President Medina to Davos World Economic Forum
Total announces moving regional hub to DR
Akuo Energy wind farm to be built in Montecristi
President Medina calls for more efforts to counter money laundering
CDEEE vs. Odebrecht in New York arbitration court
Intrant starts to contract vehicle inspections workshops
Slow moving Congress
Four Latin American ex Presidents visit for talks on democracy
Venezuelans ask for migration privileges
Farmers alert against African snail
Hookahs leading to deaths
Journalists protest against threats
Former colonels arrested in La Romana drugs smuggling case
Winter baseball update
Chivas de Guadalajara comes to play Cibao FC
Dominican version of Tolchachir play opens at Palacio de Bellas Artes




President Medina to Davos World Economic Forum
President Danilo Medina will be traveling to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum from 23 to 26 January 2018.
In a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Børge Brende, presently Foreign Minister of Norway, and president of the World Economic Forum, announced the participation of Medina and five other Latin American heads of government -- President Mauricio Macri of Argentina; Michel Temer of Brazil; Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia; Juan Carlos Varela of Panama; and Prime Minister Mercedes of Peru.

The Dominican Presidency, nevertheless, has not announced the trip yet.

The World Economic Forum is described as a global platform for geostrategic collaboration. In the press conference, Brende said that the political, economic and social crisis in Venezuela will be a topic at the forum but will be discussed in a closed session. Former Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero who together with President Medina has served as mediator of the talks between the Venezuelan opposition and the Maduro government in the Dominican Republic in November, December and January will be attending.

A follow up World Economic Latin American forum is scheduled for 13-15 March 2018, in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The World Economic Forum on Latin America will convene over 750 global and regional leaders from government, business and civil society at a decisive time for Latin America, as an intense electoral cycle over the next two years promises far-reaching political and socio-economic impacts.

https://www.listindiario.com/las-mun...-foro-de-davos
https://www.weforum.org/events/world...-latin-america


Total announces moving regional hub to DR
Visiting officers of the French energy provider, Total, met President Danilo Medina at the Presidential Palace to inform him of the company’s intent to install their sales and services regional operations center for the Americas and Caribbean in Santo Domingo. Total is the world's 4th-ranked international oil and gas company and a major player in low-carbon energy solutions. The company is an important solar energy producer with the brands SunPower and Total Solar.

Total recently purchased dozens of Shell fueling stations throughout the country and rebranded them. “We arrived to the Dominican Republic in January 2016 with the purchase of 70% of the V Energy corporation, said Philippe Jaurrey, CEO and general manager of V Energy, as reported in a Presidency press release. He said the company has invested RD$7 billion and there are plans to continue investing significantly more.

Also present at the meeting in the Presidency were:
Hervé Allibert, senior vice president senior de Total Américas and Demetrio Almonte, marketing and institutional relations director for Total and the director of the Center for Exports and Investments of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) Luis Henry Molina.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...ica-dominicana


Akuo Energy wind farm to be built in Montecristi
French company Akuo Energy SAS will build and operate a 50MW wind farm in Villa Vasquez, Montecristi on the northwestern coast of the Dominican Republic. The company secured financing of US$18.5 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, US$17 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program and US$15 million from Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), US$18.5 million from the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and US$11.5 million from the German Investment Corporation.

The Parques Eolicos del Caribe (Pecasa) is expected to help remove about 91,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year, or roughly comparable to taking 20,000 cars off the road. It will be located on the northern coast of the country and is expected to start power generation in the first half of next year.

The output from the facility will be sold to the Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE) through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

The company explains that the project is in line with the country’s efforts to diversify its power mix and cut its reliance on fossil fuel imports with a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030.

http://www.akuoenergy.com/en/documen...-pecasa-en.pdf
http://tradecommissioner.gc.ca/domin....aspx?lang=eng


President Medina calls for more efforts to counter money laundering
On Monday, 15 January 2018, President Danilo Medina ordered government officials to focus efforts so that the country will achieve a satisfactory evaluation from the International Finance Action Group of Latin America (GAFILAT). Medina held a meeting with members of his cabinet on the matter to listen to advances made in the implementation of the rulings of Law 155-17 along with its regulations as well as the sectoral norms issued following the enactment of the law. Medina asked the officials not only to achieve a satisfactory evaluation but also to double their efforts to keep making progress.

The country has spent more than two years preparing for the assessment, under the coordination of the Ministry of the Hacienda and Financial Analysis Unit (UAF), in their role as president and technical secretary of the National Committee against Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (Conclafit). To receive positive grades from GAFILAT, the government must show advances in promoting effective public-private cooperation in the development of robust protocols in financial transaction monitoring and transparency, among other measures.

