Long weekend in the Dominican Republic
Men march to end violence against women
Draft of Electricity Pact handed to President Medina
Iguanas now safe on Cabritos Island
Dominican on board of World Free Zone Organization
DNA test sets straight real mom in La Altagracia maternity baby kidnapping
Complaints about illegal pharmacies
Gallup Poll says Dominicans sense corruption in Punta Catalina
Embraer says Piccini was paid as commercial representative
Trump chooses experienced business consultant for US Ambassador to DR
New Dominican TV channel
Honest cop is murdered, his 2-year old son seriously injured
La Soga has been arrested, accused in 30 deaths
Masters come for international cycling event
Candé Caribe at the Centro Cultural de España
The Vagina Monologues at the National Theater
Festival Presidente takes over Santo Domingo

Long weekend in the Dominican Republic
Next Monday, 6 November 2017 is a holiday in the Dominican Republic as we celebrate Constitution Day. The first Dominican Constitution was signed on a 6 November 1844 in San Cristóbal.

The holiday makes for a long weekend. DR1 Daily News will be taking a break. The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Tuesday, 7 November 2017. The Tuesday issue will compile headline news over the long weekend. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. See the DR1 Forum at http://www.dr1.com

Men march to end violence against women
Men attired in orange t-shirts marched down Av. Enrique Jiménez Moya from the Mirador del Sur Park to the Centro de los Héroes to call for an end to gender violence. The Ministry of Women organized the 4pm afternoon march.

The Ministry of Women is also organizing several other events leading up to the 25 November 2017, International No Violence Against Women Day, that was named to remember the heroic Mirabal sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa.

Women Minister Janet Camilo explained the Wednesday, 1 November 2017 march provided an opportunity for men to become activists in the call to end violence against women.

As reported in Diario Libre, the Ministry of Women’s new campaign has the backing of the Ministry of Education that has committed to begin a campaign to educate teenagers. Education Minister Andrés Navarro says that this would be a way of tackling the root of the problem.

Local statistics show that from 2005 to date, 1,240 women have been murdered in feminicides, most for rejecting to return to cohabitation with their spouses. So far this year, 84 women, with ages of 13 to 48 years, have been victims of sex-based hate crimes.


Draft of Electricity Pact handed to President Medina
The Economic and Social Council (CES) delivered to President Danilo Medina the concluding statements for the proposed Electricity Pact. The Electricity Pact was ordered by the National Development Strategy Law 1-12. The President needs now to review the pact and offer his observations.

Pedro Brache, President of the National Business Council, told the press upon leaving the President’s office, that consensus was reached on 95% of the points.
The discussions for the signing of the pact began on 19 January 2015, and were supposed to be completed in six months, but instead took a year and a half more.


Iguanas now safe on Cabritos Island
The Critically Endangered Ricord’s Iguana and the Vulnerable Rhinoceros Iguana can once again thrive on Cabritos Island, in the southwest of the country after the successful removal of a suite of invasive species, reports Island Conservation. After extensive monitoring by a team of international organizations, the Ministry of the Environment, The Hispaniolan Ornithological Society (SOH), and Island Conservation confirmed Cabritos Island’s native iguanas are poised for recovery following the successful removal of introduced, damaging (invasive) donkeys, feral cats, and cows from the island.

The effort began in 2013 with the training of a local field team in island restoration techniques. Since then, the Critically Endangered Ricord’s and Vulnerable Rhinoceros’ Iguanas have gone through multiple breeding seasons during which the invasive species populations were greatly reduced or eliminated.

Evidence of the recovery of these species is everywhere. Wesley Jolley, Cabritos project manager at Island Conservation said: “Today, the island is filled with juvenile iguanas scurrying about, a sight rarely seen when invasive species were present. Native vegetation is also thriving.”

Cabritos is an island within an island located in Lake Enriquillo, the largest lake and the lowest point of elevation in the Caribbean. The lake is in a valley between two high mountains created by the collision of two paleo islands that formerly constituted what is now Hispaniola Island – Dominican Republic and Haiti.

In fact, Cabritos Island is below sea level. This island and Lake Enriquillo constitute the Lake Enriquillo-Cabritos Island National Park, a central park of the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo-Massif de la Selle Corridor Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO.


