President Medina reaches out to help pig farmers
San Juan deputy Lucia Medina opposes Romero GoldQuest mine exploitation
Poor quality materials lead to patient infections
Millions of cigarettes confiscated
Dominican visas for Haitians now include compulsory insurance
Dominicans are talking less on the phone, texting more
Pawa staff has not been paid
Migration arrests and deports Haitians
Murderer of lawyer Yuniol Ramirez now on Interpol list
One-year pre-trial custody in quadruple murder case
Three provinces on rain alert, low temperatures forecast



President Medina reaches out to help pig farmers
On Sunday, 11 February 2018, President Danilo Medina carried out one of his surprise visits to 100 pig farmers in Batey Jagual, in Ramón Santana municipality in San Pedro de Macorís province, in support of the production and commercialization of pork. The Presidency reported this was the President’s 195th unannounced visit.

The president of the Association of Female Entrepreneurs, Producers and Innovators (Asomepi), Elvira de los Santos, told reporters that the President was backing a project to breed and fatten pigs and that the Presidency would help them to finance the acquisition of office furniture and materials, a truck, minor farm equipment, and feed for the pigs.

The government would also help to finance the construction of a barn, the acquisition of 300 female pigs, 30 male pigs, and 5,000 quintals of feed as well as the installation of water tanks and feeding troughs.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...en-clase-media


San Juan deputy Lucia Medina opposes Romero GoldQuest mine exploitation
On Monday, 12 February 2018, the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, sister of President Danilo Medina and deputy for the southwestern province of San Juan de la Maguana, Lucia Medina, issued a press release that established her opposition to the mining of the Romero gold deposit in the province.

The Ministry of Mines has issued dozens of exploration permissions in the area, but the Romero gold deposit recently received the green light from the Ministry of Mines to request a mining permit from the Ministry of Environment. The Ministry of Mines has said the operation would generate US$224 million in tax revenues for the state over its estimated seven year period. Director of Mines, Alexander Medina explained this would be an underground operation that would use rainwater and that the promoters say it will not affect river water resources in the province.

Deputy Lucia Medina spoke up saying the mine endangers farming in her native province. She said 80% of the beans produced in the country come from San Juan de la Maguana and these would suffer from mining operations. “I join the organizations of the province and the population in general that oppose the exploitation of the mine. The mining permit need not be granted for the peace and tranquility in our province. The mining operation would give a false sense of well-being, but most likely produce a long term tragedy for the region - reducing water sources and contamination rivers and streams,” she said.

She added: “I call for reflecting that those US$224 million that the state would receive [for the seven year operation], as explained by the mining company and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, is the same that San Juan farms produce in five years. If San Juan does not want mining, then there will not be mining”, she said in a press release.

Medina said that the San Juan and Guazuma rivers are the water source for the Sabaneta Dam and the main aqueduct of the municipality of San Juan de la Maguana.

She stated that the exploitation of the Romero project by GoldQuest in the community of Hondo Valle, in the northern part of the Sabaneta Dam would damage the flora and fauna of the region, and above all would threaten the survival of a people whose main asset is farming that depends on the river water.”

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/02/1...cion-de-minas/


Poor quality materials lead to patient infections
The Dominican Society of Orthopedics and Trauma has stated that there are more patients suffering from infections due to the breakages of materials and prostheses, screws and plates of poor quality that have been authorized by the insurance companies. In a press release, the society says that the ARS only provides the implants and medicines that are the cheapest and of poor quality that is putting the health of patients at risk.

Julio Landrón, president of the union, asked for better quality materials that have been certified by the FDA in the United States and other quality assurance protocols adopted by the Europe Union.

http://hoy.com.do/ortopedas-culpan-a...e-infecciones/


Millions of cigarettes confiscated
From 2017 to date in 2018, the Customs ‘Agency (DGA) has confiscated around 175.7 million contraband cigarettes. The DGA reports that in 2017, Customs agents seized 166 million contraband cigarettes.

