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Daily News - 3 January 2001

President Mejía in Puerto Rico
President Mejía in Puerto Rico yesterday for 12 hours to attend the inaugural of new Governor Sila Calderón said that he has the firm purpose of expanding trade and economic relations with Puerto Rico under the rules of international free trade. In a presentation to a room full of businessmen, members of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, Mejía said that he will try to increase the number of flights between Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo to assist the increase in trade. He said it makes no sense to have to transport goods to Miami for their transshipment to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is one of the Dominican Republic's leading trade partners. In Puerto Rico, President Mejía said that 83% of the Puerto Rican imports from the Caribbean come from the DR, while the DR buys 86% of what Puerto Rico exports to the region.

New governor of Puerto Rico commits to common agenda
The former Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, today Governor of Puerto Rico Sila María Calderón told El Siglo newspaper that top on her agenda are joint programs with the Dominican Republic. She announced upon taking office that she will maintain a special relationship with the DR Republic and President Hipólito Mejía and will work to prepare a common agenda. She announced she will work closely with the DR authorities to reduce the number of illegal immigrants arriving to Puerto Rico by focusing on explaining to Dominicans the dangers of making the crossing. She also committed to assist Dominican immigrants in Puerto Rico by consolidating a support program she started as Mayor of San Juan.
She said she expects to visit the DR this year.

Educational agreement signed with University of Puerto Rico
The government of the DR and the University of Puerto Rico signed an agreement to prepare Dominicans in technical areas and post graduate studies. President Hipólito Mejía was present during the signing of the agreement during a breakfast-encounter with members of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Caribe Hilton prior to the inaugural of Puerto Rican governor Sila Calderon. Rafael Calderon, Technical Secretary of the Presidency, signed the agreement for the DR and rector of the University of Puerto Rico, Zulma Toro Ramos did so for the university. The five year plan will primarily be executed by the Mayaguez branch of the university.
Toro Ramos said, to explain the program, "We intend to collaborate in the research and technological development, primarily to unite efforts to strengthen the initiative of the technological corridor of Puerto Rico and the Cyberpark of Santo Domingo," she said, according to a report in Hoy newspaper. As per the agreement, the second in 30 years signed with the DR, the university commits to send personnel to the DR to administer the admission tests to aspiring students.
As per the agreement, Dominican students are relieved of foreign student rates, and will be charged as resident Puerto Ricans. The agreement also establishes that University of Puerto Rico professors will assist universities in the DR with developing new courses and curriculum.
"I understand this is a step ahead to strengthen relations in the Caribbean, to provide opportunities for economic development," she said.

Fines for throwing out garbage
The Municipality of Santo Domingo said it has started to arrest violators of Law 120-99 that penalizes the indiscriminate throwing of trash. This is the latest attempt of the Municipality to reduce the spontaneous surging of garbage dumps in Santo Domingo. The law establishes fines of up to RD$1,000 and three months in prison for those found dumping garbage in off limit areas and fines of up to RD$10,000 and six months in prison for companies found in violation. The Municipality arrested a first chauffeur in Villa María. He will be the token case and the municipality hopes the word will get out.

Suspect in murder of retired general arrested
The National Police arrested 43-year old Gilberto Antonio Paula Rosario, known as El Rubio or Antonio el Coquero, in a farm area near the city of San Francisco de Macorís last night. He is suspect of being involved in the murder of retired general 70-year old Juan Rene Beauchamps Javier in a farm near Nagua last Tuesday, 26 December. The police also announced the arrest of Henry Javier Perez or Henry Rafael Acevedo Santos of 22 years old who Mary Bievenida Guzman Almonte identified as the person who raped her after the murder. Guzman Almonte accompanied the retired general when upon returning to the Abreu home on the North Coast where assailants that had already robbed the home assaulted them.
The DR1 Daily News erroneously reported as Ramon Etiler the Canadian resident who was murdered in Cabrera on 24 December. The police suspect the same gang that murdered former general Beauchamps could have been responsible for the murder of the Canadian. A reader wrote in to correct the information, saying that the correct name of the victim is Robert Ethier. Reportedly, "Ethier was a well known healer and spiritual teacher who made the DR his home 20 years ago."

Signs down along La Vega-Jarabacoa highway
The Ministry of Environment began the transformation of the La Vega-Jarabacoa road into an environmental corridor. Some 300 commercial billboards and signs will be taken down. The signs caused pollution and impeded the vision of the lovely scenery of the road.

New labor office in Las Terrenas
The Ministry of Labor has created a branch of the Ministry of Labor in Las Terrenas, the popular Samana small hotel community along the North Coast. The new Minister of Labor is former Samana senator, Milton Ray Guevara who justified the new office due to the increase in business activities in the area. The Agencia Local de Trabajo of Las Terrenas falls under the jurisdiction of the Representación Local de Trabajo de Samana.

