Home  Message Archive  2015  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998  Premium News Service


Daily News - Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Exports inching way out of red
Eddy Martinez, director of the Center for Exports and Investments (CEI-RD), says he is hopeful that Dominican exports will climb by at least 18%, but expects Dominican exports to continue in the red. Martinez hopes that exports will go from -28% in the third quarter to at least -10% by the end of 2009. He also said that foreign investment this year could reach US$2 billion.

Vaccines in December
The Ministry of Public Health says that vaccines for the AH1N1 flu virus will arrive in the DR by December. Minister Bautista Rojas Gomez is assuring the public that the vaccines are safe and that the DR is on a list of 100 countries that will receive 60 million doses of the vaccine. The steady spread of the disease has increased public fears.

Charcoal ovens destroyed
Dominican military personnel have demolished several illegal charcoal producing ovens in Jimani where Dominican and Haitian gangs have gone into the business of producing charcoal, which is sold for a profit over the border in Haiti. General Francisco Ovalle Pichardo (G2 Army intelligence division), who led the brigades, said yesterday that Dominican environmental laws are vague in this regard, which makes it easy for gangs to continue engaging in the practice. He said: "If there are no penalties, there is no way to control this crime. We have to work on this."
He told Listin Diario reporters that the "Charcoal Cartels," are now placing barriers and traps in roadways that lead to the ovens in order to impede the progress of police, military and environmental officials. He stressed that searching out these cartels is expensive and the Dominican public needs to become aware of the serious consequences. He said there is also pressure from residents in the border area who are also using charcoal for cooking.
Listin Diario points out that the sale of three sacks of charcoal yields more than the monthly wage of a Dominican forest ranger, and goes on to highlight the high profitability of the charcoal smuggling business, comparing it even to drug and weapons smuggling. A sack of charcoal sells for up to RD$1,500 in Haiti.

Paya trial starts today
The Paya drug massacre trial began today under heavy security, more than one year after seven suspected drug traffickers were killed in Bani. The case was originally being heard in San Cristobal, but after continual threats of violence turned the court proceedings into the circus, a petition was granted to have the trial moved to Santo Domingo. Armed guards, bomb squads and special security officials have been on guard at the Palace of Justice. Everyone entering the courthouse is being checked for guns or other weapons.
Judge Roman Berroa Hiciano of the First Court of Instruction of the National District nevertheless chose to postpone the hearings to 4 November, with other dates for the hearings on 12, 19, and 29 November. The postponing was due to the absence of defendant lawyer Andres Tapia Balbuena, as reported in the Listin Diario.

Parties take a stand
The three main political parties, the PRD, PLD and PRSC, have all agreed to take all necessary precautions and to investigate the backgrounds of any candidates associated with their parties to ensure they are not involved in drug trafficking or associated with any other criminal activity. Alejandrina German, Coordinator of the PLD's National Electoral Commission says that if a candidate is found to have a record or have some type of drug affiliation they will be informed of their ineligibility to run for office. PRSC president Carlos Morales Troncoso said that his party would not accept anyone with any type of link to drug trafficking. The sudden interest in limiting the participation of candidates associated with the drug trade came last week when the head of the Ethics Committee, lawyer Vinicio "Vincho" Castillo announced that he had information that some candidates planning to run for office in the congressional and municipal elections were linked to drug trafficking. This has caused a stir within the parties, but what was most surprising is the allegation by Deputies Gustavo Sanchez, Digna Reynoso and Jose Alberto Santana, who claim that 30% of all pre-candidates are linked to drug trafficking. According to Castillo even those who have been deported back to the DR should not be elected. But there is now pressure on Castillo to reveal the names of the individuals he claims are involved in drug trafficking. In response Castillo said he does not have to give any names, adding that they can be found online.

