DR1 News' Friday updates to be compiled with Monday news
Rodríguez Marchena: Medina won’t disrupt constitutional mandate”
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas: Migration Law stands for Venezuelans
Haitian senators visit for meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Relations
Haitian ambassador recalled
Immigration rounds up over 500 in Santiago Rodriguez
First Chinese factory in Haiti
Bringing back the Malecon: Phase one completed
ICAO experts see DR as model for aviation border control
Outlook is good for industrial free zones
Plan International stresses need to eliminate child weddings
Lawyers: Odebrecht has met its part of deal with Attorney General
Journalism students can intern at NC DN Channel 37
Anadegas files suit against judges and court official
“Queen of Grifters” finally arrested
Juander Santos is 6th in IAAF finals
Duke U’s Blue Devils set to play in DR
All you wanted to know about the Colonial City

DR1 News' Friday updates to be compiled with Monday news
DR1 Daily News will be compiling Friday breaking news into the Monday’s issues through August on the occasion of the summer vacation time. The news digest will not be updated on Fridays through the end of August. Enjoy the summer vacation with the family! For breaking news on Fridays, check the DR1 Forums where news and commentaries can be posted 24/7.

Rodríguez Marchena: Medina won’t disrupt constitutional mandate
The spokesman for President Danilo Medina, Roberto Rodríguez Marchena, guaranteed that “the President would not upset or disrupt the constitutional mandate”. He gave this statement in reference to recent expressions of support for a possible bid for re-election by the President in the 2020 elections. Rodríguez was interviewed on the Super 7 In the Morning, yesterday morning.

Rodríguez told reporters: “But you can be sure, as the President himself has said, that he is not going to upset that which is a constitutional mandate, and in other words everyone can be at ease about that.” At the start of his first mandate, Medina had also promised to adhere to the 2012 Constitution that banned consecutive re-election. He would then go on to change the Constitution so that he could run again in keeping with the 2015 Constitution.

President Medina’s spokesman, Rodríguez called the Odebrecht construction company case a “passing storm” for the government. He basically told reporters that “lots of countries and lots of governments are being buffeted by this political storm and all you need is a pilot who is sufficiently calm and who doesn’t panic….”

He called the Green March Movement an expression of the vitality of Dominican society and he said that the initiative must be supported because there are many Dominicans who are fighting so that public resources are used in a transparent and correct manner.


Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas: Migration Law stands for Venezuelans
Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas responded to a request by the community of Venezuelans living in the Dominican Republic for exceptions to requirements for status legalization saying that for the time being Venezuelans need visas to enter the country. Vargas said that Venezuelans need to adhere to the Migration Law in regards to their stay and work situation until a special order is issued.

“We have been flexible within what the law itself establishes and they [Venezuelans] have been able to come without any restriction, as also is established in the law,” he said.

Citing difficulties in Venezuela in securing official documents, spokespersons for the Venezuelan community in the Dominican Republic requested in a press conference on Tuesday, 8 August 2017 that the Dominican government approve exceptions to the regular immigration procedures so the new immigrants can legalize their status in the country.

The Dominican government has been lenient in regards to the Migration Law with Haitians that have also had difficulties in obtaining required documents from their government. Several special orders have been issued to benefit Haitian residents in the country.


Haitian senators visit for meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Relations
Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas confirmed a meeting with Haitian senators at the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Santo Domingo. Also participating was Dominican Defense Minister Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem and the general director of the Specialized Land Border Control Corps (Cesfront), Sugar Puittzi Frugis Martínez. During the meeting the Dominican government officers reaffirmed its commitment to fulfill the migratory laws in regards to human rights.

A press release from the Ministry of Foreign Relations explains that the Tuesday, 8 August 2017 meeting focused on the National Foreigner Status Legalization Plan (PNRE) for which the Dominican government has issued a third extension in order to afford time for Haitians to present required documentation. In the meantime, Haitians registering for the plan have been issued temporary permits. The government has extended these for another year, but Minister of Interior and Police Carlos Amarante Baret says this is the last extension.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations is optimistic the Haitian government will issue the necessary passports and birth certificates to the Haitians.

Also discussed during the meeting were mechanisms to increase exports to Haiti and benefit both countries.

Members of the visiting Haitian mission were: Evaliere Beauplan, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Haitian Senate; senators Joseph Lambert, Willot Joseph and Sorel Jacinthe; and Miouseme Celestin Myrthyl, counselor minister of the Embassy of Haiti.

Participating for the Dominican Republic were Roberto Martínez Villanueva, ambassador for the Dominican-Haitian Mixed Bilateral Commission; Alberto Despradel, Dominican ambassador in Haiti; Máximo William Muñoz, general director of the Migration Agency (DGM) and Dominican border province senators Sonia Mateo (Dajabón) and Dionis Sánchez (Pedernales).


