Teaching conservation in school
14 pre-selected candidates did not present tax returns
Gaming department shuts down 5,242 unauthorized shops
Santiago pleased with elimination of squeegee men
Montecristi urges opening inaugurated clinic
Former DGM director says Haitian extended residence permits expire
Forest arsonists need to be brought to justice
Santiago mayor takes water corporation to court for fraud
66,669 deported from the USA
Green March protests on Sunday in DR and abroad
Lenguasco murder case accomplices sentenced to 20 years in jail
Festival Presidente tickets on sale
Symphony season starts 9 August
edro Martínez honored as one of top 25 athletes
DR plays Russia in women’s volleyball Grand Prix

Teaching conservation in school
The Ministry of Environment signed an agreement with the private schools association, Asociación de Instituciones Educativas Privadas (Ainep) to develop and implement a special environmental education curriculum that focuses on the importance of conserving the environment and natural resources of the country. The agreement was signed by Minister of Environment Francisco Domínguez Brito and the president of Ainep, Belén Pou. They agreed to draft the guidelines for collaboration.

The plan is to organize and develop educational activities, with a focus on prevention and strengthening of the system for the protection and conservation of environment and natural resources. Ainep commits to include environmental topics in school subjects in all grades, with a unified focus.

The actions include reforestation, planting school gardens and conducting education activities to improve water and energy management skills. In addition, the new collaborative program will teach basic concepts of renewable energies, and solid and liquid waste management, including recycling.

The agreement calls for co-participation in drafting and promoting a Green School Program to build environmentally friendly spaces. Through this program, the Ministry of Environment is collaborating with the Ministry of Education in the drafting of teaching plans and programs.

With the new environmental education curriculum the schools in place, educators will prioritize student service activities related to the conservation of the environment and natural resources. Middle grad school children are now being required to carry out 30 hours of community service. Another activity that will be carried out in the schools is the project “To Grow My Tree” in which students will receive seeds of 10 trees and will be asked to take care of these plants and follow their growth over the years.


14 pre-selected candidates did not present tax returns
Servio Tulio Castaños, executive vice president of the Fundación Institucionalidad y Transparencia (Finjus) informed the press that 14 individuals who aspire to be elected to the Supreme Court of Justice did not meet the requirement of filing their tax returns. These candidates should not have been pre-selected by the National Council of the Magistracy as the move violates the regulations agreed upon by the CNM for the pre-selection of the candidates that would be evaluated in public hearings, he said.

The National Council of the Magistracy is celebrating hearings of the pre-selected candidates. 21 candidates were evaluated on Thursday, 13 July, and hearings continue all day on Friday, 14 July and on Saturday, 15 July in the morning. They can be followed online.

The selection jury expects to be able to interview 20 to 25 candidates per session. The judges are reviewing the qualifications of candidates for four Supreme Court of Justice positions and five Superior Electoral Court (TSE) positions, and their substitutes. The interviews with the candidates will be televised and can be followed online. The candidates are being summoned in alphabetical order, and depending on whether they are lawyers or professional judge.


Gaming department shuts down 5,242 unauthorized shops
The director of casinos and gaming at the Ministry of Hacienda, Omar Chalas, says his agency has shut down 5,242 unauthorized betting shops nationwide in the first half of the year. Chalas says no arrests have yet been made. He said between 17 February and 8 May 2017, the department confiscated and made unusable more than 12,000 pieces of equipment used in the shops. Chalas estimates the illegal shops should be paying RD$5 billion in taxes.

The Ministry inspection crews must carry and present IDs and the owners can verify the authenticity of these badges by searching online. The measure has the support of the two associations of sports betting and gaming, the Asociación Nacional de Bancas Deportivas and the Federación Nacional de Bancas de Loterías de la República Dominicana (FENABANCA).

There are an estimated 100,000 unauthorized gaming and sports betting shops operating nationwide, said Wilson de los Santos. He estimated for every legal shop, there are three unlicensed operations functioning.


