DR1 Daily News next update on Monday
Minister planting mangroves in San Cristobal
RD$500 note and gold coins commemorate 70th anniversary Central Bank
DR signs Paris Agreement on Climate Change
DR wins case against Sunland in US
Milton Ray Guevara: Quirinito case puts judiciary credibility at stake
Birth rate declines, but teenage pregnancies is major concern
Doctors on strike and calling for another strike next week
Positive outlook for remittance flows
Stink bug plague in the northwest
Leptospirosis cases on the rise
False documentation detected by those crossing the border
UASD student president arrested for fraud
Michigan man arrested in the DR returned to the US
Presidente brewery to donate 10% of festival tickets
Dominican chef Maria Marte honored with Eckart 2017 Award for Innovation
India Chamber of Commerce presents two Gandhi films
Dominican Winter Baseball starts 13 October
National Ballet honors cellist Francoise Bahuaud
Cecilia García to star in “Over the Rainbow”

DR1 Daily News next update on Monday
The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 9 October 2017. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. See the DR1 Forum at http://www.dr1.com

Minister planting mangroves in San Cristobal
On Wednesday 4 October 2017, Environment Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito announced October is “Reforestation Month” in the Dominican Republic. To mark the occasion, he symbolically planted mangroves in the ecological park of Boca de Nigua in the southern province of San Cristobal. Also present at the ceremony were provincial Senator Tommy Galán, provincial governor, Julio César Díaz, the mayor of Nigua, among others. Dozens of children took part in the event. The minister toured Los Cuadritos beach and promised to restore the beach.


RD$500 note and gold coins commemorate 70th anniversary Central Bank
The Central Bank announced a new RD$500 note is circulating as of Wednesday, 4 October 2017, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the bank.

The logo of the Central Bank on the bill changes color as the note changes position. Another new feature is a security thread with three-dimensional optical effects made of circles and that also changes color with different positions of the bill.

The Central Bank also released new gold and silver coins for sale to commemorate the anniversary.


DR signs Paris Agreement on Climate Change
The Dominican government has signed on to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change 21 September 2017. As of 21 September, the Paris Agreement has reached 166 parties. Some 31 more ratifications are needed for the Paris Agreement to have the same number of parties as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which, with 197 parties, is nearly universal. Since mid-February, 34 countries, including the Dominican Republic, have joined the treaty.


DR wins case against Sunland in US
The Dominican Republic won the appeal and a repeat trial against two Florida-registered companies, Architectural Ingenieria Siglo XXI LL and Sunland that had won a US$50 million foreign judgment against the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Hidraulicos (Indrhi), the Dominican government agency in charge of building and running water projects, over a cancelled contract to build an irrigation system. The judgment had been registered in default after the DR agency failed to respond to formal notice of the lawsuit.

US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga in 2013 had awarded more than US$21.5 million to Architectural Ingenieria Siglo XXI LLC and more than US$28.6 million to Sunland & RGITC LLC, which claimed they had been dutifully performing their work for the Indrhi. Their US$51 million bid in 2000 had been selected to develop irrigation for 3,000 hectares in Azua.

The new ruling issued in a Florida court completely exonerates the Dominican government and Indrhi from the Sun Land claims, said legal advisor to the Presidency, Flavio Dario Espinal. Nevertheless, the same ruling ordered that the Dominican government compensate Architectural Ingenieria Siglo XXI LLC with US$576,842.

https://presidencia.gob.do/noticias/...genieria-siglo https://www.law360.com/articles/4492...t-contract-row

Milton Ray Guevara: Quirinito case puts judiciary credibility at stake
The president of the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic, Milton Ray Guevara says that the escape by Alejandro Castillo Paniagua “Quirinito”, originally sentenced to 30 years in jail for murder, puts at stake the credibility of justice in the Dominican Republic. Local justice has been frequently criticized for cases of corruption and impunity for a price.

The Attorney General Office carried out an investigation after the case of the unknown whereabouts of the supposed body of Quirinito was reported in the media that confirmed this with the unawareness of close relatives of his death.