On Thursday, 8 February 2018, in one single operation, more than 9.7 million cigarettes were confiscated in an operation in Haina port. The cigarettes were of the brands Capital and Gold City that had been declared as bundles of glue for construction. The shipment arrived in a container from Panama and was on its way to the dock in Puerto Plata.

The consignment was in 693 boxes with 10,000 Capital cigarettes in each one and another 281 boxes, also of 10,000 cigarettes each, of Gold City brand.

Despite the many confiscations of contraband cigarettes, the suspects of cigarette contrabands have yet to be brought to justice by the DGA.

https://listindiario.com/economia/20...de-cigarrillos


Dominican visas for Haitians now include compulsory insurance
The Dominican mission in Haiti has explained the reasons for the increase in the cost of travel visas for Haitian nationals to the Dominican Republic. As of 2 February 2018, the visa was increased from US$230 to US$350 for the multiple entry Dominican visa for a duration of five years, as reported in Diario Libre. Diario Libre reports that the insurance covers the repatriation of foreigners in necessary cases, including death, medical expenses and medical coverage in case of a pre-existing sickness for up to US$10,000 and medical emergency expenses in case of a pregnancy for up to US$300.

As reported in Haiti Libre, César Antonio Cuevas Pérez, counselor minister at the Dominican mission in Haiti, explained that the increase is to cover a newly required insurance policy of US$150 that applies to all types of visa (tourist, resident and student) regardless of the nationality of the applicant, with the exception of those holding a North American visa (USA and Canada) and for the 26 countries of the European Union (Schengen visa).

http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-23...consulate.html
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...anos-CA9165114


Dominicans are talking less on the phone, texting more
There is a rising trend for Dominican consumers to use data plans for communication, at the expense of voice plans. Indeed, there has been a substantial decline in voice minutes and voice plans sold by telecom companies, according to a report published on 8 February 2018 in El Dia.

The decline in the minutes consumed for voice communication is down a hefty 50% compared to three years ago, according to data from the Dominican Telecommunications Institute cited in the El Dia article. While in all of 2015, mobile phone customers used 12.23 billion minutes, from January to September 2017, consumption was only 7.49 billion. During that same time period, the number of Internet accounts increased from 4.9 million in 2015 to 6.9 million in 2017.

Indotel statistics indicate that in 2016, there were 6,064,695 Internet accounts in the country. By 2017, there were 6,998,032 Internet accounts.

http://eldia.com.do/consumo-de-minut...so-de-la-data/


Pawa staff has not been paid
Fabio José Báez, head of maintenance at Pawa Dominicana airline, has complained that all of the airline executives have left the country and there is no administrator to pay employee the wages they are owed. The 480 Pawa employee severance payments could be more than US$2 million, as reported in the press.

Baez noted that the company is not bankrupt and as such, all of the employees and technicians should receive their wages. He asked the Ministry of Labor not to approve the 90-day wage suspension provision for emergency situations. Báez spoke up in representation of Pawa employees and says they simply want to be compensated for their work.

Pawa has requested that the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC) reconsider the 90-day flight suspension imposed on the airline. Meanwhile, IDAC took control of Pawa assets, including seven airplanes. Alejandro Herrera, director of IDAC, said, nevertheless, that IDAC does not have an inventory of the assets of the airline. The owner of the airline, Venezuelan Simeón García and general manager, US citizen Gary Stone are abroad.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...bajo-LY9166841
http://elaviador.do/2018/02/12/emple...nes-laborales/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...olar-ED9173475
http://hoy.com.do/autoridades-del-id...wa-dominicana/


Migration arrests and deports Haitians
This last weekend the Migration Department arrested and repatriated immediately 137 Haitians who were occupying the Duarte Park in Villa Tapia, Hermanas Mirabal province, declaring that this municipality was “free land” and raising the Haitian flag along with the Dominican flag, provoking a chaotic situation.

Migration director, retired Lieutenant General Máximo William Muñoz Delgado, sent a group of inspectors to Villa Tapia and they, together with officials, immediately arrested the Haitians who declared that they would stay in the park indefinitely.