Santiago pleased with elimination of squeegee men
Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez is fulfilling a campaign promise to bring order to the streets in Santiago, much to the pleasure of city residents. Included in the measures, is an order against allowing windshield cleaners to operate on city streets. Drivers were being harassed at stoplights by the squeegee men, with reports of some of these individuals becoming aggressive.

El Nacional reported that many of the vendors say they will not be deterred and will return to intersections to throughout the city to clean windshields, claiming that this is the only way they make a living. Martínez has proposed to these windshield cleaners to apply for jobs as car washers at the Santiago Transportation Department of the Santiago city government. However, most of the windshield cleaners who heard of the offer, rejected it out of hand.


Montecristi urges opening inaugurated clinic
Two months after inauguration, a new Montecristi government clinic has yet to open. Residents in Montecristi are complaining that the Centro de Diagnóstico y Atención Primaria inaugurated with the attendance of President Danilo Medina on 18 May 2017 has yet to start offering services.

As reported in Diario Libre, community leader Yanuris Abreu said that residents have to travel to Santiago, some 114 kms away, an about two hour drive because the provincial hospital in being remodeled and is closed. There had been hopes the new clinic would fill this healthcare void.

Abreu said Montecristeños do not understand why the medical staff has not been hired in order to open the clinic.

According to OISOE, the government department in charge of the construction and equipping of the facility that cost taxpayers RD$91 million the interior of the building is finished and fully equipped. Demetrio Castro, representative of the Ministry of Public Health in the province, confirmed the new center has yet to open to the general public.

Former DGM director says Haitian extended residence permits expire
The former director of the Migration Agency (DGM), Jose Ricardo Taveras is accusing the government of violating the Migration Law in granting collective status regularization in the past and could do so again.

He said when he was at the DGM, they were only able to regularize the status of 536 individuals that met legal requirements. He said when he was removed from the post, in 2015 in 16 days, the government would issue Resolution 04-2015 that granted 239,000 residency cards to undocumented Haitians living in the country of around 300,000 applicants who applied under Decree 327-13, or the National Plan for the Status Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE). He says this is evidence that the government carried out collective approval en masse, contrary to the principle of individuality of migratory procedures.

On a TV interview, he said that on 17 July 2017 the extension that was granted for a second time will expire and is concerned this could happen again.

Taveras rejects a collective solution to the more than 140,000 applicants who did not present basic ID documents to satisfy the PNRE requirements.

“If it is accepted to grant migratory status to that number of foreigners without them meeting the requirements of the law and Decree 327-13, then the government would be nullifying not only the decree but the Migration Law, Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13 and the Constitution.

“If the government does not provide sufficient funds for the control and development of the border, if the military on the border continue to be left without even basic meal plans, the informal ‘tolls’ paid to cross the border by the Haitians will essentially be the soldiers’ morning meal”. Taveras said the country cannot depend on the responsibility of the military or migration inspectors, but needs to carry out state policies with a vision of the border problems and our attitude towards Haiti.

The main obstacle in the legalization of the Haitians has been the lack of cooperation of the Haitian authorities in issuing basic documentation documents to the Haitians so these can complete the process here.

Taveras also advocated for the Dominican government to build and operate maternity hospitals, staffed by Dominican physicians in Haiti to reduce the pressure on Dominican public hospitals on this side of the border.

Taveras Blanco is secretary general of the Fuerza Nacional Progresista (FNP).


Forest arsonists need to be brought to justice
The Natural Sciences and Environment Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic condemned the actions of those who are maliciously setting forests fires in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park. The Academy of Sciences is calling for the government to intensify efforts to find the culprits of these environmental crimes. Recently, it is suspect that 2,000 tareas were set a blaze this month in forests in the southwestern part of the country. The fires are destroying valuable forest areas and compromising the water supply.

The Academy urges the banning of the commercialization of guaconejo wood (Amyris) that is used to make perfume in Haiti and is thought to have been the cause of the fire.

