Venezuelan opposition in talks with President Medina
Santiago has a model garbage plant
ProConsumidor to the rescue of courier clients
Fourth Book Fair of Dominican History
Finjus says DR “looks real bad” regarding judicial independence
OMSA buses in the shop more than on the roads
Judge segregates Eddy Santana murder and corruption cases
CMD picks on Public Health
Suspended vice minister still gets his RD$200,000 monthly wage
Green March announces protest in front of Omsa headquarters
20 years sentence for killer of father of Miss Dominican Republic
Intec and Banco BHD Leon launch financial aid for good students
French Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 30th anniversary
Dominican Winter League Baseball wrap-up



Venezuelan opposition in talks with President Medina
President Danilo Medina met on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 with representatives of opposition parties in Venezuela. Luis Florido, opposition deputy (Voluntad Popular), met President Medina at the Presidential Palace. Florido also met separately with Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado. The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Julio Borges and other Venezuelan opposition party members also were at the meeting with President Medina.

Florido said that the meeting was to present to President Medina the evidence of the electoral fraud they claim occurred during the recent governor election in Venezuela. “We made clear to President Medina that any negotiation process needs to be accompanied by national and international guarantees for fulfillment,” he said, as reported in El Dia.

http://eldia.com.do/opositores-venez...danilo-medina/


Santiago has a model garbage plant
Santiago city government says the contracting of Cilpen Global Quality Recycling to operate the recycling system at the Rafey Garbage Dump has brought an integral solution to the garbage problem in the second largest Dominican city. In an interview in Diario Libre, Mayor Abel Martínez said that the solid wastes at the dump are now being recycled correctly without this costing the city government. Much of the recycled materials are exported by the company.

Martínez said that now only organic wastes are taken to the Rafey city garbage dump. The solid wastes are previously separated resulting in much less volume of garbage for the city dump. Martínez explained that the plant started processing 300 tons, moving later to 850 tons and now is processing 1,000 tons per day. He said the city government has savings of RD$6 million that are being used in other areas.

“We have moved ahead and Santiago is the first city or municipality to give adequate treatment to the final disposal of its solid wastes since beginning the operations some five months ago,” he told Diario Libre in an interview. The plant began processing of garbage in July 2017.

Adilberto Crisóstomo, general manager of Cilpen Global, has explained the full-phased project calls for a US$400 million investment with 2,000 direct jobs being created. A first phase called for the installation of a waste assessment and classification plant for urban solid waste, the first in the country. He said this plant uses the most modern technology in Latin America and has capacity to process up to 30 tonnes per hour.

A second phase contemplates the installation of an additional plant with the same capacity to come into operation in April 2018. The third phase of the project contemplates the production of energy from garbage and is slated to go into operation at the end of 2019, making Santiago the first city in the country to produce energy from its garbage. Santiago garbage is estimated to be able to produce 80 megawatts of energy.

As reported, the Cilpen Global plant has hired 50 of the garbage scavengers that worked at the Rafey dump.

https://es-la.facebook.com/CilpenGlobalQR/


ProConsumidor to the rescue of courier clients
The National Institute for Consumer Protection (ProConsumidor) says it is beginning a legal process against freight forwarding company Caripack and finance company Avanex. The two companies are involved in a legal battle that has impeded hundreds of Caripack clients from receiving the articles they purchased over the Internet.

ProConsumidor set a hearing for 25 October 2017, and warned Caripack that it has the obligation to deliver the transported articles to their rightful owners. ProConsumidor stated that the on-going judicial process does not trump the rights of customers who trusted the courier service to transport merchandise from overseas.

In the press release, ProConsumidor maintained that Avanex can only embargo assets that belong to the debtor and not to third parties.

http://proconsumidor.gob.do/2017/10/...pack-y-avanex/


Fourth Book Fair of Dominican History
There’s something for everyone at the Fourth Book Fair of Dominican History sponsored by the National Archives under historian Roberto Cassa. The fair, which will last from 30 October until for November, will feature the role of cinema, theater and the arts as pedagogical tools for teaching history.

The Archives wants to emphasize the availability of audiovisual materials for scholars and researchers. Three short documentaries will be shown during the fair: Flor de Azúcar will be shown at noon on 2 November; Republica del Color will be shown on Friday three November at nine in the morning and, finally, Del Fondo de la Noche will be presented on Saturday 4 November at 9:30 in the morning.

