago is completed, and work is underway on the stretch Navarrete-Maimón and Maimón-Puerto Plata.

Castillo also mentioned as government priorities the construction of the second half of the Santo Domingo bypass that would connect Villa Mella to the Autopista del Nordeste that leads to Samana. He said this would eliminate all the traffic from the Cibao in the north to the east, without having to enter the capital city.

El Seibo-Hato Mayor road. Works are advancing on the road from Hato Mayor to Sabana de la Mar to connect with the Uvero Alto-Miches road and Miches-Sabana de la Mar in the East. He said this road should be completed in 2018. He said this would completely integrate the eastern beach strip from Cap Cana to Miches.

Other roads under construction are the La Caleta-Boca Chica corridor of 10.5 km that includes the construction of two bus terminals.

Also the construction of the Azua Bypass, the paving of the Padre Las Casas-Bohechio road that will be ready in October 2017, and the road that connects to Guayabal. In San Juan de la Maguana, in the southwest, he said the Ministry if working on the bypass that will be finished in spring 2018 and the Carretera 15 de Azua-Barahona.

https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...bajo-ED7764305
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ivas-NA7763258


Jaime Aristy Escuder named general manager for Punta Catalina
Amidst protests of corruption in bribes, overpricing of the contracting and construction of the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Central, President Danilo Medina appointed economist Jaime Aristy Escuder as the first general manager of the power plant. Decree 261-17 dated 31 July 2017 establishes that Aristy will work under the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE).

Aristy had been appointed in January 2017 part of the presidential commission to investigate the contracting of the power plant. The commission rendered its report of the construction on 30 June 2017 with several recommendations. The decree establishes that Aristy is named to follow up the recommendations by the commission.

The power plant is built by a consortium lead by Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company that faces in the Dominican Republic and abroad a major corruption scandal.
Aristy is remembered for having written a book that focused on alledged corruption by senator Felix Bautista when the later directed the OISOE construction office of the Presidency, and became the most impressive example of a man going from rags to riches. Bautista sued Jaime Aristy in a Miami court, but Aristy had to desist and accept a deal with Bautista not being able to afford the expensive legal case. The case that would have unfolded major corruption instances would be dropped in the Miami court.

The Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant is made up of two coal-fired electricity generating units of 337.39 MW each for 674-78 MW.


Electricity Pact could be signed soon
The administrator of the Dominican Corporation of State Electricity Companies (CDEEE), Rubén Jiménez Bichara, and the Electricity Superintendent, César Prieto, announced the Electricity Pact could be signed in the next few weeks. The Electricity Pact was ordered by the National Development Strategy Law (END 1-12) but has been delayed for years.

They said that although there was still no consensus about tariffs or the administration of the coal-fired plant at Punta Catalina, the Electricity Pact could still be signed with the understanding that the outstanding issues would be incorporated into the agreement in due time. The Odebrecht-contracted plant is scheduled for completion in December 2018.

http://eldia.com.do/bichara-y-prieto...e-ser-firmado/


Minister of Foreign Relations Miguel Vargas insists on dialogue in Venezuela
Minister of Foreign Relations Miguel Vargas expressed great concern of the Dominican government regarding recent political events in Venezuela. “Peace in Venezuela is not going to come through unilateral actions,” said Vargas. He reiterated the position the Dominican Republic has maintained in international forums and organizations in the sense that only a fair and just negotiations among the parts can bring peace to Venezuela. Vargas said it is imperative to put in place a formula to bring the conflicting parts together with backing of friendly nations.

“There cannot be a definitive solution that is sustainable over time without the participation of all the stakeholders in this conflict,” he stated.


Migration Agency cracks down on illegal athletes
The Migration Agency (DGM) announced new norms to regulate the entry and stay of sports people in the country. The DGM says the measure seeks to regulate the growing flow of foreign baseball players, mostly minors. These individuals have been entering supposedly as tourists and overstaying their tourist visas or permissions.

The new norms seek to prevent cases of foreigners arriving to practice or participate in professional sports without showing proof of the approval of their parents and without the corresponding visa. Often times, when these individuals are ultimately not signed by baseball teams, they remained in the country in violation of the immigration law.