Hacienda Minister Donald Guerrero said that the government had decided that the Dominican Republic should set the example for the fight against money laundering.

Those present at the meeting were Minister of the Presidency, Gustavo Montalvo, Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Paulino Sem; Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez; Banking Superintendent Luis Armando Asunción; Commercial Papers Superintendent Gabriel Castro, and Insurance Superintendent Euclides Gutiérrez. Also present were DNCD director, Vice Admiral Edmundo Félix; the president of the National Drug Council, retired General Guerrero Peralta; deputy minister of Development Policies, Juan Ariel Jiménez, and the director of the Financial Analysis Unit, Wendy Lora.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...-contra-lavado


CDEEE vs. Odebrecht in New York arbitration court
The executive vice president of the Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), Ruben Jiménez Bichara announced that the impasse over the US$708 million demanded by Odebrecht to complete the Punta Catalina coal-fired power generation terminal in Peravia would be heard in a New York City arbitration court. Jiménez said this would not interrupt the construction of the power plant. He said the plant is scheduled to enter into operation in 2018.

http://eldia.com.do/odebrecht-y-cdee...ribunal-en-ny/


Intrant starts to contract vehicle inspections workshops
The National Institute of Transit and Terrestrial Transport (Intrant) is calling for interested parties to register their repair workshops on their website, so that they can be awarded the licensing contracts for vehicle inspections.

According to Law 63-17, Article 166, motor vehicles have to be inspected each year by Intrant to receive the new Technical Vehicle Inspection Sticker. Vehicles of less than three years would be exempt from the inspection.

Intrant director, Franchesca de los Santos, said in November 2017 that the inspection program would be introduced in 2018.

In addition, according to Article 41 of the law, those vehicles that carry members of the public will not only have to have the technical vehicle inspection but cannot be older than the following:
Light vehicles for up to four passengers; 15 years old.
Micro buses for five to 20 passengers, 17 years old.
Minibuses for 21 to 36 passengers, 20 years old.
Autobuses for 37 passengers and above, 25 years old.
Heavy cargo vehicles, 30 years old.
Single passenger motorcycles, 10 years old.
Vehicles older than this will not be able to obtain a technical vehicle inspection sticker, nor will they be able to transport passengers.

Those vehicles that do not have the inspection sticker will be fined one minimum salary and the appropriate points on their license.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ular-DC8985270


Slow moving Congress
45% of the bills or 108 bills ordered in the 2010 Constitution are still pending, reports Diario Libre. The 2010 Constitution ordered 222 changes that required legislative actions, of which 114 were approved and 66 are still pending to be amended. Another 40 norms need to be drafted, according to Diario Libre.

The Chamber of Deputies is led by Ruben Maldonado who took over from deputy Lucia Medina, sister of President Medina, who presided over the chamber in 2016-2017.

At the start of his term, Maldonado had declared the Chamber of Deputies legislative priorities would be the political and electoral bills, the penal, civil, civil procedures and business codes; the land use bill; the waters use bill; amendments to the Sports Law; the domestic help bill, climate change bill, organic bill for checks and controls of the legislature, among others. None of these have been voted on in the legislature that opened on 16 August 2017 and ended on 12 January 2018, nevertheless, reports Diario Libre.

The names of these bills in Spanish are: proyecto de ley de Partidos y Agrupaciones Políticas, Régimen Electoral, Código Penal, Código Civil, Código de Procedimiento Civil, Código de Comercio, proyecto de ley Ordenamiento Territorial y Uso de Suelo, projyecto de ley de Aguas, Ley de Deporte y Recreación Física, Ley de Trabajo Doméstico, Ley de Cambio Climático, Ley Orgánica de Fiscalización Control del Congreso Nacional.

Diario Libre reporters say that several bills have languished in Congress for decades, mentioning among these the Political Parties and electoral bills, the penal code and the waters use bill.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...reso-JX8981487
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...reso-MH8988068


Four Latin American ex Presidents visit for talks on democracy
The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (Funglode), the former President Leonel Fernandez think tank, is hosting the IV International Santo Domingo Forum. Attending the opening was his wife, Vice President Margarita Cedeño. Also participating are former President of Colombia, Ernesto Samper’ former President of Bolivia Carlos Mesa; and former President of Guatemala Vinicio Cerezo.

Also attending the closed door sessions are Carlos Malamud, Latin American researcher for the Real Instituto Elcano; Eduardo Gamarra, professor of political sciences of the Florida International University; Abraham Lowenthal, professor and president emeritus of the Pacific Council on International Politics; and Daniel Lovatto, director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). The event is organized by Funglode and IDEA International.