Dominican on board of World Free Zone Organization
Dominican free zone businessman, José Tomás Contreras was chosen to the board of the World Free Zone Organization (WFZO) in representation of the Dominican Republic, reported the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs. Contreras was elected during the global assembly of the WFZO held recently in Spain. The WFZO represents 350 free zones located in 78 countries.

Contreras was president of the local Dominican Association of Free Zones (Adozona) from 2015-2017. At the time he was general administrator of the Parque Industrial Itabo.

Luisa Fernandez, executive director of the National Council of Export Free Zones (CNZFE), said the election of Contreras is important as it gives the country a strong voice and influence in the preparation of global policies for free zones. She said in the world there are around 3,500 free zone parks in 130 countries, creating over 70 million jobs.


DNA test sets straight real mom in La Altagracia maternity baby kidnapping
The results of the DNA test ordered by the court hearing the case of the kidnapping of a newborn at the La Altagracia Maternity Hospital are in. The baby is now with her legitimate mother, the 15-year old who had claimed her baby had been stolen at the maternity.

25-year old Yohanny Martínez had the baby and had claimed the baby was hers and had been legitimately handed to her at the hospital. It is now clear that Martínez’s baby had died at the hospital.

An investigation showed major irregularities in the hospital procedures. Lawyers representing the 15-year old are preparing to sue the hospital for damages.


Complaints about illegal pharmacies
The National Association of Pharmacy Owners (Asonadufar) has complained about the proliferation of hundreds of illegal establishments around the country that are threatening the viability of association members. He said the businesses represent unfair competition.

Organization president, Leonardo Belén, said that Asonadufar conducted a survey in Santo Domingo province and took stock of 522 pharmacies of they say 45% are operating illegally. He said that some of those establishments were public pharmacies that were acting illegally, and said they have been trying to meet with the authorities of the General Department of Medicines, Food and Sanitary Products (Digemaps), at the Ministry of Public Health to explain the situation, but to no avail.


Gallup Poll says Dominicans sense corruption in Punta Catalina
Apparently, Dominicans are not buying the government version that there were no major irregularities in the tender and construction of the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant, given the findings of the recent Gallup-Hoy newspaper poll. The poll said that 68% of eligible voters in the country believe there were irregularities in the contracting of the power plant between the Brazilian firm Odebrecht and the Dominican Republic.

Moreover, 90.8% of the polled citizens believe there was overpricing in the cost of the power plant, 90% are convinced there were irregularities in the tender and 78% in the allotting of the power plant to Odebrecht.

The Attorney General Office of the Dominican Republic exempted the Punta Catalina power plant from efforts by the local prosecutors to determine responsibility in the Odebrecht bribes scandal. Instead, President Medina early this year had appointed a presidential commission of experts to review the tender process. The commission concluded that there was no evidence of any violation of procedures in the tender, or the granting of the contract, nor was there overpricing. But the Gallup poll indicates that 78% of citizens polled say the commission conclusions were not truthful. Only 17.9% believe in the conclusions.

In another revelation related to Odebrecht in the Dominican Republic, 92.7% of those polled believe more present and past government officials and current and former legislators are also involved in the Odebrecht bribes case. Only 3.6% believe that the 14 sent to justice by the Attorney General are the only responsible for taking the bribes.

The poll was carried out from 14-20 October 2017 among 1,200 eligible Dominican voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.


Embraer says Piccini was paid as commercial representative
Embraer officers denied before Brazilian justice to having paid US$3.5 million in bribes to a Dominican Air Force colonel to facilitate with the sale of Embraer aircraft. In statement to Judge Marcelo Bretas, as reported in Brazilian press, Embraer officers said that the now retired colonel Carlos Piccini Núñez received a similar sum as a commercial representative for the sale of eight Super Tucano aircraft for US$92 million. At the time, Piccini was director of special projects for the Air Force.

As reported in the media, the statement was attributed to former sales director for Embraer, Edson Munhoz. He said to secure the sale he was also assisted by the Brazilian ambassador in the Dominican Republic and the commander of the Brazilian Air Force.