Guevara said that the case requires a thorough investigation to establish all those responsible. He highlighted that this case once more puts a stake the judiciary in the Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile, Servio Tulio Castaños, vice president of the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (Finjus) said that a network of persons acted in the escape of “Quirinito” putting into evidence complicities within the judicial authorities.

Quirinito, who gets his nickname for being nephew of infamous drug trafficker Ernesto Quirino Paulino Castillo, was originally sentenced in San Cristóbal to 30 years for murder. He would then secure a reduction of that sentence to 20 years, and then domiciliary arrest in San Francisco de Macorís on allegations that he was terminally ill with mouth cancer. Two oncologists, Cesar Nuñez Rojas and Angel Garabot Polanco certified the illness, but these certificates were not confirmed by the National Institute of Forensic Science (Inacif) as required by law.

The judiciary has suspended the forensic physician who issued the death certificate, and the two judges, Willy de Jesus from San Cristóbal and Aleida Jiménez Acosta in San Francisco de Macoris that acted in the case.


Birth rate declines, but teenage pregnancies is major concern
Economy and Planning Minister Isidoro Santana released on 3 October 2017, a study that again alerts of the high maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates in the Dominican Republic. Researchers looked into birth rates, migration, sexual health, reproductive health, and aging and their relationship to population dynamics and sustainable development.

The study was carried out jointly with the United Nations’ Population Fund (UNPFA) and the Multilateral Cooperation Agency (DIGECOOM). The report, “Analysis of the Population Situation in the Dominican Republic,” indicates that maternal mortality in the DR is 101.8 for each 100,000 live births. This is classified as a “high level” given the standards of social and economic development in the country.

The research revealed that the highest percentage of maternal deaths in 2015 was in the 20 to 35 year age group accounting for almost three out of four deaths.

Neonatal mortality is still at 21 deaths for each 1,000 live births with 80% of the deaths happening in the first 28 days of life.

The report recommends the eradication of what it calls the “epidemic” of cesarean sections in the country that increases the risk of death. In addition it recommends the strengthening of the care of mothers and children in health centers and the community, better training of health personnel in obstetrics, improved infrastructure and availability of medicines.

Another part of the report talks about the prevalence of teenage pregnancies being associated with cultural aspects, poverty, and low level of education.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, 28% of births in 2014 were to teenage months and 20.5% of maternal deaths were among women aged 15-19.

UNPFA states that the Dominican Republic is in first place in the region for teenage marriages with 12% of women between 20 and 24 being married before ages 15 and 36% of them married before aged 18. The proportions are much higher in the lower income population segments.

The research revealed that while birth rates in the country have declined, the high birth rates for teenagers is closely related to poverty and the high inequality levels that in general characterize the population in the Dominican Republic. The researchers say that the country needs to take advantage of the present window of young demographics to boost economic development.


Doctors on strike and calling for another strike next week
The president of the Dominican Medical College (CMD), Waldo Ariel Suero has announced another national strike at public hospitals for 48 hours starting Wednesday, 11 October 2017, in response to the comments by the director of the National Health Service, Nelson Rodríguez Monegro, who accused the heads of the union of being irrational and of putting the brakes on medical progress in the country.

Suero declared Rodríguez Monegro a persona no grata and immediately burned a picture of him, accusing him of keeping the health system in chaos. He said he had thrown fuel on the fire and if he wanted problems and confrontation, he would have them.

Suero was speaking at a press conference at the Francisco Moscoso Puello Hospital where he spoke about the dangerous situation the health and administrative personnel were working due to the slow pace of the remodeling.

Speaking about the strike yesterday, he said he expected a full turn out and around the country doctors were marching asking for their salaries to be paid, some having not been paid for three months.


Positive outlook for remittance flows
The World Bank reported on 3 October 2017 that remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to increase by 6.9% to US$79 billion in 2017. Remittances are today more important than international aid in the region.