Former President Leonel Fernandez has expressed his aspirations to run again for President in 2020.


Venezuelans ask for migration privileges
The Venezuelan diaspora in the Dominican Republic has again asked the Dominican government to extend to them the privileges for status regularization included in the National Foreigner Regularization Plan. The Venezuelans, who are being affected by delays in securing their documentation to regularize their status, are asking the Dominican government to provide special immigration processing relief that would permit Venezuelans to become legal residents in the Dominican Republic without having to return to Venezuela to petition for residency. In short, many Venezuelans are asking for a humanitarian visa exception for their cases, which would be awarded via a one stop shop, as other countries have done.

Supporters of the special immigration treatment for Venezuelans referred to the World Bank statistics that state that there are around 19,800 Venezuelans in the country who lack wellbeing and security and are in a vulnerable situation as they are not in the country legally.

The coordinators of the Venezuelan group have a 14-page proposal that they handed over to the Presidency, the Migration Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Relations with the proposal.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...e-ir-a-su-pais


Farmers alert against African snail
The president of the National Association of Agropecuarian Professionals (ANPA), Danilo Severino called for President Danilo Medina to declare the eastern region in red alert for the presence of the giant African snail (Lissachatina fulica). The large land snail is regarded as one of the most dangerous invasive species that causes severe damage to agricultural crops and native plants and spreads human disease. It picks up diseases from rats and transmits these to dogs and cats.

Severino said the pest was first detected in a hotel in the east, and latter in the Doña Cuba and Puerta del Sol residential area in Bávaro. Severino called for Medina to instruct the ministries of agriculture, environment and public health to take action to eliminate the mollusk and avoid its reproduction. The snail is the size of a human hand.

http://eldia.com.do/region-este-en-alerta-por-plaga/


Hookahs leading to deaths
During the past year, the National Institute of Forensic Pathology (Inacif) has carried out 26 autopsies on young people who died due to cardiac, respiratory, and brain-related issues, as well as viruses such as HIV and hepatitis, whose clinical history that could be attributed to the use of a water pipes or hookahs.

Although the institution does not have the data to prove scientifically that the cases of deaths was the substances inhaled via the hookah, they can confirm that the use of hookahs was a contributing factor to their deaths as it speeds up and changes the rhythm of organs making them more vulnerable.

According to the Inacif director, Doctor Santo Jiménez Páez, their lab, which carries out autopsies on non-violent deaths, identified 26 cases that involved the use of hookahs – most of the victims were male and either died at home, at work or in the hospital.

The director of the National Pathology Institute, Dr. Sergio Sarita Valdez, also said that more and more young people are seeking emergency medical assistance due to brain and heart problems, many associated with hookah usage. He added that statistically the substances used in hookahs contribute to cardiac deaths, those deaths due to respiratory problems and strokes.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...tual-de-hookah


Journalists protest against threats
The Dominican College of Journalists (CDP) has urged the National District Prosecution Service to identify the family members of businessman Angel Rondon, who threatened the television reporter Elbania Flores, from Channel 5 of the Telemicro Group, so that legal action can be taken against them. Flores was at the Corazones Unidos hospital on an assignment when she was threatened by the relatives of Rondon.

They also asked for Luis Abel Mariano Perez, jailed for participating in the murder of Natasha Sing, to be disciplined for breaking the camera of the El Caribe newspaper photographer, Juan Tomas Valenzuela when he was taking photographs at the Public Prosecution office in Santo Domingo province.

CDP president, Adriano de la Cruz, said that he was hoping there would be no conciliation in the Flores case, as it cannot be allowed that journalists are threatened - even less so when they are doing their job.

De la Cruz was accompanied by representatives of the CDP including the vice president of the Institute for the Assistance and Protection of Journalists (IPPP), Pedro Belliard; the secretary general of the National District section, Brunilda Romero; María Ferrand, David R. Lorenzo, Elsa Bello, Brunilda Romero, Brinio Batista, Raúl Germán, Santo Asencio and José Román Dini, among others.

Flores was threatened in a clinic by members of Rondon’s family. Rondon is involved in the Odebrecht corruption case. She was at the clinic to find out about his health.

http://hoy.com.do/cdp-pide-identific...-a-periodista/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdF5hlL9mCs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4jq6Aektgc
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...n-a-periodista
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...stigacion.html


Former colonels arrested in La Romana drugs smuggling case
Two colonels have been permanently relieved of their duties after being accused of shutting down the security systems at the La Romana International Airport (LRM) in October 2018, to allow a plane to land with a shipment of around 500 kilos of cocaine. The men were arrested on Monday, 15 January 2018.