Santiago mayor takes water corporation to court for fraud
Santiago city mayor Abel Martínez has charged the Santiago Water Corporation (Coraasan) and its director Silvio Durán Rodríguez for fraud, as reported in La Información. The complaint was submitted to the Specialized Administrative Corruption Prosecution Office (Pepca).

The city government says that Coraasan owes them RD$43 million for garbage collection services and RD$22 million for keeping 12% in favor of the board of the Santiago firemen.

The city mayor has asked for a fine of five years in jail for Durán and a fine three times more than the suspected fraud amount and a compensation of RD$10 million.
Martínez accuses Coraasan and its director of violating Art. 310 of City Governments Law 176-07.


66,669 deported from the USA
The government of the United States has deported 66,669 Dominicans in the past 23 years, an average of 2,890 per year. A study from the National Migration Institute expects the numbers of deportees to increase.

The increase is expected given a new interpretation of the migratory policy under the Trump administration, which calls for the strengthening of control mechanisms for irregular migration and the broadening of circumstances that can be claimed as grounds for deportation of permanent residents in the USA. Most of those deported did not have criminal track records in the US, according to a study of the deported since 1994.


Green March protests on Sunday in DR and abroad
Organizers of the Green March Movement are urging citizens to participate this Sunday, 16 July 2017, in simultaneous protest walks against corruption and impunity in the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo and 12 cities in eight countries abroad. The marches, which are known to be peaceful and organized, will start at 10am. The movement has been critical of the significant cost differences between initial contracts with Odebrecht and the final cost of the projects.

In Santo Domingo, the Green March will start at 10am at the intersection of John F. Kennedy and Máximo Gómez. The march will turn left (West) on Av. Bolívar and again south on Av. Winston Churchill to end the 6.1 km walk in the Centro de los Heroes government building complex, where the Supreme Court of Justice is located.

The Green March Movement is organizing marches in 12 cities in the eight countries. The marches are:

New York, starting at 11am on Broadway and 170th Street in Upper Manhattan;
Boston, starting at 11am in front of Jackson Station;

In Miami, starting at 11am on 8th Street and 27th Avenue in South West Miami to conclude in Juan Pablo Duarte Park;

In Europe there will be marches in Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland and Switzerland. In Frankfurt the march will start between 3 and 5 pm beginning at the Dominican consulate; in Amsterdam it will start at 2 pm in front of the Royal Palace; in Geneva at 4 pm in front of the United Nations and in Madrid at 4pm in front of the Dominican Embassy.

T-shirts, umbrellas, backpacks, and caps can be purchased at:
Participación Ciudadana at Calle Wenceslao Alvarez 8, Zona Universitaria from 8 to 5pm.

Optica Almanzar at Av. Maximo Gomez esq. Jose Contreras from 9am to 6pm.

Optica Almanzar at Av. 27 de Febrero esq. Leopoldo Navarro from 9am to 6pm

Santaella & Núñez at Calle Federico Geraldino 91, Apt C1 809 549-4137 from 9am to 6pm.

In Santiago: Optica Almanzar at Bartolome Colón 1, Tel 809 247-6454, Interiorismo, at Calle Ponce 40, Tel 809 724-5900. In Bonao at Optica Almanzar at Calle Melal 48, Bonao, Tel 809 525-5616.

Umbrellas cost RD$300, T-shirts RD$200, backpacks RD$250, caps RD$100. It is best to call ahead and reserve to ensure the availability of the items.

The Green March Movement is demanding the government provide a complete list of those who allegedly took bribes from Odebrecht and that they be brought to justice and refund any bribes they may have taken. The Attorney General has accused 14 persons of taking bribes after the Brazilian firm admitted to paying US$92 million in bribes in a New York City Court.

Green March Movement organizers are calling for Odebrecht to shut operations and leave the country immediately. Odebrecht is the main contractor for the US$2 billion coal-fired thermoelectric under construction in Peravia province.


