President Medina changes Indotel head and more
Luis Henry Molina on ProDominicana to promote Dominican exports
Ministry of Industry & Commerce on efforts to increase exports
President Medina visits Vicente Noble, Barahona
Government of Japan donates seismic alert systems
Parque Central de Santiago: Santiago’s new city park
Classes called off on 22 February in Cibao public schools
Proposal for railroad to Haiti and airport in San Francisco de Macorís
Guillermo Moreno on the valley of San Juan de la Maguana
Port workers demand payment of Christmas bonus
Strike in Cambita, San Cristobál
Marlon Martínez to stay in preventive custody
Sentencing expected soon for transport murders
Detroit Pistons’ Luis Montero to play for Team DR




President Medina changes Indotel head and more
The Medina Presidency announced around 50 new appointments, but none of these are ministers. More changes could be forthcoming. On Monday, Administrative Minister of the Presidency José Ramón Peralta had advanced there would be changes in the Medina administration. Dominican governments have traditionally made cabinet changes prior to the President giving the annual state of the nation speech on occasion of Independence Day, 27 February at the National Congress to highlight achievements of the government.

The Presidency announced Luis Henry Molina will replace José Del Castillo Saviñon as president of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel). Del Castillo was not named to another position. Molina had been in charge of CEI-RD where he was leading a major overhaul of efforts to increase exports and investments, including the creation of a new public-private entity, Pro Dominicana.

To direct the CEI-RD, President Medina appointed politician Marius de León Pérez, who previously was director of the National System of Pensions and before that a deputy operative director at the Customs Agency. Online sources mention he had been appointed an advisor to the CDEEE with a wage of RD$300,000 in 2012. The same feature in El Nacional explains that he is an accountant and supplier of the government power distributors EdeSur, EdeNorte and EdeNorte through the company Atal Dominicana. Germán Nova was named director of pensions to replace Marius de León Pérez.

The Presidency also announced the appointment of economist and lawyer Chanel Mateo Rosa Chupani as head of the National Health Service (SNS), replacing Dr. Nelson Rodríguez Monegro. Rosa Chupani had successfully led the government health provider, SENASA, who was appointed advisor to the President on the hospital system.

The Presidency announced the appointment of PRD politician and former mayor of Santo Domingo and minister of Tourism, 75-year old Rafael Suberví Bonilla as president of the Dominican Hydroelectric Generation Corporations Council (EgeHID). Suberví is a member of the PRD party that was an ally to President Danilo Medina in his quest for re-election in the 2016 election.

Journalist and lawyer Ricardo Rojas León was appointed member of the Monetary Board.

Among the appointments are those of Antonio De León (Tony), as deputy director of the Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD), and Ángel Canó, director of the National Energy Commission (CNE).

Dozens of other minor appointments, most to missions abroad, are included in the government changes announced on 19 February 2018.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...l-rosa-chupani
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iaipANbVEo

http://eldia.com.do/chanel-rosa-plan...institucional/

http://elnacional.com.do/cdeee-paga-...s-en-asesores/


Luis Henry Molina on ProDominicana to promote Dominican exports
In what would be his last public appearance as director of the Center for Exports and Investments (CEI-RD), Luis Henry Molina was interviewed by Hoy newspaper on the creation of ProDominicana as a platform for the promotion of exports and attraction of direct foreign investment. The CEI-RD was the leader of the creation of the new public-private entity. The intention is to back producers and investors with a catalogue of new services including market intelligence, advisory services to take advantage of tax incentives, export workshops and promotion of productive linkages, among others.

The entity was created by Decree 275-17. It calls for public entities, associations and business guilds linked to exports and investments to collaborate with the CEI-RD to achieve the set objectives. It is also a platform for the implementation of the National Promotion Strategy for Exports and Attraction of Investments.

http://hoy.com.do/prodominicana-busc...exportaciones/


Ministry of Industry & Commerce on efforts to increase exports
According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and SMEs, the Dominican Republic is discussing a series of measure to increase the level of exports with the goal of achieving over US$10,000 million this year.

