President Medina visits pig farmers
Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan underway for Santiago
DR signs Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea
Cost of family basket increases
Venezuelans make up highest percent increase in foreigners
PRM gives final numbers for party president and secretary general election
Ocean World receives certification
Details of irregularities at the Omsa shared
Contreras to be deported to the DR in Ramirez murder case
Dominican government defense in Jamaca de Dios case
Police confident they have solved the case of murder of former Customs Agency director
Stable weather expected
Night, Mother at the National Theater



President Medina visits pig farmers
On Sunday, 15 April 2018, President Danilo Medina visited the La Emboscada neighborhood, in Cienfuegos, in Santiago de los Caballeros, where he met with the Pig Farmers Association PRIN 4 that has 117 members. The purpose of the visit was to discuss government support for building and equipping a modern and environmentally safe barn for breeding pigs. Medina said government support would enable the completion of the barn in six months.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...-en-cienfuegos


Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan underway for Santiago
The city of Santiago is on its way to be the first Dominican city to have a mobility plan, as a first step for the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility, (PIMUS), under the city government of Mayor Abel Martínez.

Alberto Marín, senior urban mobility planner at the international consulting firm Idom, explained the main points of the Santiago city renewal project at a meeting at the Edificio Empresarial in Santo Domingo with municipal authorities, officers of the National Transit and Ground Transport Institute (Intrant), city councilors, business and public in general on Friday, 13 April 2018.

He said the PIMUS is a series of actions to rebalance the city's transportation network to give all users the opportunity to navigate the city safely and efficiently. The plan calls for the creation of a network of streets that gives people the option to walk, bike, take transit or enjoy public spaces in an orderly manner.

Also participating in the meeting for the city of Santiago were José Manuel Villalona Sosa, director of Transit and Municipal Transport who highlighted the importance of the advances achieved in mobility so far and Juan Carlos Ortiz Abreu, president of the Council for Strategic Development of Santiago (CDES) who said the advances are timely for Santiago.

Reynaldo Peguero, director of the Council for the Strategic Development of Santiago (CDES), said the plan gives priority to pedestrians and people with limited mobility, urban cyclists and users of public transport as well as private vehicles. He said the plan is to serve as a model for a more humane city with more spaces for walking and enjoying the city. He highlighted the hundreds of public art in the city, the reduction by half of the outside advertising that obstructs the view, and the massive rescuing of public spaces in primary roads of the city, in addition to better signage of the main roads and avenues.

Participating in the plan are the developers of the Land Use Plan (POT), the Council for Strategic Development of Santiago (CDES), the Inter American Development Bank, the Idom consulting firm and the City Government of Santiago.

https://santiagodeloscaballeros.gob....na-sostenible/
https://www.idom.com/


DR signs Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea
Environment Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito signed on 6 April 2018 the Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea, the Bermuda News reported. The Declaration is a political commitment by the signatories to work with the Government of Bermuda and the Sargasso Sea Commission to conserve the Sargasso Sea — the high seas ecosystem in the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre.

The Hamilton Declaration was originally signed in Bermuda in March 2014 by five governments — The Azores, Bermuda, Monaco, the United Kingdom and the United States. The British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Canada signed in 2016, and the Cayman Islands in 2017. The Dominican Republic is now the most recent signatory.

Bermuda Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown said, “I am delighted to have the Dominican Republic join our Sargasso Sea family. We now have 10 Government Signatories and I am sure this will further advance the impact of this important and ground-breaking initiative.”

He explained that the Sargasso Sea is a unique ecosystem of nearly 5 million square kilometers in area — which is based on species of seaweed, Sargassum. The importance of the area is that the Sargassum mats act as a major spawning and nursery area for threatened and endangered species, including sea turtles and billfish, as well as for commercial species of tuna, wahoo and dolphinfish.
“It is the only place in the world where the European eel and the American eel spawn. They then migrate 3,000 miles back to the continents of Europe and North America. Both eel species are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List. The European eel is critically endangered. Young eels – ‘elvers’ – are caught and exported to the Far East for the sushi trade.