Attorney General speaks up for peace between judiciary and Presidency
Attorney General Virgilio Bello Rosa says that when the President of the Supreme Court, and head of the judicial branch of government, requested the government fire financial officers that retain funds of the Judicial Branch, he was speaking in a figurative sense. President of Supreme Court Jorge Subero Isa is mad about the government retaining the funds to pay salaries on Friday, 22 December and not Tuesday, 26 December. Government payday is 25 December, which this year fell on a holiday.
The Attorney General says there are no reasons for there to be a fight between the Supreme Court judges and the Executive Branch. "That we have to leave as it is, it was a situation that passed and I hope in the future nothing happens that can serve to cause another confrontation," said Bello Rosa.
When the monies to pay the December salary were not readily available, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) warned on December 27 that if the government again retains the budgeted allotment, it would request that President Hipolito Mejia fire the officers responsible for the action. He said that the President couldn't turn down the request, as Law 46-97 establishes the budgetary autonomy of the judiciary.
The judiciary got paid on 22 December. The Supreme Court head moved so that a timely transfer of funds was made at the Banco de Reservas benefiting judges.
President Hipolito Mejia responded to Subero saying, "he went too far when he spoke of firing government officers."

Hoy newspaper explains Puerto Plata blackout
Puerto Plata suffered through a 36-hour blackout over the New Year holiday. The blackout began at 6 pm of 31 December. Large hotels and establishments in Puerto Plata were not affected, due to their powerful standby plants, but small businesses and homes suffered the effects of the extended power outage.
Hoy newspaper said that what was most criticized by Puerto Plata residents was the indifference of Edenorte, the power company, that offered at the time no explanation as to what was the problem. Hoy newspaper said that after many many hours of trying to make contact, finally Christian Jimenez, in charge of public relations was available. By that time the problem has been resolved.
Jimenez explained that the problem was caused by the failure of a major transformer in Puerto Plata. The problem was resolved by bringing in a transformer of La Vega. Edesur and Edenorte, that have the monopoly on power distribution in most of the country, have been constantly criticized in the press for their very poor customer relations.

Explosion of fuel tanker kills two
Two men died in an explosion of a 10,000-gallon fuel tanker in the Las Caobas neighborhood, at the intersection of the Prolongacion 27 de Febrero and Las Palmas. The dead were 49-year old Gilberto Arismendy Sandoval, a mechanic at the shop where the tanker was being repaired, and 33-year old Marino Aguero. Aguero was not an employee of the shop but was apparently assisting Sandoval. The Police say that the explosion occurred because the safety rules of the shop were not observed. Apparently the two were about to weld a part of the tanker at 8:15 in the morning when the explosion took place. Retired colonel Alexis Fermin, owner of the gas station-mechanic shop, said that apparently safety regulations were not observed. He said before performing any work on a tanker, an hour and a half has to be waited for the fumes to leave the area. Head of the Firemen of Santo Domingo, General Luis Coss Garrido said the explosion occurred because the truck was not totally empty. The explosion distributed body parts and parts of the trucks in the whereabouts, and the blast affected nearby buildings, breaking glass of a dental school located nearby. Despite the explosion, there was no fire. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce ordered the shop closed.

Aguilas and Escogido win game one in round robin
Aguilas Cibaeñas and Leones Escogido took the lead in the semi final round of the Dominican Winter Professional Baseball League, or Round Robin defeating the Azucareros del Este and the Estrellas Orientales, respectively.

Round robin baseball schedule & rosters
Games are at 8 pm, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday, when they start at 4 pm. The calendar for the round robin 2001:

Santo Domingo (Estadio Quisqueya): Wednesday, 3 January: Aguilas vs. Estrellas
Friday, 5 January: Estrellas vs. Escogido
Sunday, 7 January: Azucareros vs. Escogido
Wednesday, 10 January: Aguilas vs. Escogido
Saturday, 13 January: Estrellas vs. Escogido
Sunday, 14 January: Aguilas vs. Escogido
Friday, 19 January: Azucareros vs. Escogido
Sunday, 21 January: Estrellas vs. Escogido
Monday, 22 January: Azucareros vs. Escogido

Santiago (Estadio Cibao):
Tuesday, 2 January: Azucareros vs. Aguilas
Thursday, 4 January: Estrellas vs. Aguilas
Saturday, 6 January: Escogido vs. Aguilas
Tuesday, 9 January: Azucareros vs. Aguilas
Thursday, 11 January: Estrellas vs. Aguilas
Monday, 15 January: Estrellas vs. Aguilas
Tuesday, 16 January: Azucareros vs. Aguilas
Wednesday, 17 January: Escogido vs. Aguilas
Saturday, 20 January: Escogido vs. Aguilas