As reported by the World Bank, economic growth and improvement in the labor market in the United States is having a positive impact on the outlook for remittance flows to the region. The World Bank, however, states that growth in remittances will moderate in 2018 to US$82 billion.

Overall, the World Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to grow by 4.8% to US$450 billion for 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 3.9% to US$596 billion.

The World Bank says that the global average cost of sending US$200 remained stagnant at 7.2% in the third quarter of 2017. The World Bank says that two major factors contributing to high costs are exclusive partnerships between national post office systems and any single money transfer operator (MTO), which stifles market competition and allows the MTO to raise remittance fees, as well as de-risking by commercial banks, as they close bank accounts of MTOs, in order to cope with the high regulatory burden aimed at reducing money laundering and financial crime.

“Remittances are a lifeline for many residents in developing countries; this is particularly true following natural disasters, such as the recent earthquakes in Mexico and the storms devastating the Caribbean. It is imperative for the global community to reduce the cost of remitting money, by eliminating exclusivity contracts, especially in the high-income OECD countries. There is also an urgent need to address de-risking behavior of global banks,” said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the migration brief and director of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development.

The Migration and Development Brief and the latest migration and remittances data are available at www.knomad.org


Stink bug plague in the northwest
There has been a plague of stink bugs, which is affecting the residents of Montecristi and Dajabón in the northwest, to such an extent that brigades from the Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC) have begun an extensive fumigation program to eradicate the insects.

Twenty trucks with fumigation machinery and 48 fumigation backpacks have been distributed to the fumigation teams via the Unit for Fighting Tropical Plagues.

The whole city of Montecristi has been affected along with the border area, due to the heavy rains recently, especially in the paddy fields that are where the insects live.

The stink bug is known scientifically as Nezara viridula, is green in color and has a pungent smell which gets worse when they are killed.


Leptospirosis cases on the rise
So far this year there have been 44 deaths due to leptospirosis and 511 suspected cases, 33 of which have been registered in the last three weeks. This is 14 deaths more than last year to the same date and 206 more suspected cases. Spikes in the disease occur in situations of flooding waters due to intense rains, as has occurred this year.

The Epidemiology Department reminds that leptospirosis is a relatively rare bacterial infection that affects people and animals. It can pass from animals to humans when an unhealed break in the skin is exposed to water or soil that has been contaminated with animal urine. It is not usually transmitted between people.

The Ministry of Public Health is recommending not walking in water that could be contaminated, unless wearing protective boots, eliminating rats from the home and garden areas and ensuring there is no un-contained garbage that might attract rats.

The possibility of an increase in the number of cases of the disease is one of the concerns of the health service that is focusing on preventive measures, especially in communities affected by flooding due to the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria.

According to epidemiological bulletin number 38, which has data up to 23 September 2017, in the last week there have been four suspected cases in the last week, an 18-year old pregnant women in Montecristi, and three men aged 15, 23 and 42 from Valverde, San Juan de la Maguana and Santiago.


False documentation detected by those crossing the border
The Dominican Army has stopped more than 300 Haitians trying to enter the country with fake documents. This is part of Operation Shield that has supposedly increased the vigilance and control at the border by the Army.

According to a press release, the Haitians are using identification cards that either belong to another people or are forged, including Dominican identity cards (cedulas). The Army says that due to their actions there has been a considerable decrease in organized transnational crime, drug dealing, vehicle theft, deforestation and illegal immigration.

In a recent case at the checkpoint “Las Caobas”, a bus with five Haitians was stopped and people with PNRE regularization cards that were not theirs were detected. The men said they had paid between RD$3,500 and RD$4,000 for each card. The detained said they had obtained the cards from the bus drivers at the Dajabón province bus terminals.

Over the last few months several buses covering routes from Las Matas de Santa Cruz -Mao, Dajabón-Las Matas and Amina-Santiago have been confiscated for illegal transport of undocumented Haitians.


UASD student president arrested for fraud
The president of the Federation of Dominican Students (FED), Yimi Gabriel Zapata Batista was arrested on Tuesday, 3 October 2017, by police who intercepted him in a car park of a commercial center near to the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD).