According to a press release, the Ministry explained that a technical team is working on proposals that will be presented to President Danilo Medina, who has declared 2018 to be the year for development of exports.

The measures include the launching of the platform Pro-Dominicana Conecta, as well as the launching of the Pro-Dominican Business Center.

As part of the development of Free Zone export, Director General of the National Board of Free Zones (CNZF), Luisa Fernandez, has said that they have approved eight measures including the strategic plan for the medical devices sub-sector and the activation of an online platform to develop the supply chain.

http://almomento.net/r-dom-espera-es...lones-dolares/


President Medina visits Vicente Noble, Barahona
On Sunday 18 February 2018, President Danilo Medina was in Vicente Noble, Barahona, for his 196th “uannounced visit” to give support to the United Farmers Association (APAU) whose members want to plant around 1,000 tareas of dragon fruit, also known as pitahaya. President Medina also listened to their requests for a photocopy center, electrical pumps, to repair the local roads and irrigation canals as well as other water related issues.

Medina instructed the Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD) to donate two water pumps and to start to work to provide definitive title deeds to the landowners and also instructed the Ministry of Agriculture to repair the roads.

He said that someone from the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources would come to look at the issue of the irrigation canals. He also promised to look into the financing for the 1,000 tareas and promised to build a copy center and donate a truck.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...haya-YF9236089


Government of Japan donates seismic alert systems
Japan Ambassador Hiroyuki Makiuchi announced that Japan has donated equipment valued in RD$61 million to the Dominican government that will serve to alert several communities of the danger of flooding, landslides due to heavy rains and earthquakes. The equipment will be delivered in March 2018.

The first system is 10 seismic stations that will be installed in San José de Ocoa, Barahona, Santo Domingo, Independencia, Hato Mayor, Dajabón, Puerto Plata, Santiago and La Vega.

A second group of earthquake accelerometers will be installed at the building where the National Geological Service (SGN) is located. The equipment will serve to monitor activity of the geologic faults in the north and south of the country and variations and river rainfall levels of 20 rivers.

Ambassador Makiuchi said the equipment would serve to prevent disasters such as that which occurred on 24 May 2004 when flooding caused by intense rivers caused many deaths in Jimaní.

The director of the Servicio Geológico Nacional, Santiago Muñoz Tapia, explained the equipment would assist agencies to assess the vulnerability and risk factors of several areas in the country in order to make recommendations to prevent disasters.

http://www.do.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_es/NP2014SGN.html


Parque Central de Santiago: Santiago’s new city park
The Santiago City Government opened the Santiago Central Park (Parque Central de Santiago) to the general park on Sunday, 18 February 2018. The Ministry of Public Works announced the official inauguration on Tuesday, 20 February. The park has an area of around 350,000 square meters. Some 80,000 trees were planted to contribute to the biodiversity of the new ecosystem that is now the main green space of the country’s second largest city. The trees serve as an important habitat of bird species in the area.

The park includes play areas and a botanical gardens section that later was relocated to Licey on the outskirts of Santiago. As part of the construction, the Ministry of Public Works contracts took advantage of the runway to build sports courts for basketball, tennis, bicycling and other sports.

The park is centrally located at Av. Bartolome Colon. An outside gate was built to control the admission to the park and its security.

The construction start was announced in 2006 after the park site had first been set aside for construction by Decree 383-00 dated 8 August 2000.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpQyvi_7sew
http://eldia.com.do/obras-publicas-a...l-de-santiago/


Classes called off on 22 February in Cibao public schools
The Public School Teachers Association (ADP) announced that hundreds of teachers would meet in front of the 14 provincial governor offices in the Cibao as of 10am on Thursday, 22 February 2018.

The gathering of educators is part of efforts of the ADP to pressure Education Minister Andrés Navarro to desist from the new method of using short lists (Ordinance 24-2017) to choose the regional and district directors of the public education system. The 14 provinces were classes would be affected by the concentrations of the teachers are: Santiago, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel, Duarte, Puerto Plata, Santiago Rodríguez, Espaillat, María Trinidad Sánchez, Hermanas Mirabal, Montecristi, Valverde, Dajabón, Samaná and Sánchez Ramírez.