San Pedro de Macorís (Estadio Tetelo Vargas):
Tuesday, 2 January: Escogido vs. Estrellas
Wednesday, 3 January: Azucareros vs. Estrellas
Sunday, 7 January: Aguilas vs. Estrellas
Tuesday, 9 January: Escogido vs. Estrellas
Wednesday, 10 January: Azucareros vs. Estrellas
Sunday, 14 January: Azucareros vs. Estrellas
Tuesday, 16 January: Escogido vs. Estrellas
Friday, 19 January: Aguilas vs. Estrellas
Monday, 22 January: Aguilas vs. Estrellas

La Romana (Estadio Francisco Micheli):
Thursday, 4 January: Escogido vs. Azucareros
Friday, 5 January: Aguilas vs. Azucareros
Saturday, 6 January: Estrellas vs. Azucareros
Thursday, 11 January: Escogido vs. Azucareros
Saturday, 13 January: Aguilas vs. Azucareros
Monday, 15 January: Escogido vs. Azucareros
Wednesday, 17 January: Estrellas vs. Azucareros
Saturday, 20 January: Estrellas vs. Azucareros
Sunday, 21 January: Aguilas vs. Azucareros

The team rosters are:
Aguilas: Luis Polonia (LF), Alex Arias (BD), Miguel Tejada (SS), Andy Barkett (RF), Tony Batista (3B), Guillermo Garcia (1B), M. Encarnación (CF), Alberto Castillo (C), Felix Martinez (2B). Pitchers: Fernando Hernández, Micah Bowie, Bartolo Colón, Julián Tavárez
Estrellas: Eugene Kingsale (CF), Pablo Ozuna (2B), Julio Franco (BD), Felix Jose (RF), Desi Wilson (LF), Domingo Cedeño (3B), Freddy Garcia (1B), César Devares (C), Tomás de la Rosa (SS). Pitchers: Willis Roberts, Mike Saipe, Geraldo Guzman, Jose Mercedes, Christ Michalak, Odalis Perez.
Escogido: Wendell McGee (CF), Neifi Perez (SS), David Ortiz (1B), Jose Guillen (RF), Juan Encarnacion (CF), Juan Melo (3B), Dusty Allen (BD), EnriqueWilson (2B), Rick Wilkins (C). Pitchers: Jose Lima, Amaury Telemaco, Octavio Dotel, Julio Santana, Wascar Serrano. Azucareros: Melvin Rosario (C), Julian Yan (1B), Esteban German (2B), Juan Bell (SS), Sharnol Adriana (3B), Kevin Robertson (LF), Ramon Moreta (CF), Micah Franklin (RF), Angel Peña (BD). Pitchers: Miguel Batista, Robert Ellis, Gabriel Ozuna, Gerardo Padua.

Moving ahead with the Pan Am Games
The Organizing Committee of the 2003 Pan Am Games is confident that all steps leading to the DR keeping the seat of the summer games have been taken. A meeting will be held in Panama on 19 January to decide on whether the DR will keep the seat of the games.
Dr. José Joaquín Puello, president of the Organizing Committee highlighted that Congress has regularized the status of the lands on which the athletes village will be built, President Mejía has allotted RD$365 million for the Committee in the 2001 Budget, and the Venezuelan government will be providing a soft loan for the construction or repair of sports installations. In other happenings related to the Pan Am Games, he announced businessmen Rafael Perelló (Café Santo Domingo) and Tony Rivera (Induveca) will replace resigning Francis Malla (Mabrano & Cia.) and Jose Leon Ascencio (E. León Jiménes) at the helm of the Organizing Committee of the Pan Am Games.

President Mejía speaks out in favor of Games
President Mejia said in El Siglo that many that oppose the Games are experts in doing nothing. He said he backs the celebration of the Games in Santo Domingo in July 2003.
"Yes, yes they can be held here, I believe they can, we have accepted more difficult challenges than that," he told the newspaper. President Mejía referred to fellow PRD party member, Jesus de la Rosa, a former Minister of Sports that has been the most vehement opponent of the games being held in Santo Domingo.
"There is a group of Dominicans, and I believe he is in that group that always thing that nothing can be done and that they are difficult tasks. The typical theorists that I believe suffer from a disease known as pathology of ineptitude," said Mejía.
Advocates of the Pan Am Games say they will do for Santo Domingo in 2003 what the celebration of the Central American and Caribbean Games did in 1974. That is, boost a new takeoff of sports. They say this will be an investment in the youth of the country.
Opponents on the other hand point to the thousands of millions the government has invested in sports venues throughout the years that have only benefited a small group of contractors and government associates. Most of these facilities have been abandoned and sports are at an all time low in the DR. Others say that the moneys could be put to better use.

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