There was an arrest warrant out for him accusing him of being part of a gang that defrauded students through irregular travel procedures to travel to the United States for a student trip. The case was presented long before Zapata was elected student president at the state university.

The National District prosecution service said they would be seeking coercive measures against Zapata and Guelmis Alberto Rivera González, José Luis Tavares Santos and Luis Armando Cruz Ruiz, also implicated in the crime, with 19 students complaining about them.

Meanwhile classes were suspended at the UASD main campus in Santo Domingo due to student protests at the arrests. The UASD Rectory issued a statement saying they would resume on Thursday, 5 October 2019 at 7am. El Día said that the suspension of classes at the UASD was the result of a group of vandals. As reported in Diario Libre, UASD students urged that the case be left in the hands of the courts and that classes continue at the university.


Michigan man arrested in the DR returned to the US
A man from Macomb County in Michigan man who fled the country to avoid dozens of felony charges has been arrested in the Dominican Republic.

David Johnson, aged 51, was charged in May 2017 with 27 felonies as owner of Livernois Dental, which he has since sold. He is accused of using a doctor's information to fabricate US$1.7 million in Medicaid charges over three years. A 2006 fraud conviction landed Johnson on the Medicaid exclusion list, making him ineligible to bill the program.

The Chesterfield Township resident was arrested in the country by U.S. marshals and is now in custody in Miami. He will be returned to Michigan for arraignment, which has not been set.

Johnson will face charges of racketeering, punishable up to 20 years in prison; twenty counts of Medicaid fraud (fourth offense), punishable by up to 10 years and six counts of health care fraud, punishable up to four years


Presidente brewery to donate 10% of festival tickets
The Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana announced yesterday that 10% of ticket sales for the Festival Presidente 2017 will be donated to help build houses for the 170 families that lost their homes in Boba, Nagua and in the provinces of Montecristi and Duarte. In addition a percentage of total beverages sales in October will be tagged on in order to reach RD$70 million for the reconstruction effort. The Festival Presidente will take place 3, 4, 5 November at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo.

The announcement was made by Franklin Leon, president of the brewery, during a press conference to highlight their humanitarian aid platform, Dominicana Unida.

The company had already donated a million bottles of water to the Emergency Operations Center (COE) during the passing of Irma and Maria hurricanes. The water was sent to the islands of St. Martin, Dominica, Barbuda, Tortola and Puerto Rico, where the storm hit the most in coordination with PAWA Airlines, the Dominican Air Force and the Ministry of Foreign Relations.

Dominican chef Maria Marte honored with Eckart 2017 Award for Innovation
Dominican chef Maria Marte received the prestigious Eckart 2017 Award for Innovation. Receiving the same award was El Club Allard managing director Luisa Orlando. Marte is recognized for going from dishwasher to two-star Michelin starred chef. Orlando is recognized for her bold decision, as a manager, to support Marte from the very beginning.

María Marte’s cuisine stands for an innovative concept that melds contemporary cooking methods with Caribbean elements to create a fascinating Mediterranean-Latin-American fusion.

At the restaurant, defying hurdles and prejudices, Marte managed to fight her way into a job as kitchen assistant. Already in 2006, she became the right-hand woman to chef Diego Guerrero, who was awarded the restaurant’s first Michelin star in 2007 and its second in 2011. However, in the wake of Guerrero’s unexpected departure in 2013, managing director Luisa Orlando decided to take a bold and unprecedented step: defying all doubts, she appointed the erstwhile dishwasher María Marte to head chef.

Their success is a testimony to the credentials of both women: together, they have successfully defended the two-Michelin star rating of El Club Allard. Moreover, Marte is the only female in Latin America today to hold two Michelin stars.

“This story is like a fairytale. But it’s also much more than that: these two ladies have shown that innovation and quality will always prevail. Today, we would like to honor the courage and unbending will with which María Marte and Luisa Orlando have pursued their goals by presenting them with the ECKART 2017,” said Eckart Witzigmann, after whom the awards are named, as he explained the reasons for the jury’s choice.