On 15-16 February 2018, the ADP called for the teachers to not give classes in public schools in the National District and the Santo Domingo province.
The ADP says the short lists violate Art. 139 of the General Education Law 66-07 and teachers’ rights.

http://elnacional.com.do/adp-dejara-...14-provincias/


Proposal for railroad to Haiti and airport in San Francisco de Macorís
The Regional Development Council (CRD), made up of organizations in the central Cibao, has proposed several infrastructure projects for the development of the country to President Danilo Medina, including the construction of railroad linking the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The railroad would go from the northeast, pass through the ports of Haina, Caucedo, then Cibao Central and the province of Puerto Plata, and end up in Haiti. The Director General of the CRD, Isócrates Peña, also proposed the construction of a northeastern airport in San Francisco de Macoris

https://listindiario.com/economia/20...iones-en-haiti


Guillermo Moreno on the valley of San Juan de la Maguana
Al Pais politician Guillermo Moreno warns in an op-ed that the potential damage to the province of San Juan de la Maguana by mining needs to be seen in the context of the importance of the province for local food security.

Moreno says that 14% of the country’s farmland (approximately 2,880,000 tareas at 629 square meters per tarea) is located in the province of San Juan de la Maguana. He said the province produces 50% of the beans consumed in the country and 70% of the seeds for the growing of beans and 11% of rice production. San Juan is also a major producer of sweet potatoes, pigeon peas, onions, cassava, tomato, squash, mango, avocados and lemons.

He said that nevertheless the province is very poor because of the absence of adequate public policies. He said that farmers are trapped by the many levels of commercialization whereby they are forced to sell their farm goods almost at cost and these items are sold in supermarkets at markups ranging from 200 to 300%. He also criticized the unfair competition from importers with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture that issues illegal import permits. He also mentioned the scarcity of water in the province.

Moreno said there are two dams in the region: Sabana Yegua (that is composed by Azua Barahona, and Neyba) and Sabaneta. Sabaneta is at 740 meters above sea level and irrigates the farmland of San Juan that, at 400-450 meters above sea level.

He points out that the Goldquest Hondo Valle gold discovery is at 50 or 60 meters below the surface in the area of the confluence of the Guama and San Juan rivers that feed the Sabaneta Dam. He said the mine will cause mayor damages because the proposed mining operation would be between 800 and 900 meters above sea level. Moreno said that mining above the Sabaneta Dam rain waters will discharge sediment into the Sabaneta dam aggravating the diminishing waters that feed the dam and that are used for farming.

He observes the Academy of Sciences has recommended the government deny permission for the mining operation and established that metallic mining cannot be allowed above 500 meters without causing serious damage to water production and the environment.

Moreno writes that the most serious situation is that the Hondo Valle mine is just one of 16 other mining concessions the Ministry of Energy and Mines has granted to the company in the San Juan Valley. He says the exploration ranges from Padre Las Casas to Dajabon.

“We are at risk of the Central Cordillera being devastated and with it the main source of water production in the country. If allowed, the Republic will be a wasteland, "barren of wildlife and depopulated,” he alerted.

https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...-oro-FD9234315


Port workers demand payment of Christmas bonus
Port workers have demanded that President Medina order the payment of more than RD$50 million that is owed to them for their Christmas bonus and which they should have received back in December.

Nicolás de la Rosa, secretary general of the Port Workers of Boca Chica union, speaking at a press conference has warned that if they do not receive the money in the next few days they will strike and picket the ports.

At the same time Jacobo Ramos, president of the National Confederation of Dominican Workers (CNTD), also asked President Medina to pay the port workers, saying there is no explanation as to why they have not been paid when it was the law and the money was in the budget. He also warned that other affiliated unions would take to the streets if the port workers were not paid.

http://elnacional.com.do/portuarios-...galia-pascual/


Strike in Cambita, San Cristobál
Yesterday, Monday 19 February 2018, there was a strike in Cambita, San Cristóbal where all businesses were closed along with the schools. There was also no public transport.