Murder for hire plot?
The National Drug Control Department (DNCD) has yet to confirm or deny reports by journalist Cesar Medina that a group of Colombian gangsters have arrived in the DR with the explicit purpose of killing DNCD head Major General Rosado Mateo and Senator Wilton Guerrero, an outspoken anti-drugs crusader. Medina reported that one person has been detained in connection with the plot and that through the suspect's cooperation, the entire plot was revealed. Medina, who is also the Dominican ambassador to Spain, said that if he had not seen the evidence, he would not have believed it, adding that he believes both men are in serious danger. The DNCD has yet to refute the claims, adding a general warning that everyone who is fighting drug crimes are in danger. DNCD spokesman Roberto Lebron said that neither Guerrero nor Mateo has received increased police or military protection.

Drug depth concerning
The names have not yet been revealed, but information about the extent of the drug problem within the Dominican Armed Forces is causing concern. Information reported by Listin Diario, sourced to the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), says that at least 30 Dominican military officials, some with high-ranking clearance, have been reported to have increased their involvement in the shipping and receiving of drugs. According to Listin Diario, on several occasions, the CCSF, which is comprised of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the DR's National Drug Control Department (DNCD), reported the use of Dominican flagged military boats and planes to track, drop and retrieve drugs being shipped from Colombia. The officers are alleged to have provided intelligence information to drug traffickers, secretly alerting them about planned raids by US officials in the area or about the location of US presence in the waters around the DR and elsewhere.

Changes in Tricom
The Dominican Telecommunications Institute (INDOTEL) has approved a restructuring plan for Tricom, which now places most of its shares in the hands of foreign companies. The restructuring plan, originally approved on 21 October, allows for Tricom's main creditors to become the telecommunications company's main stockholders. The new stockholders in the company include Amzak Capital Management, a US based company and Inversiones Bahia Ltd., a Panamanian-based company. Other stockholders will include local investment groups Banco Multiple Leon, Grupo Financiero Nacional and the Leon Jimenes Group.

Press freedom declines
As has been the case with many media outlets in Latin America and Europe, the DR's standing in the 2009 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index has taking a step back from its 2008 standing, and is now placed at #98 on the list. The standing is the worst of all Latin American states with democratically elected governments. The DR moved back nine places compared to 2008. The report takes into consideration reports in the national media, cases involving journalists and political attitudes towards the media. The DR has seen an increase in violence towards journalists in 2009.

Police are recovering cars
Discovering your car has been stolen can be a gut-wrenching experience, while getting a stolen car back can be an unexpected surprise. This has been the case for 1,795 car owners during the last five months, who have had their stolen cars returned to them by the National Police's Vehicle Recovery Department. Of those recovered vehicles 70 were found in Haiti. Diario Libre reports that many of the cars were luxury vehicles. According to Police the Mitsubishi Montero Sport, nicknamed "cara de gato" (cat face) is the most commonly stolen vehicle.

Acta is at it
Dominican manager Manny Acta didn't have to wait long for his second chance as a Major League manager. Acta, who was previously employed as the manager of the Washington Nationals, was introduced yesterday as the head bench man for the Cleveland Indians. Though Acta's Nationals team didn't have much success during his tenure, it was largely due to the lack of quality players Acta was given. His skills as a manager were never in doubt and it was this confidence in him that lead to his most reason post. Acta's arrival is a welcome sign from Cleveland, as it looks to rebound into a playoff contender. It is believed that Acta's strong ties to the DR could have a positive impact on a team that has yet to establish a legitimate presence in Latin America, and whose last bona-fide Latino superstar was Manny Ramirez.

Oldest university birth date
The authorities of the oldest university in the Americas, the present-day Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo have unveiled a copy of the papal edict that created the university. It is dated 28 October 1538. The historical document can be seen at the Museum of the Rector and finally puts an end to the debate that questioned the Dominican Republic's claim to having the first university in the New World. The edict, "In Apostulatus Culmine" was issued by Pope Paul III.
Home  Message Archive  2015  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998  Premium News Service

The contents of this webpage are copyright 1996-2015.  DR1. All Rights Reserved.