The arrests came about after the Colombian authorities shared information with the Dominican authorities that linked the accused men with a group of South American drug dealers, said to be the owners of the drugs seized in La Romana. The Colombian sources presented evidence that the Colombian aircraft landed at the airport during the night and went to the end of the runway where the crew deposited the shipment. It then took off immediately to return to Colombia.

Domingo Cruz Figuereo Heredia, from the Air Force and the then head of security at the La Romana Airport, as well as former Colonel Robert Antonio Ramírez Pimentel, from the Army and the then head of the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) at the airport were arrested. Also arrested was Enmanuel Cruz Espinal who used to be attached to the military and former lieutenant Andrés Castillo Padilla who voluntarily turned himself into the authorities.

The Attorney General’s office said that international arrest warrants have been issued against foreigners in the case.

In a related story, El Dia reported that the operation is related to the Cartel del Malecon, in which Venezuelan Yoel Palmar was arrested in Colombia, accused of having exported tons of drugs and millions of US dollars through the Malecon Palace Casino that operated at the Malecon Center in Santo Domingo. Palmar, regarded as the biggest drug trafficking capo for smuggling from Venezuela to the Dominican Republic was arrested on 11 December 2017.

http://eldia.com.do/dos-coroneles-pr...a-en-avioneta/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...mbia-HX8981009


Winter baseball update
The 16 January 2018 games set for Santo Domingo and San Francisco de Macoris ballparks were suspended for rain. The Gigantes vs. Aguilas game was rescheduled for Friday, 19 January at the Julian Javier ball park in San Francisco de Macoris. The Licey vs. Escogido game was postponed for Friday, 19 January at the Quisqueya ball park in Santo Domingo.

The standings as of 16 January 2018 are: Tigres (9 wins, 6 losses), Aguilas (8-7), Gigantes (7-8), and Leones (6-9).

http://www.lidom.com/home/calendario/
http://estadisticas.lidom.com/Estadisticas/Inicio
https://www.listindiario.com/el-depo...idos-de-anoche
http://hoy.com.do/lluvia-suspende-jornada-beisbol/


Chivas de Guadalajara comes to play Cibao FC
The newly remodeled 10,000-seat football field at the Madre y Maestra Catholic University in Santiago will be the stage of the clash between Mexico’s Chivas de Guadalajara and the Dominican winning football team, the Cibao Futbol Club on 22 February 2018 in Santiago. The Dominican team is the regional champion of the Concacaf and won the right to play the Mexicans. The Santiago game will be a follow up to a first game the two teams will play. The first is scheduled for 28 January 2018 at the Akron stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. The game will be broadcast on Fox TV at 9pm.

Cibao FC says that an estimated three or four thousand Mexican fans will travel to Santiago to root for their team during the match in Santiago.

The Cibao FC in 2017 became the first Dominican team to qualify when winning the Caribbean Clubs Tournament. The winner of the tournament earns a spot in the World Football Clubs Cup 2018.

The Cibao FC won the tournament by defeating the San Juan Jabloteh (San Juan Kings) team of Trinidad & Tobago in the final, becoming the first team from the Dominican Republic to be crowned Caribbean Club champions and the first to quality for the CONCACAF Champions League.

As reported in El Dia, Monsignor Agripino Núñez of the UCMM says the hope of football fans in the region is that the Cibao FC can become as successful as the Santiago baseball team, the Aguilas Cibaeñas.


Dominican version of Tolchachir play opens at Palacio de Bellas Artes
Channel 11 news broadcaster Roberto Cavada will have a leading role in the Manuel Chapuseaux-directed play, “Family Secrets” (Secretos de Familia). The tragicomedy, which will open 22 February 2018 at the Palacio de Bellas Artes Cavada, features a star studded cast, with Carlos Sánchez, Irving Alberti, Hony Estrella, Carolina Rivas, Pepe Sierra, Josué Guerrero and Karina Larrauri.

The play delves into the secrets of a family that are revealed once the grandmother dies. This is an adaptation of the original play by Argentinean playwright Claudio Tolchachir, “La Omisión de la Familia Coleman” that has won nine international awards as one of the most interesting Latin American theater dramas. The improvisation inspired drama is about a family circle where violence gradually replaces speech. The play has been a sold-out hit since its premiere in 2005, having been staged in more than 22 countries around the world.

https://www.listindiario.com/entrete...bellas-artes-l