Haitian ambassador recalled after saying deportations are legal
The Haitian ambassador in the Dominican Republic, Idalbert Pierre-Jean, was recalled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday on 9 August 2017 and his interim replacement will be counselor minister Yousemine Myrthil, who will serve as charge d’affaires. So far there is no news as to his replacement.

CDN news had reported on 13 July 2017, that Pierre-Jean defended the right of the Dominican authorities to deport all foreigners with irregular status in the country during a meeting at the Chamber of Deputies. “Evidently migratory laws grant total sovereignty. Normally, one has to respect what the authorities order. The Dominican authorities have the right to deport all the undocumented persons on the streets,” reported he had said during a meeting with the Border Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. Pierre-Jean had said that the Haitian mission was vigilant so that the civil rights of the immigrants are respected. “All we can do is ask that the civil rights of the immigrants be respected,” he said.

Readers will recall that on Tuesday, 8 August 2017, the Minister of Foreign Relations, Miguel Vargas, received a visit by a delegation of congressional members and officials from Haiti, who admitted that the process of repatriation of undocumented persons was being carried out rigorously according to the protocols established by both countries. They Haitian delegation included the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Haitian Senate as well as Senators and consular ministers.

A note from the Ministry of Foreign Relations says that the meeting of high-level officials of the two nations came about due to a request by the Minister of Foreign Relations from Haiti Antonio Rodriguez, who expressed his interest in reinforcing the current efforts to solve the issues surrounding migration between both countries.


Immigration rounds up over 500 in Santiago Rodriguez
The Migration Agency (DGM) carried out a sweeping operation in different locations in the province of Santiago Rodriguez and some 510 persons were detained. During the operation over 60 inspectors and agents of the DGM went into the field with the support of dozens of military personnel from the 4th Brigade of the infantry and in coordination with members of the Justice Department in the province.

Places such as Los Tomines, La Joya, Cambelen, Fello Rosario, Villa Polin, Las Espinas, Cerro Dulce, Alto de Nana, Cruce de Maguana, Guayabal, Mejoramiento Social, Le Limon and El Guano were combed for illegal residents.

The interdiction of the undocumented aliens was the result of ongoing intelligence work in the province that permitted locating these persons.

Readers might remember that less than a century ago Santiago Rodriguez was a town where Haitian currency freely circulated and the use of Haitian Creole was commonplace.

After a process of examining documents, 182 persons (161 men and 21 women) were deported across the border at Dajabon.

By order of the Migration Agency director, Lieutenant General Maximo William Muñoz Delgado, these operations will continue unannounced in other provinces of the Dominican Republic in order to continue the search for undocumented foreigners who are in the country in violation of Migration Law 285-04.


First Chinese factory in Haiti
A People’s Republic of China company, Everbright Headwear is the first Chinese free zone operation to be located in Haiti. It was inaugurated by Grupo M, the Dominican company that manages the free zone industrial park of the Industrial Development Company SA (CODEVI) free zone on the border in Ouanaminthe on over 600,000 m2 on the border with Haiti, as reported in Haiti Libre. The factory will manufacture baseball caps for US Major League Baseball teams. Once fully operational, the plant will have capacity to produce three million caps a year. It employs around 1,500 Haitian and Dominican workers.

Bringing back the Malecon: Phase one completed
National District Mayor David Collado presented yesterday, 9 August 2017, the completion of the first phase of improvements on the Santo Domingo Malecón, the emblematic avenue that borders the Caribbean Sea. Collado had campaigned for mayor promising to restore the splendor to the city avenue.

The Malecón project underway by the city government is divided in three phases, over an extension of 3.5 km to be completed by February 2018. A first, encompasses the stretch George Washington Avenue from Huáscar Tejada Street to Máximo Gómez Avenue. This is the phase that is completed.

The next phase encompasses José María Heredia Street to Paseo Presidente Billini Burgos. A third phase, is from Plaza Juan Barón to the Fray Antón Montesinos Monument.

“Ironically, despite the privilege of the coastline, the city has given its back to the sea and the sea-bordering boulevard has been in abandon for long years,” said Mayor Collado who took office after three 4-year terms of his predecessor, Roberto Salcedo.

He emphasized public-private alliances are needed to attract new businesses to the area. He said there is great potential to develop public spaces for recreation and commercial activities and restore the focus of the city on the sea-bordering boulevard.

ICAO experts see DR as model for aviation border control
The Dominican Republic was chosen by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO-OACI) as a model country for the implementation of the Project for the Strengthening of Border Control Management in the Caribbean Region within the ICAO Traveler Identification Program (ICAO-TRIP).