The case broke open in the press in 2014 after the US Department of Justice reported on bribes were paid to sell the Brazilian air craft affecting sales of US aviation companies.


Trump chooses experienced business consultant for US Ambassador to DR
On 1 November 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Robin Bernstein to be Ambassador of the United States of America to the Dominican Republic. She would be a political appointee, as her predecessor James Brewster. Her background does not show diplomatic experience.

In more recent years, Bernstein has served as president and director of Richard S. Bernstein and Associates, Inc., an insurance group, she owns with her husband in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has also been vice president and director of Rizbur Inc., a leading West Palm Beach business consulting service.

The World Affairs Palm Beach website describes Berstein as a successful political and business strategist. Past clients of Rizbur Consulting have included Donald Trump, Governor Bob Graham, Congressmen Harry Johnston, Robert Wexler and Mark Foley, Judge Richard Wennet, City councilwoman Annie Delgado, Mayor Jack Macdonald, Palm Beach Town Councilman Norman Goldblum and Town Councilwoman Penney Townsend, and County Commissioner Ken Spillias among many others. Her business clients include Westco Development, Citizens for Mizner Park, Greenpark Management, Boca Raton CRA and Artist Laurance Rassin.
She is one of the 25 founding member of Trump's exclusive Mar-a-Lago 118-room private club in Palm Beach, Florida. She is an advisory board member of the World Affairs Council of Palm Beach, Inc.

The White House reported that currently, Bernstein is co-founder of Palm Beach Country Cares, a Florida relief effort for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Bernstein received her BA in Russian Area Studies and International Studies from the 
School of international Service in Washington, D.C. She began her political career 
there as an intern and then staff member for the Committee to Elect Scoop 
Jackson President. Shortly thereafter, she worked briefly on the Presidential 
Campaign for Hubert H. Humphrey and then as a staff member of the Joint 
Economic Committee of Congress. She received a Presidential appointment from 
President Jimmy Carter to the US Department of Commerce, Office of the 
Assistant Secretary for Policy, after serving as a member of President-elect 
Carter’s Transition Team.
She received her MBA in Economics and Strategic Planning from George Washington University in 1981. Shortly afterwards, she moved to Florida and joined the campaign to elect Ken Spillias to the Palm Beach County commission. She joined Commissioner Spillias as an administrative assistant and 
afterwards created her own political consulting business.

The appointment of Bernstein had first been mentioned in February 2017.

Since 1984 she has been married to Richard Bernstein. Together they have three daughters, Ariel, Alexandra and Julia and currently live in Palm Beach, 


New Dominican TV channel
The Latin community in the United States, mainly Dominican, have a new cable channel, the only in its class in high definition.

Canal América, owned by engineer Jorge Rodríguez, has production studios for producing live shows and transmitting them to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

According to Rodriguez it also has a large professional team including Alexis Fernández, programming director; Fermín Suárez, director of special events; Gabriel Balcácer, director of Sports; Xiomara Jiménez, director of postproduction and journalist Aracelis Carvajal, who will be the director of press and news presenter.

At the launch, attended by producers, businessmen, and politicians from the tri state area, Rodriguez said that now Dominicans resident abroad will have more options to see Dominican content on the television.


Honest cop is murdered, his 2-year old son seriously injured
A National Police officer who recently refused bribe from drug traffickers has been murdered.

On 9 September 2017, private Paul Encarnación Mejía was personally recognized by the director of the National Police, Major General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte. The recognition was together with another four members of the institution who had rejected a bribe on the confiscation of 24 packs of marijuana on the Haras Nacionales road in Monte Plata. On that day, those recognized were Captain Roberto José Andújar Romero; Second Lieutenant Carlos Santana Peralta; Sergeant César Santos Morillo; Privates Juan Samuel De la Cruz Bello and Paúl Encarnación Mejía.

Shortly after, on Sunday, 29 October 2017, when holding his two-year old in his arms, private Encarnación was murdered when he was resting in the front of his house. Witnesses say that when he was shot, his killers shot back “mission accomplished.”