The document that became effective on 31 July 2017 was prepared by the DGM in consultation with the office of the legal advisor to the Executive Branch and the Ministry of Foreign Relations as well with representatives of Major League Baseball in the country.

The authorities coordinated the granting of a grace period so that both major league and minor league teams could restructure and reorganize “try outs” in the country. The grace period will allow other clubs and regional and local associations that invite foreign players to participate in sports events, to put place procedures that are in concert with the new DGM rules and regulations.

In compliance with Migration Law 285-04, these athletes are required to request a visa through a Dominican foreign consulate abroad, have a passport with at least a six month expiration date, return air or sea ticket, and address in the Dominican Republic. In the case of minors, these persons need to present an authorization signed by the parents or legal guardian notarized in the country of origin.

http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2017...tranjeros.html


Mainly Haitians deported
According to the Migration Department, in the first seven months of this they have deported 29,092 foreigners who were in the country illegally, mostly Haitians.

So far this year, 28,919 of those deported were Haitian with 64 Venezuelans, some implicated in criminal activity. In addition there were 37 Indians, 10 Cubans, seven Armenians, five Chinese, nine Russians, five Colombians, four Puerto Ricans and three Italians.

In January there were 3,934 individuals detained: February 2,357; March 3,612; April 4,958; May 4,995; June 4,962 and July 4,101.

The main operations to look for undocumented Haitians has been carried out in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Barahona, San Pedro de Macorís, Azua, San Cristóbal and Valverde.

http://elnacional.com.do/migracion-a...8919-hatianos/


DR spends RD$3 billion in health services for Haitians
The National Health Service says that the government spent RD$3 billion in medical services for Haitians in 2016.

Dr. Nelson Rodríguez Monegro of SNS said that the epidemiological conditions in Haiti impact Dominican health indicators in matters such as AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and others. He urged the need for both countries to meet to discuss the healthcare situation. He says government policies order offering health services to all who demand them, independently of their migratory status, socioeconomic or sexual preference. “There cannot be discrimination when caring for people, he said.

But, Dr. Rodríguez noted that many people are abusing this policy. He said: “For example, on occasions, women come from Haiti to give birth here because the cost of giving birth in Haiti is more than the cost for them to reach a Dominican hospital.

The Ministry of Public Health estimates that 27.5% of the maternal deaths in the Dominican Republic are to Haitian mothers with complicated pregnancies that cross the border to give birth and see a doctor for the first time during their pregnancy.

http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...ia-a-haitianos
http://www.sespas.gov.do/Parturienta...ciento-muertes


Ruben Maldonado will preside Chamber of Deputies
The Political Committee of the Dominican Liberation Party PLD decided late on Monday night, 31 July 2017 that Ruben Maldonado, of the Leonel Fernandez faction of the PLD, would be president of the Chamber of Deputies.

The announcement honors the agreement that was signed on 7 July 2016 to guarantee the cohesion of the party. Then it was decided that Lucia Medina, sister of President Danilo Medina, would serve a first year, then in August 2017, she would hand the presidency to Fernandez supporter, Ruben Maldonado. Maldonado in 2018 would pass the role to another Danilo Medina supporter, Radhamés Camacho. On the final year of the Medina administration, the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies would go to Demóstenes Martínez, a follower of former President Fernandez.

Maldonado begins his presidency of the Chamber of Deputies when the legislature reopens on 16 August 2017.


Judicial Branch swears in new judges
The president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Doctor Mariano Germán Mejía, swore in the new judges Claudia Peña Peña and Ursula Carrasco Márquez, yesterday, Monday 31 July 2017.

According to a press note, judge Claudia Peña Peña will become judge to the Second Courtroom of the Superior Administrative Court and judge Ursula Carrasco Márquez is promoted to judge of the First Courtroom of the Superior Administrative Court.