As well as arresting the Haitians in the park, Migration carried out raids across Villa Tapia including the communities of Los Toros, Toro Lindo, La Cabuya and Monte de Plata.
All of those detained were taken directly to Dajabon and repatriated to Haiti by orders of
Muñoz Delgado.

Also arrested and repatriated were 116 more Haitians in Santiago, Moca, La Vega and other parts in the north of the country.

http://elnacional.com.do/migracion-a...e-villa-tapia/


Murderer of lawyer Yuniol Ramirez now on Interpol list
Argenis Contreras, one of those accused of the murder of the university professor and lawyer, Yuniol Ramírez, is now on the website of the International Police Criminal Organization website (Interpol).

The charges against him are that he fled the Dominican Republic at midday on 12 October 2017, and is charged with murder, administrative corruption, bribery and fraud.

He has now been absent from the country for four months but no one knows his whereabouts. The Dutch authorities believe that he is in Holland.

He is accused of the murder of Ramirez whose body was found in a stream in Manoguayabo, Santo Domingo West, tied down with two concrete blocks on the same 12 October 2017, when he fled the country.

Even though the head prosecutor for Santo Domingo, Olga Diná Llaverías, immediately requested an international arrest warrant after the incident, he has only been on the website as part of the 19 most wanted Dominicans for the last few days.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...de-la-interpol


One year pre-trial custody in quadruple murder case
National District judge José Alejandro Vargas ordered one year pre-trial custody at the Centro de Corrección Y Rehabilitación de San Pedro de Macorís to 30-year old Víctor Alexander Portorreal (Chamán Chacra), lead suspect in the murder of his spouse and her three children ages 6, 9 and 10. Prior to announcing the sentence, the judge compared the murder to that of Charles Manson. The murders were believed to have been committed on 4 February 2018, but the bodies were not discovered until after neighbors reported a foul smell that lead to authorities opening the dwelling to find a dantesque scene.

Reportedly, Portorreal has confessed to the crime. What is known is that having murdered his partner, Reyna Isabel Encarnación Morales and her three children, Víctor Alexander Portorreal Mendoza (Greña, El Metálico or Chamán Chakra) went to the beach with his friend Krystal Alexandra Tejada, to whom he confessed that he had done something bad to his partner but did not give details. He pawned a tablet belonging to one of the children to get RD$500 to go to the beach.

According to the Public Prosecution Service, having committed the crime, Portorreal Mendoza carried on with his normal life, and the following day, 5 February met with Krystal and then went to his partner’s father’s house in San Carlos in the National District to get clothes for the children. The father expressed interest in seeing his daughter and children but was told to leave it for the weekend because the house was in disarray.

The preliminary autopsy report shows that Encarnación Morales had been raped and had her throat cut, and the two girls had also been raped and they were strangled. The 9-year old boy was strangled the following day.

Portorreal was employed in a Harley Davidson repair shop located on Av. Italia.

https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...r-y-tres-ninos
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...s-los-crimenes
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/02/1...un-ser-humano/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...itarse-la-vida
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...anos-IB9175794


Three provinces on rain alert, low temperatures forecast
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has forecast more rain in the northeast, southeast and the northern slopes of the Central Mountain area. Three provinces are still under alert for flooding and overflowing rivers and streams and they are Espaillat, especially Gaspar Hernández; María Trinidad Sánchez and Duarte.

Authorities are urging those living near rivers and streams to take preventive measures to avoid loss of life and damage to property.

Small boats on the Atlantic coast and the Caribbean coast from Pedernales to Punta Salinas are advised to stay in port due to high waves.

From Punta Salinas to Cabo Engaño and in the Bay of Samaná, boats are advised to stay close to shore and not venture into the open sea.

Onamet has forecast chillier temperatures for the week, with regular lows of 20 degrees Celsius for most areas in the country. Mountain areas can expect lows of below 14 degrees Celsius.

http://hoy.com.do/tres-provincias-en...eros-seguiran/