An ICAO technical mission is evaluating airport and border security institutions to identify the best practices and areas for improvement in the processes and systems related to aviation border control and make recommendations. A best practices guide will be developed for border control.

Luis Ernesto Camilo, president of the Civil Aviation Board, said that the presence of the ICAO experts speaks well of the work carried out by the aviation authorities.

Outlook is good for industrial free zones
The National Council of Export Free Zones (CNZFE) says 2016 was a good year for the sector, but 2017 will close with even better numbers. In 2016, there were 68 free zone industrial parks, where 645 companies employed 163,147 employees and exported US$5,493.9 million.

For 2017, 28 new free zone companies will be added to the number, four new parks for an estimated additional 12,797 employees.

Minimum wage for employees is at RD$8,310 a month, with increases scheduled to be approved this year.

The free zone sector commemorates National Free Zone Day on 12 August 2017.


Plan International stresses need to eliminate child weddings
The NGO Plan International called upon legislators to support the decision by the Attorney General of the Republic, Jean Alain Rodriguez, to order the Justice Department to act swiftly and with conviction against those adults who have “marital, sentimental, or love relationships with girls or teenagers.

In a press communiqué, the NGO noted that the Dominican Republic, together with Nicaragua, occupies the first places in Latin America and the Caribbean in the number of minors who are married or in relationships.

The organization called upon the Justice Department to dedicate sufficient resources to monitor and process complaints or reports that of young girls, adolescents and their families being forced into illegal relationships. Plan International urged the Justice Department to follow-up on these types of cases that enter the justice system.

The local director of Plan International, Virginia Saiz, underlined the fact that that child marriage and ensuing pregnancies are a burden to society and an impediment to the development of girls and teenagers. Saiz reminded journalists of the campaign initiated by the Plan that demanded that the National Congress create clear laws and mandates that eliminate the exceptions for contracting matrimony before the age of 18 in their modifications of the Civil Code.

The proposal was approved last 30 May by the Chamber of Deputies by a large majority and is currently in the Senate that resumes work sessions on 16 August 2017. According to current Dominican law, men who are 16 or younger and women who are 15 or younger cannot be granted a marriage license. However, at the present time, judge may, for specified reasons, grant a waiver so that minors may be married.


Lawyers: Odebrecht has met its part of deal with Attorney General
Robert Valdez, the lawyer of the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht in the Dominican Republic, says the company has met all the commitments made in the deal signed with the Attorney General Office. He said the company has delivered the documents related to the bribes the company admitted to paying to secure contract work in the country. The company has paid US$30 million of the US$184 million compensation for the bribes.

Valdez made the statement during a press conference at the Odebrecht office in Santo Domingo.

The Attorney General based their case for submitting 14 persons accusing these of taking bribes in the Odebrecht case. Of these, only former Minister of Public Works Víctor Díaz Rúa and Odebrecht commercial representative Angel Rondón are free under pre-trial measures.


Journalism students can intern at NC DN Channel 37
The Dominican Association of Social Communication (Journalism) and NCDN Channel 37 signed an agreement in which journalism students from universities all around the country can do internships at this broadcast station.

Nuria Piera, the director general of NCDN, announced the agreement that seeks to contribute to the formation of future journalists, communication directors and audiovisual professionals from the different schools of journalism.

Piera told reporters from El Nacional newspaper that they are attempting to create a direct channel for the directors of journalism schools because at the current time students arrive on their own, with the exception of those from the Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra. She said a direct institutional communication with each school is preferred so that the students interested in internships have the formal support of the university in which he or she is enrolled.

Elvira Lora, the president of the Association, as well as the director of the PUCMM Journalism School explained that this commitment taken on by the different journalism schools is to send their best students to NCDN.


Anadegas files suit against judges and court official
The National Association of Fuel Retailers (Anadegas) filed suit yesterday against two judges and the secretary of the Third Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Court of First Instance of the Judicial Department of Santo Domingo.

Luis Beltre Pujols, the owner of Gasoline Stations and Transportation (Estracom), complained that judges Ysabel Guzmán Paredes, presiding, Catalina de Jesus Abreu, judge, and Juana Frias, the court secretary, committed serious errors in the exercise of their duties in order to favor Johnny de la Rosa who was the lawyer of his company.

The plaintiff, who together with Anadegas, filed the suit before the Council of the Judicial Power, said that two contracts to recover debts for a fee (“cuota-litis”) had been signed with his then lawyer in order to participate in an auction were certified at the same time by the court without taking into consideration that in the subsequent tender process the bidder was Estracom and not Luis Beltre. He explained that based on this error, the court created a personal credit for Beltre Pujols and not the company. As a result, the judge ordered the embargo of the assets of both the company and the personal assets of Beltre Pujols, to the tune of RD $200 million.