There will be talks by art historians, and musicologists will show how to use the arts as a way of teaching history. The fair will be inaugurated next Monday at 10 AM. Some 17 books will be released and there will be workshops, conferences, expositions and the sale of books.

The events will take place at the National Archives building at Calle Modesto 2, Zona Universitaria.

https://www.diariolibre.com/revista/...oria-LB8443269
https://acento.com.do/2017/cultura/8...chivo-general/


Finjus says DR “looks real bad” regarding judicial independence
The executive vice president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus), Servio Tulio Castaños Guzman told reporters on 24 October 2017 that the judicial system will be put to the test to solve the Yuniol Ramírez Ferreras murder that revealed the mafia culture and criminal structure that has operated at the Metropolitan Bus Services Office (Omsa), a public transport government agency.

Castaños Guzmán said that the case reveals the lack of controls in government purchasing. He speculated that the same kind of criminal network could exist in other government agencies.

“Who controlled the purchasing committee, who assessed the Omsa tenders has to be investigated because what this case shows is a scandalous situation in regards to everything dealing with purchasing,” he said. He said the Public Ministry has a great challenge because the case reveals that the government purchasing system is a disaster in the country, as reported in El Nacional.

Castaños said that there are people missing in the file prepared by prosecutors on the case. “It would seem that we are in front of an institution where a criminal structure of enormous dimensions was installed,” he added.

He pointed out that the country’s justice system is very weak, evidenced by rankings that show the Dominican Republic among the six countries with the lowest levels of judicial independence. He said the justice system has regressed in an enormous way.

"The political system often penetrates the justice system and damages everything," he said.

The executive vice president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus), Servio Tulio Castaños Guzman, told reporters on 24 October 2017, that the Dominican Republic has performed badly in the latest Global Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum. The DR is ranked 130rd in judicial independence of the 137 countries covered. In Latin America, the DR came in just above Venezuela that is ranked 137th, Nicaragua is 136th and Ecuador is 135rd. On the other side of the ranking, Finland is the first, followed by New Zealand and Norway in this ranking.

Castaños Guzman told the reporters that this study shows an uncommon setback of the local judiciary and should be taken as the basis for designing public policies to reverse the situation. He noted quite plainly that the main problem of this reality is that politics has often dominated the judicial system, creating poor results.

Castaños Guzman spoke during a panel that dealt with the national network of organizations that identified and protected certain groups in vulnerable situations held at the Santo Domingo Sheraton. The activity was chaired by the director of the National Office of the Public Defense, Laura Hernandez Roman and co-sponsored by Finjus. During the activity, Finjus signed a cooperation agreement with the National Office of Public Defender (ONDP) for the formation of the "National Network for Identification and Protection of Groups in Conditions of Vulnerability."

http://elnacional.com.do/ve-caso-yun...eraba-en-omsa/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cial-KC8444297
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GCR2017...%80%932018.pdf


OMSA buses in the shop more than on the roads
The vehicles administered by the Metropolitan Office of Bus Service (OMSA) have been more frequently in repair shops than in service to the public, according to evidence found in work orders over the last two years.

Diario Libre reveals that details now being made available to the press, indicate that during 2015, under the heading of vehicle repairs the company belonging to recently indicted Eddie Santana Zorrilla, Tech Solution, was issued 50 purchase orders for more than RD $1,600,000 each.

During the same time frame, 297 purchase orders were approved for Josafap Inversions. Some of these orders exceeded RD $150,000. Rafael Arturo Vasquez received 108 purchase orders that often topped the RD$100,000 mark.

In 2016, according to the Diario Libre, 246 purchase orders were issued to Rafael Arturo Vasquez, some of these for more than RD $300,000. Josafap Inversions received 51 purchase orders for amounts of more than RD $700,000; and Tech Solution received 38 purchase orders for amounts that reached RD $1,600,000 and RD $2,700,000. Another company belonging to Santana Zorrilla, Martisdom Group, received 11 purchase orders to repair vehicles at a Cassa more than RD $1,600,000 each.

“Businessman” Eddie Santana participated in various tenders and submitted bids at several state institutions according to his statements given at the prosecutor’s office in West Santo Domingo. The statement was corroborated in the testimony of his nephew, Luis Santana Santana, who is listed as the owner of the Martisdom Group. Luis Santana said that the account of the company that was registered to Rosary-Hernandez Santana, a niece of Eddie Santana, received the money from the purchase orders. Neither Luis Santana nor Rosary Santana admitted to ever having dealings with the former OMSA director Manuel Rivas.

