Risky beaches closed for Easter Week
Weather improves in time for Easter Week
Jet skis and horses banned on beaches for Easter Week
While Presidents fall abroad, DR reports nothing new with Odebrecht case
Ministry of Education chooses its district directors
Too much is uninsured, risk is big in DR
Marcha Verde movement calls for firing Chamber of Accounts judges
Lots of irregular PNRE ids
DR requests extradition of two accused of machete murder
Marisela at the Teatro La Fiesta
DR1 News Update

Risky beaches closed for Easter Week
The Civil Defense, and the Center for Emergency Operations (COE) Easter Week Prevention Operation have published this year’s long list of beaches, rivers and water spots deemed to be high risks for accidents when visited by large numbers of vacationers. The spots include dams and irrigation canals. Included among the beaches are Guibia and Manresa in Santo Domingo.

See the nationwide list at: http://www.defensacivil.gob.do/publi...ana-santa-2018

Weather improves in time for Easter Week
Better weather is forecast for the start of Easter Week in the Dominican Republic. Last week intense rains fell in the north central areas causing flooding and mudslides that forced the evacuation of dwellings in the regions affected.

But as of Sunday, 25 March 2018, the National Meteorological Office (Onamet) announced only three provinces remain in green alert. A Green Alert for possible flooding or mudslides is in effect for the provinces of Hato Mayor in the East, and the central provinces of Monseñor Nouel (Bonao) and La Vega. Last week, there were intense rain storms that affected Jarabacoa in the mountain area of La Vega.

Meanwhile, the sweltering heat of last week was swapped by moderate temperatures of 22C in the mornings. Onamet says the weather is affected by a crossing front system that will bring some rains nationwide.

Jet skis and horses banned on beaches for Easter Week
The Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) announced on Sunday, 25 March 2018 that jet skis, wave runners, motorboats and horses are banned from beaches nationwide. Resolution 104/2018 is in effect from Thursday, 29 March to Sunday, 1 April 2018. The preventive measure seeks to ensure the safety of the thousands of people that visit beaches nationwide for the Easter Week holidays.

The Ministry of Tourism says that boat transport is authorized for Laguna Gri Gri, Isla Saona, Isla Catalina and Cayo Levantado on vessels authorized by the Ministry of Tourism.


While Presidents fall abroad, DR reports nothing new with Odebrecht case
With the Netflix original series “The Mechanism” airing its first eight episodes on 23 March 2018, viewers in the Dominican Republic were given a comprehensive overview on how difficult acting against corruption in Brazil has been. The series tells of the scandal that erupts in Brazil during an investigation of alleged government corruption via oil and construction companies. It is fiction inspired by real events and covers the Lava Jato scandal through 2014.

On the same day of the start of the Netflix original series, a news story in the local newspaper, Diario Libre on 23 March 2018, pointed how the prosecutor’s office in the Dominican Republic has very little to show for its investigations into who benefited from the US$92 million in bribes Odebrecht officials admitted to have paid to secure contracts for public works in the Dominican Republic from 2001 to 2014, spanning the governments of Hipolito Mejia (PRD), Leonel Fernandez (PLD) and Danilo Medina (PLD).

The Dominican Republic ranked third in the region for the total amount of bribes received in the Odebrecht scandals. Also the Dominican Republic has the dubious distinction of being the country that, perhaps unwittingly, became the headquarters for the administration of the bribes that affected many countries and governments in Latin America.

The Diario Libre news story highlights that already one president, one vice president and four former heads of government have fallen in other Latin American countries. In the DR, the list of 14 indicted by the local judiciary received privileged pre-trial arrangements and the Attorney General has extended the time it says it needs to investigate the 14 that have been accused.

Locally, those being investigated by the Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez are: Julio César Valentín, Tommy Galán, Alfredo Pacheco, César Sánchez, Máximo De Óleo, Andrés Bautista, Ángel Rondón, Víctor Díaz Rúa, Radhamés Segura, Temístocles Montás, Roberto Rodríguez, Ruddy González, Conrado Pittaluga and Bernardo Castellanos.

The Attorney General Office specifically excluded the largest Odebrecht contract, the Punta Catalina power plant, from the investigations. This power plant was contracted during the Medina administration.


Ministry of Education chooses its district directors
The Ministry of Education announced the appointment of 107 district directors for a period of five years. These are subject to their confirmation after their first year on the job.

Education Minister Andres Navarro swore in the directors on Sunday, 25 March 2018. The directors were selected from a short list of 1,035 candidates nationwide. The appointments follow the announcement of the choice of 18 regional directors made earlier in March.

Navarro announced that gender was respected and half of those chosen are men and half women. He said that 40% of the new district directors previously had been employed as directors or deputy directors of public schools, 36% were employed as regional or district technicians, 22% were school teachers and 2% were employed in student orientation.

The selection process is objected by directors of the Public School Teachers Guild (ADP).