Beltre Pujols told reporters: “What we are asking is for a thorough investigation in order to get to the bottom of the situation and if it is true that he says that I owe him, I will pay him in a more proper manner and not in front of that court.”


“Queen of Grifters” finally arrested
A woman referred to as the “Queen of Grifters” who had defrauded more than 100 persons of over RD$10 million has been captured by the National Police. According to the press communiqué referred to by the Diario Libre, the woman, Adalgilsa Reyes Mota (alias Amanda), is accused of fraud, extortion and cheating over 100 persons using several schemes. The woman was arrested under a warrant issued in November 2016.

The accused used an Internet webpage to sell different articles, to rent vehicles for one day and then later rent the same vehicles to third parties for 30 days, when they would be reclaimed by the legitimate owners.

The defendant also rented rooms in different apart-hotels, for which she would receive amounts equivalent to several months rent, while paying for a stay of only one or two days, whence the guests would be taken out of their rooms for nonpayment.

“Amanda” would also pose as a pastor of different evangelical groups and get money from the churchgoers to carry out projects that were never implemented.

She also posed as a high-ranking officer of a ministry and offered bonds to the employees in exchange for cash, but never delivered the bonds.

The indicted woman is currently is in custody within the Justice Department, and the Justice Department has issued a call to all those persons who have been cheated to appear before the office of the District Attorney of the National District and talk to Pedro Amador Espinosa and magistrate Evelyn Cadette, who is the director of the Robbery Division.


Juander Santos is 6th in IAAF finals

22-year old Juander Santos took sixth place in the 400m hurdles finals of the IAAF World Championship, taking place in London. This is the same city where his brother, Luguelin Santos, ran the 400 m dash in the 2012 Olympics and won a silver medal for the Dominican Republic.

Juander Santos ran the race in 49.04. He had qualified for the finals with personal best time of: 48.59. The winner of the race was Karsten Warholm of Norway with 48.35; Yasmani Copello of Turkey with 48.49 and Kerron Clement of the USA with 48.52.


Duke U’s Blue Devils set to play in DR
Duke University announces that the Blue Devils basketball team is scheduled to play the Dominican national basketball team in Santiago de los Caballeros at 5pm on Sunday, 20 August. The game could be moved to a 1pm schedule if Santiago hosts game seven of the Dominican Republic pro league finals.

Duke is scheduled to play a second exhibition game against the Dominican national basketball team at 8pm on Wednesday, 23 August, in Santo Domingo.

The exhibition games coincide with the Dominican Republic National Team’s preparation for the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup, which is set for 25 August – 3 September in Colombia. The DR currently stands at No. 18 on the FIBA World Rankings.

The Blue Devils will also be participating in cultural activities, including a Santo Domingo Colonial City tour and a catamaran tour.

The Blue Devils are a five-time national basketball university challenge (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015).

All you wanted to know about the Colonial City
On Wednesday evenings, starting 23 August 2017, some of the most learned Dominicans in Santo Domingo Colonial City history will be speaking as part of the Fray Vicente Rubio Talks. The talks will be at the auditorium of the Convento de los Dominicos on Padre Billini starting at 7:30pm on Wednesday, 23 August. The talks will be in Spanish. Members of the audience will be urged to participate, ensuring that an interesting and lively discussion will ensue. A diverse group of historians, architects, academics will be leading the presentations.

The event is organized by Pilar Soto de Rainieri, Maria Filomena Barletta de Ramos and Juan Llado. To confirm and register, deposit the RD$2,500 in the account BHD savings account # 03038530045 in the name of Margarita Soto. The funds will be donated to benefits.

For more information, write to protectoreshistó[email protected]

The topics on the program are:
23 August
The Colonial City As It Was – Frank Moya Pons
30 August
The City of Ovando – Eugenio Pérez Montás
6 September
First of the Americas: First Cathedral – Esteban Prieto
13 September
The Independence War – Juan Daniel Balcácer
20 September
Fray Antón de Montesinos and the Advent Sermon – Manuel García Arévalo
27 September
Legends and Traditions – Kin Sanchez
4 October
Indian and African Presence in the Colonial Times - Fátima Portorreal
11 October
Emblematic Streets and Museums - Omar Rancier
18 de October
Religious, Civilian and Military Architecture - César Iván Feris
25 October
Plastic Arts in the Colonial City - Gamal Michelen
1 November
The Historic Center as a Tourism Attraction - Juan Llado