The strike was supported by local residents who are demanding the repair of a bridge that was destroyed during hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2018.

The 24 hour strike was called by the United Cambita Fighting Committee that also called for an aqueduct, repairing the streets and a police station among other demands.

In some access points to San Cristobal, tires were burned preventing traffic from passing.

The police were present but there were no reports of any injuries or people arrested.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...bras-DF9236544


Marlon Martínez to stay in preventive custody
Marlon Martínez will stay in prison in preventive custody for another three months on top of the six months he has already been there, charged with the murder of teenager Emely Peguero. The court said that he should remain in jail as there was no certainty he would not flee, given that he and his lawyers have not given any guarantees of his continuing to follow through the legal process were he to be released.

Marlon Martínez was given three months of preventive custody in September, then again in November and now once again.

His mother, Marlin Martínez, has also spent six months in preventive custody since the investigation into the murder of 16-year old Emely Peguero began. The body was found in a suitcase in Cayetano Germosen, in Espaillat province on 31 August 2017. Marlon and his mother Marlin are accused of the murder of the young woman who was pregnant. Marlon is said to have been the father of the aborted child.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...-otros-3-meses


Sentencing expected soon for transport murders
Following 32 hearings for those charged in a network of assassins who killed three drivers from the National Transport Federation the New Option (Fenatrano), National District court judges could now be ready to make their final ruling.

Yesterday, Monday 19 February, Judge Yissel Soto said she would hear the closing arguments from attorneys of the accused. Dr. Plutarco Jaquez, who represents the ex-councilor from the municipality of Pedro Brand, Ericson de los Santos Solis, will lead the closing arguments.

Following the closing statements, the court would retire to deliberate the verdict.

The Public Prosecution Service has asked the court to convict Arsenio Quevedo and Danilo Reynoso and sentence them to 20 years in jail. The prosecution has also requested that Ericson de los Santos Solis, Amauris Cabrera, Danilo Octavio Díaz and Cristino Batista receive 30 years in prison.

The lawyers of the families of the murdered and injured drivers have asked for compensation of RD$800 million to be paid by the accused men and sentences from 20 to 30 years in jail.

The defense lawyer of Arsenio Quevedo has asked the court to dismiss all charges against their client stating there was not sufficient proof that he participated in the criminal actions.

Amauris Cabrera admitted his part in the murder of two of the drivers saying that his regulation weapon had seven bullets, but he only used two in what he called a “confusing incident” which lead to the deaths of Ángel Javier and Overnys Guerrero.

During the process the Public Prosecution service presented 165 forms of evidence, of which the trial rejected 74, including a warrant for a raid on the home of transport businessman Arsenio Quevedo and a raid at the head office of Transport Union (Unatrafin).

The group accused of the murders of drivers Overnys Guerrero, Ángel Javier and Mateo Nieves de Jesús, are also accused of criminal association, illegal arms possession and being in a gang of assassins to execute drivers and control public transport routes.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...so-red-sicario


Detroit Pistons’ Luis Montero to play for Team DR
6’7 Detroit Pistons player, 24-year old Dominican Luis David Montero (Pinguilin) will be paying for the Dominican Republic in the FIBA World Cup qualifier tournament to take place at the Sir Kendall Isaacs Gymnasium in Nassau, Bahamas. The game is set for Thursday, 22 February at 8pm. The Dominican team will match Bahamas. On Sunday, 25 February, the Dominican team will play the US Virgin Islands.

This is the first time that Montero plays for the Dominican team. He has been in the NBA since the 2015-16 season, when he debuted with the Portland Trailblazers.

The Dominican Republic leads in the Group D of the tournament with two wins, followed by Canada and US Virgin Islands (1-1) and Bahamas (0-2).

http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...ebruary-window