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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 9 November 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 9 November 2017

    DR1 Daily News next update on Monday
    New Domestic Violence Plan
    Dominican Republic wins recognition from PAHO
    What to do about useless vote counting machines
    Advances at DP World Caucedo
    DR ranks 11th of 17 in IDB Better Jobs Index
    Government asked to put politics aside and act
    Mom appeals to Internet to save her baby girl
    Wilson Roa leads in Medical Association vote
    UASD professors on strike
    Poverty rate not decreasing as it should
    Nursing attracts 10,436 students
    Hiker suffers peritonitis while climbing Duarte Peak
    Edward Montás fears for his life
    Jail for helicopter pilot and ballpark governor
    Provinces on alert due to rains
    Dominican Winter League Professional Baseball

    DR1 Daily News next update on Monday
    The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 13 November 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

    New Domestic Violence Plan
    The Attorney General of the Republic, Jean Alain Rodríguez, has presented a National Plan against Domestic Violence to try to reduce the number of femicides in the country, which number 80 women so far this year. The objectives of the plan are to motivate women to complain to the authorities if they feel under threat. The Attorney General Office guarantees effective action by the prosecution service to provide victims with more effective care.

    The plan offers educational and cultural actions that are being coordinated with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Public Health commits to help detect potential problems at an early stage and identify potential aggressors and victims. The National Police, Ministry of Women and the National Board for Childhood and Adolescence (Conani) are entrusted with other actions in the plan.

    Two new regional centers will be installed for survivors of violence in the north and east and the Life Line (809-220-1202) help service will operation nationally for 24 hours a day 365 days a year. In addition, 14 new Units of Attention to Victims of Domestic Violence will be added to the 19 existing ones, and their opening hours will be extended to midnight.

    The Attorney General said they would be hiring additional staff to receive the complaints.

    Dominican Republic wins recognition from PAHO
    The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and partner agencies have identified Malaria Champions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as well as Brazil, for their work on closing gaps towards interrupting transmission of the mosquito-borne virus and developing local systems to access malaria diagnosis and treatment.

    In the Dominican Republic and Haiti, a bi-national project to eliminate malaria in Hispaniola, spanning border communities of Ouanaminthe and Dajabon, received the Malaria Champion award for its “outstanding achievements” and creative response using innovative technologies that involve the private sector and community and traditional health workers to improve surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of malaria in both countries.

    What to do about useless vote counting machines
    The president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Julio César Castaños Guzmán, has announced that the board of the JCE will meet “at the appropriate time” to decide what steps to take following the report from the IT Department that states that the equipment used in the last elections cannot be used for the 2020 elections. This equipment cost US$39.7 million.

    Castaños Guzmán said that the decision of the board of the JCE will depend on feedback from the Chamber of Accounts, the government department in charge of auditing government operations, as well as reports from lawyers and technicians at the JCE itself.

    Speaking for the Revolutionary Modern Party (PRM), Milagros Ortiz Bosch suggested that the case should have legal ramifications.

    The president of the Chamber of Accounts, Hugo Álvarez, confirmed that they had carried out an audit at the JCE and the equipment bought to be used during the 2016 elections but he did not share information on the findings with the press. He said they sent the JCE a preliminary report and that the members of the JCE have ten days in which to respond prior to their issuing the final report.

    The scandal came to light following a report by the IT Department of the JCE that indicated the machines have serious errors and cannot be used in the future, despite their high cost. The report states that around 58% of the votes in the 2016 elections had to be counted manually, showing that the machines did not even work in 2016.

    The former president of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Roberto Rosario, is keeping mute about the scandal of the electronic equipment used in the last elections that were purchased for US$39.7 million.

    Advances at DP World Caucedo
    The DP World Caucedo Port announced reaching the mark of moving one million TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) on 27 October 2017. This means the port has moved one million containers in less than a year and is making major contributions to the facilitation of commerce and competitiveness in the Dominican Republic.

    The volume of operations places the DP World Caucedo Port among those of most movement in the region and the largest in the Dominican Republic. TEUs is the unit of the capacity of a container ship, a container terminal and the statistics of the container transit in a port.

    Felix Gomez, director of operations for DP World Caucedo Port says that if the trend continues, this year they will handle around 1.2 million TEUs, a record for DP World Caucedo and the country. Gomez said that the port processes are every day more efficient and competitive.

    DR ranks 11th of 17 in IDB Better Jobs Index
    The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ranks the Dominican Republic 11th in a new index that compares the state of jobs in 17 Latin American countries. The Better Jobs Index is a tool to help users compare working conditions in 17 Latin American countries.

    Four comparable indicators are analyzed. The Better Jobs Index measures the state of employment in countries through two dimensions (quantity and quality), each consisting of two indicators. The quantity dimension captures how many people want to work (labor participation) and how many actually work (employment). The quality dimension measures how many workers have access to social security benefits (formality) and how many workers receive wages that are sufficient to overcome poverty (living wage).