“The EU has banned international trade in the young European elvers which has put increased pressure on other eel species, particularly American eels, which live in the rivers of the Caribbean region [including the Dominican Republic] but swim to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.

The Hamilton Declaration mandated the Government of Bermuda to establish the Sargasso Sea Commission to “exercise a stewardship role for the Sargasso Sea and keep its health, productivity and resilience under continual review”.

The Sargasso Sea Commission is appointed by the Government of Bermuda after consultation with the other signatories. It is composed of distinguished scientists and other persons of international repute committed to the conservation of high seas ecosystems that would serve in their personal capacity.

http://bernews.com/2018/04/dominican...n-declaration/


Cost of family basket increases
According to information published last week by the Central Bank, the Price of the products and services which make up the family basket for the poorest in the country registered the highest increase during the last year.

Over the last 12 months the most basic basket has risen in price from RD$13,220.72 in March 2017 to RD$13,783.77 at the end of March this year.

On analyzing the increase, economist Miguel Collado Di Franco said that it is obvious this will cause a major impact in the homes of families with the highest level of poverty.

The main reason for the increase was a 5.3% spike in food prices plus alcoholic beverages which have increased by 6.2% in the year, followed by 4.5% increase in transport and housing is also up by 4.2%.

There are different family baskets depending on social strata with the average costing RD$30,149.07 at the end of March this year. However those in the highest social class spend more with the basket costing RD$61,586.58. Those in the level below pay RD$31,461.53 that is an increase of 3.9% over the last year, and the level below that pay RD$24,119.01. The second lowest basket is at RD$19,661.61.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...-ano-KL9638185


Venezuelans make up highest percent increase in foreigners
According to the Second National Immigrant Survey, carried out in 2017, the foreign population in the Dominican Republic is 570,933, which is equivalent to 5.6% of the total population. Of these some 497,825 were born in Haiti, for 87.2% and the remaining 73,108 are from other countries.

In addition the study reveals that in the last five years the numbers of immigrants, mainly Haitians and Venezuelans has increased by 50,000 (some 9,260 persons a year).

Economy Minister Isidoro Santana said that this year the descendants of immigrants reached 277,046 of which some 253,255 were of Haitian origin.

The increase in the number of immigrants year to year is basically due to arrivals of Haitians and Venezuelans who come for work reasons. 80% of Haitians and Venezuelans are aged between 15 and 45. Over the last five years the number of Haitians has increased by nearly 40,000 from 458,233 in 2012 to 497,825 in 2017 which is 8.6% over five years.

Over the same period the number of Venezuelans has increased by over 653% from 3,434 in 2012 to 25,872 in 2017. The numbers of other foreigners is more or less unchanged.

http://almomento.net/poblacion-extra...e-847-mil-979/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...onal-NC9646438
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...l#.WtULD9Pwa9s
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...onal-NC9646438
http://economia.gob.do/segunda-encue...ca-dominicana/


PRM gives final numbers for party president and secretary general election
The organizing commission for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), the country’s leading opposition party, has shared the results for the election of the party president and secretary general. The election is important because these will be the responsible to prepare the party for the 2020 general election.

Puerto Plata senator José Ignacio Paliza won with 228,783 votes or 75.97% of the votes cast for the position. Other candidates for president, Jesus Feris Iglesias received 25,097 votes and Geanilda Vasquez 20,964 votes.

Carolina Mejía, daughter of former President Hipólito Mejía, won the position of secretary general with 127,991 votes or 70.22% of the votes cast for the position. Other participants, Jesus Vasquez received 37,610 votes for 20.63%, Leonardo Fana received 7,692 votes for 4.2% and Feliz Jimenez Campusano, 3,302 votes for 1.81%.


Ocean World receives certification
Ocean World Adventure Park in Puerto Plata has achieved certification through the global American Humane Conservation program for the welfare and humane treatment of the animals under its care. Ocean World passed a rigorous third-party audit to become the first institution in the Caribbean to earn the prestigious Humane Certified seal of approval.

The American Humane Conservation program is the first-ever certification program solely devoted to helping verify the humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers across the globe. The program enforces rigorous, evidence-based standards of comprehensive animal welfare, developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation.

"Our entire team is honored to be the first institution in the Caribbean to achieve this prestigious certification for animal welfare," said Stefan Meister, Vice President of Ocean World Adventure Park. "Our animals' care and well-being have always been our priority. Receiving the Humane Certified seal from the world's most respected humane organization shows our commitment to meeting the highest standards of humane animal care."

"It is our responsibility as the trusted and expert guardians of more than 2,000 animals to always provide them with exceptional and humane care," added Kees DeGroot, zoological director at Ocean World. "Our team of professionals is truly dedicated and passionate about the well-being of our beloved animal family and as a result, they are thriving under our care."

The American Humane Conservation program's extensive criteria exhaustively verify the many dimensions of animal welfare and well-being, with areas of evaluation including: excellent health and housing; positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe and stimulating environments, with concern for factors such as appropriate lighting, sound levels, air quality, and thermoregulation; and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to prevent and manage medical or operational emergencies.

https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleas...-for-animal-we


Details of irregularities at the Omsa shared
An audit carried out by the Audit Chamber on the Metropolitan Office for Autobus services (OMSA) during the time period 22 August 2012 and 17 October 2017 has revealed serious irregularities in the contracting of purchases and services involving thousands of millions of pesos, possibly implicating high level government officials of OMSA as well as technicians of the Internal Audit Unit of the General Accounting Office of the Republic. Among the issues is a majority of payments were made for work that was not backed by regular contracts, the contracting of works to persons and companies related to the OMSA officers and multiple cases of duplication of contracting and payment of major repair work for OMSA buses.

The final report of the special investigation exposes that there are serious issues which could lead to jail sentences for those involved.

According to the report, during the period under investigation, only 51 suppliers were paid, authorized by director of OMSA, for an amount of RD$3,029,885,296 without signed contracts between the parties.

Among the discoveries were 3,535 purchase orders to 33 companies, without complying with article 28 of Procurement Law 340 for RD$2,157,174,862 that is 64% of the total purchases during the audited period.

In addition it has been established that during the management of Engineer Manuel Rivas the contracts were awarded to different companies linked to government officials of OMSA for an amount of RD$31, 979,524.

This includes the companies Suplifarma Jyy, Farmas, and Jhr Express which have as partners Rosa Elena Peña and Yumilde del Carmen Rosario Díaz who are the wife and sister of the financial manger of OMSA Faustino Rosario and Empresa Ramel Corp, represented by José Esteban Valenzuela.

Empresa Ramel Corp obtained six contracts and orders for games, making T shirts and polo shirts, breakfast, snacks, lunch and signs for autobuses for an amount of RD$18,715,749.

Farmas, Jhr Express were paid RD$11,005,243 to provide pharmaceutical products and Suplifarma Jyy were paid RD$2,258,532 for commercial operations.

The paperwork for the awarding of the contract was signed by the OMSA officials Pedro Messon, president, representing the Director General; Nelson Mejía, administration manager, member; Willian Hernández, legal consultant, member; Víctor Eugenio Torres Rosa, manager of planning and investment projects, member (up to June 2013); and Rosa María Cruz Aracena, responsible for Access to Information, member.

All of the these payments were authorized by Director General Manual Rivas and financial manager Faustino Rosario Díaz taking no notice of the functions, competency and individual responsibility of each official.

The investigators also found nine new contracts for RD$145, 564,199 to provide equipment for the OMSA workshops awarded to Tech Solution and Grupo Martisdom owned by Eddy Santana Zorrilla, accused of bribing Yuniol Ramirez, who was murdered near the UASD on 11 October 2017.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...ias-en-la-omsa
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...s-de-urgencias


Contreras to be deported to the DR in Ramirez murder case
Argenis Contreras, a lead suspect in the murder of lawyer Yuniol Ramírez, has agreed to his deportation to the Dominican Republic in a court hearing before a United States judge.

According to his lawyer, Carlos Balcácer, Contreras will return to the country within a week to ten days, and he hopes his life will not be in danger when he returns as he will name the two police officers who he alleges committed the murder.

In connection with the case, several suspects are currently in jail serving preventive custody terms including the wife of Argenis Contreras, Heydi Carolina Peña, Manuel Rivas, ex director of the Metropolitan Office of Bus Services (OMSA); José Mercado Blanco (El Grande) and Faustino Rosario Díaz, former financial director of OMSA.
In addition, Lucas Tobía Ortega Duarte, uncle of Argenis Contreras; Víctor Elisander Raverlo Campos (“El Herrero”), and Jorge Luis Abreu Fabián (“DJ and El Taxista”), accused of covering up for Argenis Contreras and attempting to destroy evidence.
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...de-deportacion


Dominican government defense in Jamaca de Dios case
Investors/owners of Jamaca de Dios SRL and Aroma de la Montaña, E.I.R.L in Jarabacoa presented in a Florida international arbitration court a complaint against the Ministry of Environment and the Jarabacoa local government for rejecting their request to expand Jamaca de Dios, a residential and tourism project in Jarabacoa. In the case, Michael and Lisa Ballantine alleged that the Ministry of Environment and the City of Jarabacoa had wrongly refused them approvals needed to continue their development of the gated community in the Dominican Republic’s central mountain range.

In a new development in April, in its defense, the Dominican government has urged the Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal to toss-out the American couple’s US$41.5 million claim alleging the country obstructed their gated community’s ecotourism expansion, saying the couple used their Dominican nationality to avoid fees, but then played up their Florida connections to file the international claim under the DR-CAFTA free trade rules. The defense argues that arbitrators lack jurisdiction to consider the case because the couple acted as Dominican citizens when signing contracts, getting a loan and obtaining licenses for the development. Jamaca de Dios investments were in real estate and infrastructure to create a gated complex of luxury homes, restaurants, a hotel and spa.

https://www.italaw.com/cases/2698


Police confident they have solved the case of murder of former Customs Agency director
The Police reported the arrest of the brother of the former director of Customs Agency, Roberto Jesus Bisonó Cabrera, for the death of the latter and his son-in-law Eliceo Darío Esteban Martínez Aquino. The two were found dead inside a vehicle in La Lomota de Altamira in Puerto Plata.

The spokesman for the Police, Frank Durán Mejía, said that units of the Criminal Investigations Agency (Dicrim) collected sufficient evidence that incriminates Apolinar Federico Bisonó Pérez as intellectual author of the murder of Bisonó Cabrera and his son-in-law Martínez Aquino. Surveillance video and telephone conversations in the sector of Villa Nueva Arriba, Navarrete helped the Police reach these conclusions. When arrested, Bisonó Pérez said he had planned the death of his brother for two years due to a clash over the management of a family farm. He decided to order the killing of his brother because he was very difficult and would not share the yields of the farm.

Also under arrest are Ceferino Durán Arias (El Gringo) and Reynaldo Vargas Reyes, among others.

https://www.metrord.do/do/destacado/...asesinato.html
http://eldia.com.do/prision-preventi...o-en-altamira/


Stable weather expected
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) forecasts stable weather during the daytime for the beginning of the week. But late afternoon showers are possible due to a weather front moving our way, especially in the northeast and north. Weather alerts for flooding and overflowing rivers have been discontinued for all provinces.
http://eldia.com.do/meteorologia-pre...-dos-vaguadas/


Night, Mother at the National Theater
“Night, Mother,” the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Marsha Norman, will be performed at the Sala Ravelo of the National Theater starting Thursday, 10 May 2018. Maria Castillo is director and one of the two actresses.

The play is about a mother Mama and her daughter, Jessie, who announces that she is about to commit suicide. The subsequent dialogue between Jessie and Mama slowly reveals her reasons for her decision, her life with Mama, and how thoroughly she has planned her own death, culminating in a disturbing, yet unavoidable climax.

The play won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.

Tickets are for sale at the National Theater box office.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27night,_Mother