The young infant was seriously injured and is currently in the intensive care unit of the Hugo Mendoza Children’s Hospital with a bullet wound to his head. He is said to be in critical condition.

In scarcely a week, four members of the National Police have been killed under suspicious circumstances. Private Randy Orlando Cabrera Arias, aged 29 years was murdered in Santiago on Sunday 29, September, Ricardo Andrés Gómez Toribio was killed in Navarette on Thursday 26 October. Sergeant Roberto González Sentil, aged 31 was killed for his motorcycle.


La Soga has been arrested, accused in 30 deaths
Former National Police, Fernando de los Santos (La Soga), was arrested at dawn of Wednesday, 1 November 2017, in Santiago.

The announcement was made by the spokesman of the Cibao Central Regional Office in Santiago, Colonel Juan Guzmán Badia, who added that he would be brought to Santiago.

“La Soga” is accused of having participated in around 30 contract killings and several other crimes and has been hunted by the Police since 2011. He was also sought by the Interpol. He deserted from the Police in 2011 after he was suspect of being involved in a series of murders in Santiago, when several of the bodies were found in the Tavera Dam weighted down by cement blocks tied to their feet.

He is also accused of having received 250,000 pesos from two businessmen who paid him to kill two men in Libertad in Santiago. The businessmen were sent to jail for one year preventive custody, and the bodies of the victims were found shot at the dam at Tavera Bao.


Masters come for international cycling event
More than 200 masters cyclists from the country and 14 visiting cyclists from a number other countries will participate in the 18th Triple 100 Cycling Master Championship from 4-6 November 2017, announced Rafael Tejada of the organizing committee. The competitors are participating in the categories of 30-39 years, 40-49 years and 50-59 years, and 60+.

The first phase of the race will be held on Saturday, 4 November, from nearby the La Isabela International Airport on a 100 km route. The next day, the competitors will travel along the Circunvalación Santo Domingo near Las Mina. The races end on Monday, 6 November when cyclists circle the Mirador del Sur Park ten times. The total of the event covers 300 km.

Coming are competitors from France, Spain, Colombia, Canada, Guadaloupe, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba, Panama, United States, Belize, Uruguay, Curacao, and Switzerland, among others.


Candé Caribe at the Centro Cultural de España
Dance, song, poetry and drama come together in Candé Caribe, the show by choreographer and actor Jackson Delgado to be presented on Saturday, 4 November 2017 at the Centro Cultural de España in the Colonial City.

Teatro Popular Danzante dancers are on the program.

The show brings together cultural manifestations of the Spanish Caribbean -- Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The Vagina Monologues at the National Theater
The Vagina Monologues returns to the National Theater this weekend starting on Thursday, 9 November 2017 at 8:30pm, staged by Hony Estrella, Lisbeth Santos, Carolina Féliz, Isaura Taveras and Yorlla Castillo. The play which was written by Eve Ensler delves into consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, and several other topics through the eyes of women with various ages, races, sexualities, and other differences.

Directed by Indiana Brito, the play will be presented at the Bar Juan Lockward of the National Theater. The production is dedicated to play writer and director Manuel Chapuseaux.

During the press event to announce the play, the actors said November, month of no-violence against women, was specifically chosen.


Festival Presidente takes over Santo Domingo
All is ready for the grand opening of the Festival Presidente, the leading show in the Caribbean and Central America. Presidente beer sponsors the super production in appreciation for customer loyalty throughout the year.

The Festival Presidente is three days of shows at the Felix Sanchez Olympic Stadium with capacity for around 50,000 fans. It is in its 20th year.

The schedule of shows is:
Friday, 3 November: Alfa, El Lapiz, El Mayor, Gabriel from the Dominican Republic. From abroad: Enrique Iglesias, Maluma, Bad Bunny, brayant Myers, Ozuna and Marc Anthony.
Saturday, 4 November: Chiquito Team Band, Revolucion Salsera from the Dominican Republic. From abroad: Wisin, Carlos Vives, Justin Timberlake, Zion and Lennox
Sunday, 5 November: Juan Luis Guerra, Milly Quezada, Mozart La Para, Johnny Ventura. From abroad: Farruko, J Balvin, Ricky Martin, Mark B.