During the swearing in ceremony, German Mejia urged the new judges to continue to work to strengthen the Judicial Branch so that we can better administer justice in the country.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/07/31/1954/


PC calls for Odebrecht to fulfill its deal with the Attorney General Office
Participacion Ciudadana (PC) civic group is requesting that the Attorney General Office (PGR) reveal the level of fulfillment by Odebrecht of the deal promoted by the Public Ministry to not prosecute Odebrecht officers. “The company committed not only to identify the bribed government officers, their accomplices and other persons involved, but also to reveal the monetary values of the bribes and who received them, and the public works for which they were paid, the means by which the money was paid, the bank accounts and accounting registrations for each bribe,” said PC, as reported in Acento.

PC, the Dominican chapter of Transparency International, demanded that Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez report on the implementation of the agreement now that more than a month has gone by after the deadline given for Odebrecht to deliver the agreed upon information.

PC also reminded the nation of the public promise made by the attorney general to cancel contracts, retain payments advanced by Odebrecht and proceed to take to civil and penal justice the company and its executives in the case for breach of the contracted obligation to share the information.

PC says it is logical to suppose that Odebrecht has all the information that served as the basis for the confession to US judicial authorities that it had delivered US$92 million in bribes to Dominican government officers and that is the information it should directly deliver to the Attorney General.

PC says that the information is of great importance given the doubt planted by the dissident vote of Judge Miriam Germán Brito on the deficiencies in the first file prepared by the Attorney General Office to sustain the pre-trial custody measures for those accused in the Odebrecht case.

PC says that if the agreed upon information is not rendered, the PGR should abandon the agreement and proceed to begin the penal and civilian prosecution of the crimes confessed by the company.


Odebrecht audit goes on
The Accounts Chamber of the Dominican Republic has been auditing the concessions given by the Ministry of Public Works to the Brazilian company Odebrecht.

The work has been ongoing for three weeks, following a request by Attorney General, Jean Alain Rodriguez back in April 2017 to see if the works were overpriced.

According to Gonzalo Castillo, Minister of Public Works and as published in Diario Libre newspaper, between 2001 and 2014, Public Works awarded 17 projects to Odebrecht.

http://almomento.net/cc-audita-desde...ebrecht/338185


Alert to suspect pyramid scheme
A report in El Dia alerts to the gaining in popularity of a business that replicates the business model of Telexfree that scammed hundreds in the Dominican Republic and abroad. As reported, MyTraderCoin is operating online and is not registered with the Superintendence of Values of the Dominican Republic. El Dia reported, the company has already attracted 800 investors in the local market.

Alejandro Fernández, of Argentarium, alerts: “This is a scam. The company literally has no business registration anywhere, he warns. Previously, Fernández had alerted of the TelexFree scam.

http://eldia.com.do/en-el-pais-crece...-al-telefreex/
http://telexfreeuniverteam.com/my-tr...-de-piramidal/
http://actualidaddominicana.com/econ...my-trader-coin


Jail riot leaves seven injured
At least two of the seven inmates injured during a riot in the jail in La Vega are in a serious condition, according to doctors at the Luis Morillo King Hospital in the province.

The doctors are considering transferring one to the Regional University Hospital José María Cabral and Báez in Santiago.

Those injured are Marcos Rosario, Isidro Morel de la Cruz, Ramón Antonio Rosario, Frank Félix Guzmán, Juan Moya, Enmanuel Almánzar Peña, Juan Eduardo Taveras and Alexander de Jesús Veloz. Marcos Rosario is in the worst condition with knife wounds to his abdomen and other parts of his body.

The incident happened yesterday, Monday 31 July 2017, when two rival gangs in the jail, the Cibaeños Veganos from La Vega and the Capitaleños from Santo Domingo were fighting over control of the jail. The jail is not part of the new penitentiary system.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...cel-de-la-vega


Apart-hotel manager is lead suspect in Canadian tourist robbery
The Police arrested on Saturday, 29-year old Yoshua Rafael Alvarez Ortega, the manager of an apart-hotel where two Canadians were staying in Boca Chica. The man is accused of robbery and attempted rape against one of the victims. The Police said the women were 50 and 44 years old, but their names are omitted to protect their identity. As reported, the manager entered their apartment and stole $175 Canadian dollars and US$150 dollars, and one of the women was able to stop the sexual assault. The Police say that the investigation continues.

https://www.metrord.do/do/destacado/...anadiense.html