    Uruguay, Chile and Panama lead the first edition of the Better Jobs Index. Working conditions in the Dominican Republic are only better than those in Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    Government asked to put politics aside and act
    The editorial in Diario Libre on 9 November 2017 is a plea for a government where politics weigh less. The editorial comments on how the government admits its weaknesses but does little to correct these. It explains that the government has a serious fiscal deficit but recognizes that it cannot collect taxes from everyone and instead focuses on collecting more from those who always pay.

    The editorial highlights that the government recognizes all the illegalities that have taken place and responds that rulings are still pending for approval to resolve these.

    “In truth, almost all of us live in illegality, but that circumstance is not as serious as that the Government, which should be a monument of efficiency, does practically nothing to get out of its own illegality and to stop tolerating that of others,” writes the editorialist.

    Diario Libre’s editorial concludes that what is needed is a less political government, one that is less afraid of losing popularity and more willing to organize this society before it gets out of hand and it is worse than hell to live here.

    In two other editorial comments, Diario Libre touches upon the same subject of the laissez-faire attitude of the government to attack touchy issues.

    Mom appeals to Internet to save her baby girl
    Parents Denny Montero and Lorainne Licelot Gómez have set up a GoFundMe to collect the cash needed for an operation of their newborn baby girl Astrid Montero at the Boston Children’s Hospital. The baby requires sophisticated surgery. She was born with a congenital malformation of the heart and a missing kidney.

    Contributions ranging from RD$200 to US$200 have been trickling in to reach US$77,000 of a US$250,000 goal. On Wednesday, 8 November 2017, after reading the story of the effort in the Listin Diario, Alexis Lantigua, in charge of social policies for the Presidency called in and promised RD$3 million (approximately US$61,000).

    The family also says the US Consulate has issued the necessary visa for the child.

    “You can’t imagine the people that have been calling in from all around the country”, said the mother, who now is hopeful her baby will have a chance.

    Wilson Roa leads in Medical Association vote
    Members of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) were voting on Wednesday, 8 November 2017 to elect a new president. As of the afternoon, Wilson Roa was ahead with 79% of the vote in the National District. Roa has the backing of the present president of the CMD, Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero who has confronted the public health authorities with continuing work stoppages at the public hospitals.

    Clemente Terrero, who had the backing of the ruling PLD party, had 10% of the vote; Amarilis Herrera 6%; and Victor Diaz Alba, 5%. Reportedly, some 15,000 physicians were eligible to vote.

    The voting started late in the National District and other voting centers around the country.

    UASD professors on strike
    The Federation of Associations of Professors of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (FAPROUASD) began a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 8 November 2017 that they hoped would be supported 100%.

    The union is demanding back pay and pay for expenses and that the outstanding 5% pay rise also be paid. Faprouasd has called for a general assembly today to decide on what actions they will now take.

    Poverty rate not declining as it should
    According to the representative of the World Bank in Dominican Republic, if the number of poor people in the country corresponded to the economic growth experienced over the last years, there would be 1.4 million less poor people. Alessandro Legrottaglie made the statement in the sixth edition of “Think Economics” to explain the disparity that exists between the rate of poverty and growth in the Dominican Republic.

    According to World Bank data, the national poverty rate has fallen from 41.2% in 2013 to 30.5% in 2016. However, while poverty had decreased by almost 9 percentage points between 2013 and 2015, from 41.2% to 32,3%, in 2016 it only fell by 1.8% to 30.5%.

    He pointed out that the Dominican Republic is the exception. In the rest of the Latin American region he said the poverty rate is in direct relation to the economic growth.

    Nursing attracts 10,436 students
    Some 10,436 students are enrolled in nursing studies at 11 universities nationwide. Of these 93% are women. There are 9,744 women and 692 men.

    The state UASD has the largest enrollment with 3,548, followed by the Universidad Federico Henríquez y Carvajal (UFHEC), with 1,552; the Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA), with 1,213; the Universidad Eugenio María de Hostos (UNIREMHOS), with 1,064.

    An increase in hospitals around the country has created new job opportunities. Likewise, there are new opportunities for caring for children and the elderly.

    Hiker suffers peritonitis while climbing Duarte Peak
    A Duarte Peak hiker, Amador Espinosa, narrowly saved his life after suffering from peritonitis. He was rescued by the Air Force last week. While hiking with a group up the largest mountain in the Caribbean, the Pico Duarte, he suffered a peritonitis attack, or an intense pain from inflammation of tissue inside the abdomen.

    His group contacted the General Command of the Dominican Air Force that coordinated the rescue on Sunday, 5 November 2017. Nevertheless, the weather conditions on that afternoon did not allow for the rescue. There was scarce visibility, strong winds and a 10C temperature.