Lenguasco murder case accomplices sentenced to 20 years in jail
The Second Collegiate Court of the Santiago Judicial District handed down sentences to Cristino Antonio Mármol (alias) Franklin and Lariel Alejandro Pichardo Marte for their participation as accomplices in the murder of 37-year old Puerto Plata lawyer Paola Languasco. The lead suspect is Ambiorix Nepomuceno.

The two were sentenced to 20 years in jail at the La Concepción de la Vega jail. Each is required to pay RD$2 million to Leopoldo Languasco y Antonia, Languasco’s parents. The government is awaiting Nepomuceno’s deportation from Spain so that he can stand trial. Nepomuceno is in jail in Spain for drug trafficking.


Festival Presidente tickets on sale
The organizers of the Festival Presidente 2017 set for 3, 4 and 5 November 2017 announce that tickets valid for the three days of the event are on sale. 6 November is a holiday in the Dominican Republic.

These tickets can be purchased from Tuesday, 11 July to Monday, 17 July 2017 and include a 50% discount compared to the single day ticket price. The Festival will take place at the Felix Sanchez Stadium of the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic center.

The 50% discount on tickets is available at http://www.colmapp.com.do/ through 17 July 2017. The tickets cost RD$2,200, RD$4,400 ground and RD$12,000 special guest.

Bonche Urbano Magazine reports that Carlos Efrén Reyes Rosado, best known as Farruko, is the first artist to be announced as part of the Presidente Festival program.


Symphony season starts 9 August
With a gala concert that features the winners of the XVIII International Paloma O’Shea Piano Contest of Santander, the National Symphony Orchestra season opens at the National Theater in Santo Domingo at 8:30pm on Wednesday, 9 August 2017. The concert will be conducted by maestros José Antonio Molina, Santy Rodríguez and Guillermo Mota.

There will be concerts on Wednesdays 9 and 23 August, 6 and 20 September, and 4 and 18 October at the National Theater.

See the program at:

Pedro Martínez honored as one of top 25 athletes
To commemorate the 25th year of The ESPYS, Dominican pitcher Pedro Martínez was chosen among the top 25 athletes who have made the greatest mark on this quarter-century. Pedro Martinez is recognized for having led the Boston Red Sox in 2004 to their first World Series title in 86 years and entered the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. From 1997-2003, Pedro Martínez won 3 Cy Young Awards and was admitted to Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.

The 25th Annual ESPY Awards were handed out on 12 July 2017 during a live ceremony broadcast on ABC. The awards honor the best achievements in sports, and winners are decided by fans voting online after the nominees are determined by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee. Pedro Martínez’s fellow Red Sox player, David Ortíz was nominated for Best MLB Player. ESPY stands for Excellent in Sports Performance Yearly.


DR plays Russia in women’s volleyball Grand Prix
The Dominican Republic finished second in the first round, winning matches against Japan and Thailand and losing to the Netherlands. The team now reopens the Grand Prix competition playing in Pool E1 against Russia on Friday, 14 July at 1:10pm.

As reported on the FIVB website, Russia, the reigning European champion, is looking to break a five-match losing streak when playing against the Dominican Republic in Kaliningrad. Russia has never lost to the Caribbean side the 12 times they've come head-to-head in any official competition. The Russians lost to the USA, China and Italy in their first round. The DR trailed the Netherlands by one point after losing to the Netherlands, but defeating Thailand and Japan in the first round that took place in Apeldoorn, Netherlands.

Next the Dominican team will play the Netherlands on 15 July and Belgium on 16 July.
On week 3, the team will travel to Thailand to play in Group H1 against Italy, Thailand and Turkey.

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) rankings of the teams as of August 2016 are: Russia is ranked 5th, Japan 6th, the Netherlands 7th, Italy 8th, Dominican Republic 9th, Turkey 12th, Thailand 14th, Belgium 16th.

The Dominican Republic senior women’s volleyball is playing along with the 32 best teams in the world in the 2017 World Grand Prix that is taking place between 7 July and 6 August, at different venues around the world with the finals scheduled for Nanjing, China. The 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix is in its 25th edition.

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