Too much is uninsured, risk is big in DR
Osiris Mota, general manager of Seguros Reservas, the government insurance entity, pressed the point that the country could enter into a major recession if affected by a major hurricane or earthquake because of the low level of property insurance in the country. He observed that only 20% of residential and commercial buildings in the country are insured, despite the fact that the country is within the path of hurricanes and sits on top of a major earthquake fault line.

Osiris Mota of Seguros Reservas made the observation in an interview on D’Agenda televised on Channel 11. He said the low level of property insurance is alarming. He said if the country suffered an earthquake such as that which affected Haiti in 2010 could effectively bankrupt the country.

Mota observed because of the lack of insurance the massive amount of funds needed to rebuild the nation’s cities would be difficult to procure. He recommended the Superintendence of Insurance create the awareness in the general public of the importance of home and business insurance.

He observed already every year the government has to come up with funds to cover damages to farms and government infrastructure caused by floods.

Mota also shared the statistic that every year more than 25,000 youths are maimed as a consequence of traffic accidents, primarily those caused by motorcylists. He said traffic accidents are a tragedy and have a strong impact on the insurance industry.

"This is a disorder, a chaos, and I do not understand why the government doesn’t act to regulate motorcyclists. And by doing so, we could reduce crime and prevent that these 25,000 youth suffer life-changing injuries, "he said.

Mota said the grave situation on our nation’s roads forced Seguros Reservas to include physiotherapy in their coverage. He said the government has to pay on average RD$50 billion a year in medical care for accident victims in public hospitals.


Marcha Verde movement calls for firing Chamber of Accounts judges
The Green March collective called for the National Congress to immediately replace the judges of the Chamber of Accounts for their recent action of increasing their own wages. The Green March says this pay increase was in violation of Law 105-13 that had established a maximum of RD$350,000 for government officers.

The Chamber of Accounts has been making headlines, not only for the recent wage increases, but also for reports of wasteful spending at a time when the officers have said they do not have funding to carry out needed audits in major government corruption cases.

“We find it surprising that the Chamber of Accounts approved wage increases of its high level officials at a time when its president, Hugo Alvarez Perez, only five months ago declared that it could not investigate the Odebrecht public works and contracts for lack of resources, when it appears the resources were being allocated to benefit its directors. Not only is this illegal, but also demonstrates a lack of respect to the nation’s citizens who are demanding an end to impunity,” said Marcha Verde in a document issued on Sunday, 25 March 2018.


Lots of irregular PNRE ids
The Migration Agency (DGM) reported the seizing of 329 altered National Foreigner Status Legalization (PNRE) ID cards in migratory inspections carried out in the provinces of Dajabon and Santiago last week. Of these, 165 were forged and another 164 were being used by persons who were not issued the ID cards. The irregularities were detected using biometric readers and consulting the PNRE database. Those found in possession of irregular cards are to be deported.

The DGM says that it has seized 3,985 PNRE cards with irregularities in operations in Dajabon, National District, Elias Piña, Greater Santo Domingo and Santiago.

News reports have mentioned the scheme of people traffickers including the PNRE cards as part of the smuggling scheme. The use of biometric readers has enabled the authorities to identify the lack of matching between the holder of the card and the person to whom the card was issued.


DR requests extradition of two accused of machete murder
Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez announced he has formally requested the extradition of Haitian brothers Luis Bom and Francisco Bom, lead suspects in the events that occurred on 19 February 2018 that caused the deaths of Julio Reyes Perez and his wife Neyda Urbaez Feliz on 19 February 2018. Luis Bom has been arrested by the Haitian authorities and being detained in Jacmel. The alleged motive of the crime was robbery. Neyda Urbaez survived the machete attack but died of her injuries on 17 March 2018.

The request was sent to the Ministry of Justice of Haiti via the Ministry of Foreign Relations so the suspects could be tried in the Dominican Republic for murder of the couple.

The attorney general office argues that while there is not a specific extradition agreement between Haiti and Dominican Republic, this situation is covered by the Convention of Extradition of Montevideo, signed in Uruguay on 26 December 1933 by both the Dominican Republic and Haiti among other countries and adopted by the prosecutor offices in both countries in 1981. Art. 1 stipulates that each signatory states assumes the obligation of surrendering to any one of the states that may make the requisition, the persons who may be in their territory and who are accused or under sentence.

The murders lead to the closing of the market days in Pedernales.


Marisela at the Teatro La Fiesta
The Mexican-American singer Marisela (La Dama de Hierro) will be performing at the Teatro La Fiesta of the Jaragua Renaissance this coming 28 April 2018. Tickets are on sale at Supermercados Nacional, Jumbo, the La Fiesta box office and online at Uepa Tickets.

Listen to her music at:

DR1 News Update
The issuing of the DR1 Daily News via the mail subscriptions has regularized. After problems that affected the mailing service last week, subscribers are reminded that they can access the news for the missing days -- 19, 20 and 21 March 2018 -- at the archived news pages.

These can be viewed at:
Daily News:
Monday, 19 March: http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...20March%202018

Tuesday, 20 March: http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...20March%202018

Wednesday, 21 March 2018: http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...20March%202018

Travel News:
Tuesday, 20 March: