Presidency confirms Medina will be in Costa Rica for presidential inaugural
Overhaul of hospital in Barahona
PRM says they are united against open primaries
Julio Martínez Pozo and Dany Alcántara investigated in Odebrecht case
Fenatrano says peaceful transport protests to begin
More Haitians repatriated
Dominican vehicle fleet too old
Jesuit priest calls for better ethics in Catholic Church
Journalist protest following assault
Women in preventive custody in case of money found in Haina
Rains should decrease but provinces still on alert
Tribute to Sonia Silvestre at Escenario 360




Presidency confirms Medina will be in Costa Rica for presidential inaugural
President Danilo Medina will be traveling to San José, Costa Rica on Tuesday, 8 May 2018 to attend the inauguration of President-elect Carlos Alvarado. This is the sixth visit by President Medina to Costa Rica since his own first inaugural on 16 August 2012.

President Medina heads the Central American Integration System (SICA) that unites the heads of state of Central America countries and the Dominican Republic. The new president of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, is a 38-year old journalist, writer and musician and will replace President Luis Guillermo Solís.


Overhaul of hospital in Barahona
The Ministry of Public Health and the National Health Service (SNS) are sending new equipment to the main public hospital in Barahona in the southwest to improve medical services in the region. Investigations into the deaths of eight newborn babies at the Jaime Mota Hospital in Barahona revealed a lack of equipment, a shortage of medical staff and lapses in following standard protocols and procedures that may have compromised the health care and safety of patients in the hospital where the deaths occurred.

The interim director of the hospital, Cornelio Rodríguez, told the press the hospital has received new beds, pulse oxymeters, cardio fetal monitors, cribs, phototherapy lamps, gooseneck lamps, incubators, sphygmomanometers both wall mounted and portable for children, as well as oxygen tanks.

The maternity services of the hospital are being relocated temporarily to the old hospital of the Dominican Social Security Institute while physical improvements are made at the hospital.

Provincial Health director, Manuel González, visited the Jaime Mota Hospital to check on the progress of the repairs and to assure that procedures are being implemented that will guarantee the medical facility meets the minimum requirements set by the Ministry of Public Health.

Chanel Rosa Chupany, director of SNS, said that a new director will be assigned to the hospital this week. It has been reported that the current temporary director, Cornelio Rodriguez, is not interested in seeking the new director post at the hospital.

A report released on Monday, 7 May 2018 from the Dominican Medical Guild (CMD) indicates that the Barahona hospital was affected at least four types of bacteria and links these to the recent deaths of newborns at the hospital. Among the bacteria found in an assessment by the CMD technicians were Serratia marcesens (39%), Klebsiella and Staphylococcus (25%) and Escherichia coli (12.5%) when international acceptable levels are 5%.
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...an-al-director
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...al-de-barahona


PRM says they are united against open primaries
The executive board of the leading opposition party, the PRM, met on Monday, 7 May 2018, and in a press conference afterwards said that the party had reached an agreement to back the inclusion of an article on simultaneous yet closed voting list primaries for all the political parties. The PRM board rejects the bill that passed in the Senate that calls for open primaries, using the Central Electoral Board (JCE) voting list, and that while simultaneous would require the JCE to rule on mechanisms that would not allow voters to cast their votes in different primaries on the same day.

In a first time the bill would have been discussed in the Chamber of Deputies, the quorum for the discussion was not reached. Andres Bautista, president of the PRM, said they would request that the bill pass first to a special commission prior to it moving for a vote by the members of the Chamber of Deputies. Bautista says that the party confirms the position it had announced on 24 April 2018.

The party appeared divided, after former President Hipolito Mejia went public instructing the PRM deputies loyal to him to vote for open primaries. The meeting held at the Casa Nacional del PRM was attended by 43 of the 49 deputies of the political party. Former President Hipolito Mejia did not attend, but the elect secretary general of the party, his daughter Carolina Mejia was present. Also attending was president-elect José Ignacio Paliza, and former presidential candidate Luis Abinader.

On Monday, 7 May 2018, former President Hipolito Mejia had met for an hour with Luis Abinader. Former President Hipólito Mejía refused to offer details yesterday, Monday 7 May 2018, of an hour long meeting he had with Luis Abinader and other party officials of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) at the residence of former senator Andrés Bautista.

Seven deputies who support Hipólito Mejía did not attend the session at the Chamber of Deputies last Wednesday, 2 May 2018, when the Political Parties Bill with the clause for open primaries was debated. It was suggested that absence of legislators during the session was a signal that they were opposed to the official position of the PRM party that had rejected open primaries.

http://eldia.com.do/hipolito-mejia-r...os-dirigentes/
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...e-con-abinader
http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2018/05/0...sus-diputados/


Julio Martínez Pozo and Dany Alcántara investigated in Odebrecht case
Popular news commentators Julio Martínez Pozo and Dany Alcántara are in the limelight, after the Attorney General announced they are investigating these two for their ties with Angel Rondón, the commercial representative of Odebrecht who has admitted to having received around US$92 million in payment for his services to the company. Odebrecht had admitted to paying US$92 million in bribes in the Dominican Republic to expedite the granting of contract work. The radio and TV commentators are best known for their defense of government actions.

The Attorney General Office made public it had obtained permission from Supreme Court special instruction judge Francisco Ortega Polanco to investigate Alcantara and Martinez and their relatives for possibly having served as Rondon in the distribution of the payments to government officers and former officers in the name of Odebrecht. The announcement by the Attorney General Office comes when the deadline for the presenting of the case against Odebrecht is nearing on 9 June 2018. The Attorney General Office will have had a year to prepare the case, including a four-month extension granted in February 2018.

In a press conference at the Dominican Journalists Guild (Colegio Dominicano de Periodistas), Martínez and Alcántara accused Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez of acting as an associate of Odebrecht when not investigating the supposed bribes also paid by the Odebrecht associate companies for the 17 projects carried in the country from 2001 to 2014.

Rafael Núñez, former press spokesman for former President Leonel Fernández, said the investigation is part of a supposed dirty campaign carried out in the inside of the ruling PLD party by persons loyal to President Danilo Medina and against Fernández.

The Attorney General Office is investigating 14 persons in the bribes scandal for actions that occurred during the governments of Hipólito Mejia (2000-2004), and Leonel Fernandez (2004-2012). All of the former government officers accused in the case were authorized to post bail, with the exception of lawyer Conrad Pittaluga who is on domiciliary arrest.

Meanwhile, an editorial in Diario Libre alerts to the manipulation of the media by the government. “That is the reason for the multimillion investment of the Administration in advertising and ‘other expenses’ that include a bulging payroll of those that the people call ‘loudspeakers’. “It is evident that someone is manipulating the national agenda and it is not the media that are simply acting as loudspeakers of the music that someone else is playing,” says the editorial on 8 May 2018. Diario Libre calls for the press to fulfill its role and not fall into the trap of the manipulators.

As reported, on Sunday, 6 May 2018, the Attorney General’s Office issued a statement saying that all of those involved in the investigation surrounding the Odebrecht case should cooperate with the authorities.
https://www.listindiario.com/la-repu...de-periodistas
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...l#.WvGN_dPwa9s
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...s-de-odebrecht
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...caso-odebrecht
http://hoy.com.do/procuraduria-respo...nny-alcantara/
http://hoy.com.do/julio-martinez-poz...za-e-intimida/
http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2018...odebrecht.html
https://www.diariolibre.com/opinion/...esta-BK9815470


Fenatrano says peaceful transport protests to begin
The president of the National Federation of Transport the New Option (Fenatrano), Juan Hubieres, has said that beginning today, Tuesday, 7 May, 2018, there will begin a series of peaceful protests in order to urge the authorities to reduce the price of fuel and to respect the rights of the drivers to operate freely.

He said that with the increases in the price of fuel it was almost impossible to continue operations and that they had given the government a study showing that there needed to be an increase in the fares.
Hubieres said that the protests would be peaceful and would not affect the transport routes.
The price of fuel has steadily risen over the past year.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...nana-YY9809230


More Haitians repatriated
Over the past six months, 18,959 Haitians have been repatriated and 32,615 different articles have been confiscated including vehicles. A report prepared by the commander of the third Army brigade (ERD), Colonel Wilson Castillo González, explains that of the Haitians repatriated to Haiti, 16,504 were men, 2,369 women and 80 children, ranging from newborns to teenagers.

The confiscations of articles to and from Haiti at the border towns included 415.67 pounds of marihuana, 32,615 pounds of garlic, 119 motorcycles, 10, 289 stock cubes, 7,614 packets of cigarettes, and 1,140 tree trunks for fencing which were cut down in the Dominican Republic for export to Haiti.

Many of the Haitians residing illegally in the country who were detained in the operation tried to blend into the crowds during the bi-national market days, hoping to avoid being detained and deported.

http://hoy.com.do/autoridades-han-re...en-seis-meses/


Dominican vehicle fleet too old
The Dominican vehicle fleet in both the public and private sectors is rapidly aging. It is estimated that there are 4,097,338 vehicles registered in the country, of which 48.5% are an average of 18 years old. The most recent report from the Tax Agency (DGII) indicates that there are 1,987,299 four wheeled vehicles, which were manufactured before the year 2000, most of which are in Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago, the two largest cities.

Of the 865,186 cars, around 63% (or 542,743) were manufactured last century and in the case of buses 54,504 are 18 years old or more that is 56.5% of the total number of buses, and 59.8%, some 250,118 cargo trucks also have an average of 18 years since manufacture.

According to the president of the National Association of Vehicle Distribution Agencies (ANADIVE), Marlon Bonnelly, the problem lies not in the age of the vehicle but in the lack of a rigorous inspection program that would guarantee less contamination and more safety on the roads.

Luis Alba, expert in vehicular transit, feels that the country lacks policies of prevention and planning, and that it has not taken into account the importance of renewing the vehicle fleet, nor ensuring that the vehicles on the road are in a suitable condition.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...cano-BY9809883


Jesuit priest calls for better ethics in Catholic Church
There are eight cases being heard in Dominican courts for sexual abuse involving Roman Catholic Church clergy. These follow after the notorious cases of the papal nuncio Jozef Wesolowski, who died in The Vatican shortly before his case for sexual abuse of minors was to be heard. Wesolowski had served as nuncio in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to when he abruptly returned to the Vatican in 2013 after investigative journalists had gathered evidence that showed his abuses of minors. In Poland, fellow Polish priest, Wojciech Gil, would be tried and sentenced to seven years in jail for committing 10 crimes, eight of which related to the sexual abuse of boys under the age of 15, while serving at a Santiago province church during the same time Wesolowski was nuncio.

Now Jesuit priest Antonio Lluberes published an article in the magazine “Raices” where he reveals that the sexual scandals are at all the levels of the church, among the hierarchy and laymen, secular and religious church servers. He said the image of the church is affected, causing “a segment of the population to notice and delight in the cases, instead of in the sacrifice of most of the priests.”

In its feature on the Raices story, Diario Libre mentions among the most notorious cases that are being heard in court of sexual abuses by priests: Elvin Taveras Durán, accused of the death of Fernely Carrión, whom he would have sexually violated. And that of Miguel Florizan Ulloa, accused of sexually abusing a schoolboy, who was ordered to be available for appearance in court and to stay away from his past students at the Colegio Agustiano in La Vega.

Priest Antonio Lluberes says that society and the church have had a connection, a peaceful relationship and mutual cooperation, from its origins to the present day, although at times there have been estrangements. "I could safely say that the church has displayed remarkable cooperation in shaping national identity and the formation of the Dominican nation," he said.

But he observes the image of the vocation to become a priest has eroded in recent years. He writes that the Catholic faith is being questioned on grounds of ethical issues, namely sexual ethics, social and economic ethics. He said the expansion of other religious cults demands a more Christian behavior of the Catholic priests in society.

He believes that "sooner or later, there will be the need for a constitutional and concordat reform.” “We must be prepared not only to defend, but to propose," he writes.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...esia-DY9809207


Journalist protest following assault
Journalists, cameramen and photographers protested yesterday, Monday 7 May 2018 outside the Palace of Justice in Santiago, calling for more security and respect for their profession, following the aggression inflicted on journalist Deyanira López. Those protesting had black tape on their mouths and carried placards demanding punishment for those who beat Deyanira López on Thursday, 3 May 2018.

Lopez is a reporter for CDN channel, who was attacked by two men and two women while she was trying to interview Joel Rodríguez, accused of the supposed murder of his father Alejandro Rodríguez, which happened at the beginning of February in the Cerro de Gurabo III sector in Santiago. Following the attack on Lopez, a judge sent Joel’s girlfriend to preventive custody for two months, and his mother who is a fugitive from justice has an arrest warrant out against her.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...a-comunicadora


Women in preventive custody in case of money found in Haina
A Santo Domingo West judge has imposed 10 months of preventive custody against two women who are accused of being involved in the case in which of over US$2 million in found in cargo at the port of Haina. The money is suspected to belong to an international drug dealing and money laundering network.

Judge Cirilo Salomón, declared the case to be complex and handed down the coercive measures against Luisa Amelia Fermín Hernández and Miguelina Verónica Franco,mother and wife of one of the supposed leaders of the organization, identified as Fernando José Esteffani Fermín. All of them are Dominican.

At the hearing, it was shown that Luisa Fermín is the legal owner of two apartments in Residential Leticia in Villa Olga in Santiago where drugs and other objects linked to the money found in Haina were discovered. It was highlighted that Fermin actually lived in one of the apartments where 17 packages of cocaine were found as well as the vehicle parts in which the money was hidden.

Also discovered were suitcases, adhesive tape for suitcases, a Glock pistol, bullets, a rifle and a bullet proof jacket. In the kitchen there were weighing scales and molds for drugs.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...ares-GG9811796


Rains should decrease but provinces still on alert
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has announced that the rains that have been falling over the country should begin to diminish from Tuesday 8 May 2018. However, the weather agency says that there is a weather front over the country and heavy rains are still expected today in the northeast, southeast, southwest, central mountain area and the border zone.

Therefore there is a yellow alert in place for the provinces of Barahona, Greater Santo Domingo, San José de Ocoa and San Cristóbal, with on green alert the provinces of Espaillat, Santiago, Hermanas Mirabal, Duarte, La Vega, María Trinidad Sánchez, San Pedro de Macorís, Monseñor Nouel, Peravia, Montecristi, Monte Plata, Azua and Sánchez Ramírez.

https://listindiario.com/la-republic...or-las-lluvias
https://listindiario.com/la-republic...ias-provincias


Tribute to Sonia Silvestre at Escenario 360
On occasion of Mother’s Day coming up on the last Sunday in the month of May, Freddy Ginebra and ballads singer Diomary La Mala are coming together for an evening of storytelling and singing. The special show will feature the songs of late balladist Sonia Silvestre sung in the powerful voice of Diomary La Mala. Ginebra, a close friend of Sonia Silvestre, will be sharing anecdotes of her past life.