    The effort was tried again on Monday, 6 November, when a rescue team left from the San Isidro Air Force Base at 7:10am. On board helicopter FARD-3069, piloted by Major Martínez Bautista and First Lieutenant Restitutyo Matos, was an Air Force doctor and a rescue expert from the Search and Rescue Squad of the Air Force.

    They were able to reach Compartición resting stop, that is located at 8,000 feet where Espinosa was awaiting in critical condition. He was transferred to the San Isidro Air Base and taken to the Military Hospital Dr. Ramon de Lara where he received medical attention by Air Force specialists.

    Edward Montás fears for his life
    The First Hall of the Court of Appeals of the National District has set 30 November 2017 as the date for announcing its decision on whether it accepts to modify the 30-year jail sentence for murder to truckers’ association leader, Blas Peralta. Peralta was sentenced for the murder of former UASD university rector, Mateo Aquino Febrillet.

    National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso maintains that in the murder of Aquino Febrillet there was premeditation, treachery, stealth, intimidation and aggressive persecution. She also told the press that the Public Prosecutor's Office has determined that Peralta has assets that exceed RD$1 billion and that he supposedly has planned to assassinate five people if his 30-year sentence is ratified. Peralta is the former the king pin of the Federation of Truckers (Fenatrado).

    Edward Montás, the chief witness of the murder of former rector, denounced that he fears for his own life as he has been threatened by Peralta.

    On Wednesday, 8 November 2017, Montas said speaking during a radio interview that he has information that Peralta could order the death of himself and five others, including that of the widow of Mateo Aquino Febrillet, Rita Solis, if the sentence is not reduced.
    Solis has refused to negotiate with Peralta and pressed through charges that lead to Peralta receiving the maximum sentence for the crime.

    On 12 July 2017, the First Collegiate Court of the National District ordered Peralta serve 30 years in prison at the La Romana Model Jail. He was found guilty of firing the shots that killed the former rector. The shots were fired when Peralta went in pursuit of Montas for a political dispute and Montas was riding in the vehicle driven by Aquino Febrillet.

    Others condemned to lesser jail terms in the case were, Rafael Herrera, Geraldo Félix Batista and Franklin Venegas, sentenced to eight years in jail for complicity. These also reportedly ensure that Blas Peralta could order their death because he has lots of resources and persons at his service. Also sentenced to five years in the case is former colonel Rafael Herrera.

    Widow Rita Solis holds Blas Peralta responsible for anything that happens to her or her family. She called for the authorities to take preventive measures.

    Jail for helicopter pilot and ballpark governor
    The pilot who landed a helicopter in the Cibao baseball stadium in Santiago, minutes before a Sunday, 6 November 2017 game between the Águilas Cibaeñas and the Tigres from Licey, is a National Army colonel, according to Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem. Pilot Ramiro Junior Jaquez Rubio was ordered under arrest for 30 days for violating aviation regulations and disciplinary regulations of the Armed Forces. Paulino Sem did not explain how a high ranking officer was working for a civilian.The passenger was multimillionaire Karim Abu Naba’a.

    Paulino Sem also ordered the 30-day arrest of colonel Audis Marte Núñez, governor of the Cibao Ballpark. The arrests will be served at the Officers Pavilion of the Honors Guard Regimen.

    Abu Naba’a has said the authorities cannot place a sanction on the Airbus EC130B4 helicopter as it is registered in the United States (N212HK) and has all its permits.

    On Tuesday, 7 November 2017, the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute suspended the pilot and placed a flying impediment on the helicopter for landing without the appropriate authorization.

    Abu Naba’a maintains that it was not true that the Águilas Cibaeñas had not authorized the landing. He said he communicated with the manager who agreed to the landing at 4:30pm and that he has proof of this in WhatsApp. Abu Naba’a unboarded with three women and a dog around 20 minutes before the start of the ball game.

    Provinces on alert due to rains
    The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has announced that the country will continue to be affected by a weather front now over the Canal del Viento that separates Hispaniola and Cuba as well as stationary a low pressure system. Rains and thunderstorms will continue in the southwest, south east, Central Mountain area, north east and border area.

    Onamet has issued a green alert for the provinces of Monte Plata, La Vega, Santiago, Samaná, El Seibo, La Altagracia, San Pedro de Macorís, Duarte, Espaillat, María Trinidad Sánchez, Hato Mayor and La Romana.

    According to Onamet, conditions will remain the same for a few days with rains and storms across most of the country.

    Dominican Winter League Professional Baseball
    Rains covering the Dominican Republic could mean some professional baseball game cancellations. So far, with a month into the annual baseball season, the Estrellas Orientales continues to lead the championship. The tournament standings as of the evening games of 8 November 2017 are: Estrellas Orientales with 13-6, Gigantes del Cibao with 11-8, Aguilas Cibaeñas with 10-9, Toros del Este with 9-10, Leones del Escogido with 8-11, and Tigres del Licey with 6-13.

    Follow the standings at:
    See the next games schedule at:
    Last edited by Dolores; 11-09-2017 at 08:23 AM.

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