In 2017, the international Eckart Witzigmann Awards (ECKART) presents the awards in three categories – Art of Cookery, Innovation and Art of Living – plus one further category – Creative Responsibility and Enjoyment. The BMW Group sponsors the award prize moneys. Alain Ducasse was the winner of the award for the Art of Cookery.

India Chamber of Commerce presents two Gandhi films
The Chamber of Commerce of India in the Dominican Republic, jointly with the Embassy of India, and the honorary consulate, are celebrating the 148th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi with a film festival so Dominicans can learn more about his life, and his efforts to spread messages of peace and nonviolence.

The festival is scheduled for the Cinemateca Dominicana on Thursday and Friday, 5-6 October and Thursday and Friday, 10-11 October at 9:30am and 1:30pm. It is primarily targeted to Dominican students. The showings are free of charge.

The films will be “Gandhi” (1982) film by Richard Attenborough that won eight Oscars and “The Making of the Mahatma” (1996) by Indian director Shyam Benegal, winner of the national award in India for best actor and best English-language film. It is a story of Mahatma's journey toward greatness and his early years before he was famous.

Schools interested in sending their students, need just to contact the India Chamber of Commerce by email at [email protected] or calling 809 379-6034.

Dominican Winter Baseball starts 13 October
The two capital city teams, Escogido and Licey; the two eastern side teams, Toros and Estrellas; and the two central Cibao teams, Gigantes and Aguilas will be competing in the annual professional baseball championship starting Friday, 13 October 2017 at the five baseball stadiums.

The opening game will be starting 7:15pm between the Tigres del Licey and the Aguilas de Cibao, the two teams that have won the most championships. On the next day, Saturday, 14 October, there will be games played at the Quisqueya Ball Park in Santo Domingo (Estrellas vs. Licey), the Julian Javier Ball Park in San Francisco de Macoris (Aguilas vs Gigantes) at 5pm, and at the Francisco Micheli Ball Park in La Romana (Escogido vs Toros) at 7:30pm.

The Dominican Winter Baseball League (lidom.com) has already posted the schedule for the 25 games each team will play during the regular season that ends 21 December.

This year, both the Escogido and Licey are making it easy for the fans to buy their tickets. The Leones del Escogido have announced they are using Uepa Tickets (uepatickets.com) for online ticket sales. The Tigres del Licey is promising special promotions with its main sponsor, La Sirena.


National Ballet honors cellist Francoise Bahuaud
The Dominican National Ballet (BND), directed by Armando González, opens the fall ballet season presenting a ballet honoring Dominican-French cellist Francoise Bahuaud. Bahuaud has been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra and founder of Ars Nova classical music trio after migrating to the Dominican Republic over 50 years ago.

“Nunca como antes en las noches, los colores fueron tan brillantes,” (Never before at night, the colors were so bright) is the name of the ballet. The ballet is choreographed and directed by Carlos Veitía, dancer-choreographer, who has also directed the Dominican National Ballet. Veitía explained that the Bahuaud years ago handed him a musical score and told him to use it as he saw fit. Veitía said the moment was now to present the ballet choreographed to the music by Bahuaud.

Maikel Acosta has the leading role, accompanied by dancers of the national ballet company. Scenography is by Amneris Parra, lighting by Rubén Lara, rehearsals are by Lisbell Piedra. The ballet will be performed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes on 3, 4 and 5 November 2017 at 8:30pm. For more information, call 809 687-0504 Ext. 2207

Cecilia García to star in “Over the Rainbow”
Singer-actress Cecilia García will be performing the musical “Al final del arcoiris” (Over the Rainbow”, made famous by Judy Garland) at the Carlos Piantini main hall of the National Theater in Santo Domingo. The performance marks her 50 years in the arts.

The musical opens 22 November 2017 and will be staged throughout the weekend until Sunday, 26 November. Wednesday to Saturday shows are at 8:30pm, on Sunday, at 6:30pm.