Despite media coverage, including a Diario Libre investigative report, highlighting the major corruption at Omsa as far back as 2013, the government control departments seemed to have looked the other way. The attention has returned to Omsa after a lawyer Yuniol Ramírez who was carrying a legal case against Omsa officers for corruption was murdered.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...icio-FM8439171


Judge segregates Eddy Santana murder and corruption cases
Judge Leonarda Quezada of Santo Domingo West, when hearing the case against Metropolitan Bus Service Office (Omsa), supplier Eddy Santana Zorrilla, announced the case would be heard in two separate parts, after Santana’s lawyers requested the judge ask the relatives of murdered lawyer Yuniol Ramírez to leave the court. The defense argued that the state prosecutors had pressed charges against Santana for administrative corruption and not complicity in the murder of Ramírez.

The late Ramírez was carrying a case for corruption in Omsa, the government public bus agency, when he was murdered. After requesting information through the Freedom of Information Act, and not receiving this, Ramírez had taken the case to the Superior Administrative Court (TSA) where he requested information on five companies that in the past two years had been favored by 800 bus repair orders, including two owned by Santana Zorrilla.

Judge Leonarda Quezada heard the first part for corruption and ordered one month of pre-trial custody to Eddy Santana at Monte Plata jail. A second part for complicity of Santana in the murder would be heard right after the conclusion of the first part. Regarding the complicity of Santana, the judge declared inadmissible the request for a hearing of the involvement of Eddy Santana, a major Omsa supplier, in the murder of Yuniol Ramírez.

The family accuses Santana of complicity in the murder. The judge said that she had already applied pre-trial custody to the accused for one case and another measure would be unnecessary. She also argued that the prosecutors had left the court after the hearing of the first case for corruption and these would have had to be present to press charges together with the Ramírez family lawyer.

Ramón Ramírez, brother of the late Yuniol Ramírez, said they would continue to demand that Santana is included in the accusations for murder that at present affect the former director of Omsa, Manuel Rivas; and other Omsa employees, that are José Mercado Blanco (El Grande), Police colonel and financial officer at Omsa, Faustino Rosario Díaz, who have been ordered pre-trial custody, and Argenis Contreras, fugitive from justice.

Santana Zorrilla is accused of being part of a network of corruption in OMSA, along with Manual Rivas, the dismissed former director of OMSA, who is now currently serving one year on remand in jail in Najayo, linked to the murder of the university professor and lawyer Yuniol Ramírez.

The prosecutors stated that Eddy Santana had received instructions from Omsa director Manuel Rivas to pay RD$4 million to Ramírez Ferreras, of which the prosecutors say he delivered one million in a gas station at Av. Rómulo Betancourt on 6 October. While the prosecution presented a video as evidence, the family of Ramírez has presented a separate video arguing the evidence shows a different story – that the money was not to bribe Ramírez, rather it was to pay for his murder.

Diario Libre has reported that the bus repair contracts were so constant that a review of these showed that the buses spent more time in the repair shops than offering service to the public.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...tana-DE8446555
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cion-NE8446078
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...tana-MD8445169
http://eldia.com.do/conocen-medida-d...tana-zorrilla/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...nato-de-yuniol
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...esas-GD8445967


CMD picks on Public Health
The head of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD), Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero tried to force his way into the offices of the Ministry of Public Health at the end of a march on Tuesday, 24 October 2017. The physicians had marched to demand the fulfillment of an agreement signed with the government.

As they reached the headquarters of the Ministry of Public Health, striking physicians lifted up the CMD president and tried to cross the barriers that the police had placed in front of the ministry. In the shoving and pushing, Dr. Suero almost fell to the pavement. He yelled out loud: “We have been attacked in your office, Minister. One of these days, you will no longer be the Minister of Public Health neither will you be with the doctors. We came here with a willingness to talk.”

Suero confirmed the 48-hour strike at public hospitals and primary care facilities throughout the country starting on 25 October 2017. He also warned that after 8 November, when the CMD holds its internal elections, strikes will continue and there will be demonstrations that will show that the struggle is not political as Minister Altagracia Guzman Marcellino has claimed. This is the fourth strike called by the CMD in October.

Both Minister Guzman and the director of the National Health System, Dr. Jose Rodriguez Monegro, say the government has kept its part of the bargain and that it is the physicians who have not honored the agreement.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cion-LB8443940
http://hoy.com.do/video-empujan-y-ca...olegio-medico/


Suspended vice minister still gets his RD$200,000 monthly wage
In June 2017, Environment Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito ordered the replacement of vice minister of Soils and Waters (Suelos y Aguas) Gabriel Johan Hernández González, responding to charges of corruption while performing his duties in the Ministry. Hoy reports that Hernández was replaced after charges of illicit acts were presented to the Attorney General Office. There is no information available on proceedings on the case by the Attorney General Office. The Soils and Waters department is in charge of controlling the extraction of earthen materials, such as sand, gravel, and stone, as well as of formulating and directing the national policy on use of these resources.

Nevertheless, Hoy newspaper reports that the Gonzalez is still on the Ministry of Environment payroll with his RD$200,000 a month salary. Environment Minister Domínguez had administratively named Manuel Serrano, vice minister in charge of Forestry Resources at the Ministry of Environment, to replace him, as of 22 June 2017. Hernández, a ruling party politician, had been named to the position in September 2016 by a presidential decree.

http://hoy.com.do/pese-a-suspension-...gue-en-nomina/


Green March announces protest in front of Omsa headquarters
The Green March civic movement, that has protested government corruption and impunity, is calling for a Sunday, 29 October 2017 peaceful protest event in front of the main headquarters of the Metropolitan Bus Services Offices (Omsa) in Santo Domingo West. The Green March says they are rejecting political delinquency. The call for protest is made following major irregularities in government purchasing going into the open after the murder of lawyer Yuniol Ramírez who was carrying a legal case against the Omsa.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...omsa-XE8446055


20 years sentence for killer of father of Miss Dominican Republic
The Second Collegiate Court of Santiago sentenced Domingo Hinojosa Ceballos to 20 years in jail for the murder of Antonio Castillo de la Rosa. De la Rosa was the father of Kimberly Castillo, a former Miss Dominican Republic. Presiding judge Osvaldo Castillo also ordered Hinojosa to pay a fine of RD$10 million to the Castillo family.

Prosecutors proved that Hinojosa fired the two gunshots that killed Antonio Castillo de la Rosa, after a minor vehicle accident on Calle Daurte on 15 December 2015 in Santiago. De la Rosa was driving a truck and when trying to pass another vehicle his vehicle nudged the SUV of his would-be killer. The later dismounted from his vehicle and after insulting him verbally, took out his firearm and fired the mortal shots. Hinojosa was sent to the Rafey Jail in Santiago.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...illo-AE8446301


Intec and Banco BHD Leon launch financial aid for good students
The Banco BHD Leon and the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (Intec) signed an agreement on 24 October 2017 to fund the education of outstanding students at Intec. Students will benefit from preferential interest rates and five years to pay back the loans after completing the university studies.

Likewise, the students are invited to be part of a bank internship program at the BHD Leon Financial Center, and will be given priority in the selection process for new talent at the bank. Luis Molina Achécar signed for the bank and Rolando M. Guzman for Intec. Guzman told reporters from the Diario Libre that the program was designed to make it possible for a large number of students to have access to a quality education.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...rias-EC8444035


French Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 30th anniversary
French-Dominican singer Cyrille Aimée will be performing during a dinner-concert organized by the French-Dominican Chamber of Commerce (CCI Franco Dominicana) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the trade group. The concert will take place on Thursday, 26 October 2017, at the Gran Salón Churchill of the Hotel InterContinental Real Santo Domingo on Av. Winston Churchill. Show time is 7:30pm. The concert is by invitation.
https://www.metrord.do/do/entretenci...concierto.html


Dominican Winter League Baseball wrap-up
The Dominican professional baseball championship is off to a good start and some surprising results after almost two weeks of play. The Estrellas Orientales and the Leones del Escogido are now leading the league together with six wins and two losses, with the Aguilas Cibaeñas and Gigantes del Cibao following just one game behind. The 2016-2017 Champions, the Tigres Del Licey have gotten off to a slow start and are in fourth place with only two wins. The unfortunate Toros Del Este of La Romana have not been able to put their act together and win their first game.

Follow the games schedule at:
http://www.lidom.com/home/calendario/

See more standings details:
http://estadisticas.lidom.com/Estadisticas/Inicio