President Medina to go to Summit in Peru
International Theater Festival to be held this year
National Television School to be set up
Taiwan sculpture contest
Concern about Political Parties’ Bill
Pedernales market still closed
Baby girl would have been sold for RD$5,000
Emely Peguero murder case continues
More arrests for undocumented in the DR
New twist in murder case of Yuniol Ramírez
Seven provinces on flood alert
Iberoamerican bowling at the Sebelen Bowling Center
Candido Bidó art exhibition at Galeria 360

President Medina to go to Summit in Peru
On Wednesday, 11 April 2018, President Danilo Medina will travel to Lima, Peru, to take part in the 8th Summit of the Americas together with another 11 heads of state of the region.
At the Summit, to be held on 13 and 14 April, the heads of state will discuss the fight against corruption in democracies.

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas Summit’s central theme is “Democratic Governance against Corruption.” The summits are held every three years, and offer the opportunity for the regional leaders to jointly define a hemispheric agenda at the highest level that addresses urgent challenges and promotes positive change.

A parallel summit is organized by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), the III CEO Summit of the Americas will take place 12-13 April 2018 at the Westin Lima Hotel in Lima, Peru. The theme of the summit is “Made in the Americas.”

The media reports that Justin Trudeau of Canada, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Sebastián Piñera from Chile, Juan Carlos Varela of Panamá, Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas, and Lenín Moreno from Ecuador, in addition to President Medina, have confirmed their participation in the summit.

President Medina is scheduled to speak on Thursday, 13 Aril at 1:35pm (Dominican time). On the next day he will participate in a lunch with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Canada is interested in advancing on talks for the signing of a free trade agreement with the Dominican Republic.

President Medina is scheduled to leave at 5pm on Wednesday, 11 April on a private jet from the San Isidro Air Base.

International Theater Festival to be held this year
Minister of Culture Pedro Verges says he has reached an agreement with independent theater groups to promote live theater in the country, including the celebrating of this year’s International Theater Festival (FITE2018). The Ministry of Culture last week had announced the 2018 festival would not be held in order to use the funds for other priority projects.

After the four-hour meeting at the Palacio de Bellas Artes the following points were agreed upon:
First, the creation of a technical working group for the theater sector; second, actress Paula Disla, the theater director Claudio Rivera and the vice minister of Creativity and Popular Participation, Claudio Espinal, would serve as liaisons between the independent theater sector and the Ministry of Culture; and third, that the International Theater Festival (FIT2018) will indeed be held this year.

National Television School to be set up
The National Institution of Technical and Professional Training (Infotep) has developed a restructuring plan to improve and expand its capacity to offer training in audio visual technology, including the creation of a National Television School. The plan calls for a RD$30 million investment.

Director General of Infotep, Rafael Ovalles, said that the project would provide skills necessary to those who wanted to work in television. He said that the first phase would focus on television and the second phase would address the demands of the film industry.

For the project he explained that they would include the expansion and remodeling of the technological center of the Central Regional Office, including more classrooms for theory and practical work plus an editing suite and the latest technological equipment as used in the most modern television stations in the country.

Taiwan sculpture contest
The Embassy of Taiwan is inviting Dominican sculptors to participate in the “2018 Taiwan International Wood Sculpture Competition”. The contest is organized by the government of the country of Miaoli in Taiwan. There are two categories: “Craft Wood Carving”, for decorations of temples, religious statues, legendary characters, animals, flowers, birds in third dimension or relief. A second category: “Contemporary Wood Carving”, is open to works of any style in two or three dimensions. In addition to wood, the works may include other materials in lesser degree.
Artists may submit works from 1 May to 15 June 2018. The judges will announce the winners on 20 July 2018. The participants can submit up to two works.

The contest is organized in coordination with the Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum. The winning artwork will be exhibited from 24 July to 21 October 2018 at the Sanyi Wood Sculture Museum in Miaoli.

For more information and to apply, see

Concern about Political Parties’ Bill
The opposition parties have reiterated the need for consensus for the discussion and approval of the reform to the Electoral Law, and said that it should not be “an insipid law”.

Elexido Paula, president of the Dominican Humanist Party, (PHD) said that changes to the Electoral Law should be known before the Political Parties’ Bill is considered.
They went on to say that the Political Parties’ Bill must not be imposed in a unilateral manner to respond to the special interests of the Presidential Palace. “That would be a serious affront to Dominican democracy”, exclaimed Paula.

Talking about open primaries, the opposition parties said that they would never support this legislation, and highlighted that even some factions of the ruling PLD party did not approve of the pending legislation either, as it would enable the government to influence the election of candidates from opposition parties and the three levels: congressional, presidential and municipal.

The comments were made at a press conference involving Max Puig, Minou Tavarez Mirabal, Jesús Vásquez, Federico (Quique) Antún, Soraya Aquino, Pedro Martínez and Rafael Gamundi Cordero who were representing the Modern Revolutionary Party, (PRM), the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC), Country Alliance Party (ALPAIS), Dominican Humanist Party (PHD), Dominicans for Change Party (DxC), Popular Front (FA), National Progressive Force (FNP), Alliance for Democracy (APD), Social Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRSD), Democratic Option (OD) and the Christian Socialist Party (PSC).

Meanwhile, supporters of President Danilo Medina in the Senate continue to back the approval of open primaries. Open primaries are opposed by former President Leonel Fernandez supporters, also of the ruling PLD party.

Pedernales market still closed
The bi-national market in Pedernales continues to be closed, due to the Haitian authorities not allowing Haitians to import merchandise purchased in Dominican territory. This is the second time the market day has been cancelled, after the Pedernales City Hall had called for it to be reopened after a month shutdown.

On Monday 9 April, Dominican and Haitian vendors, who live in rural areas around Pedernales, went to the municipal market to sell their agricultural produce, clothes, shoes and other articles. However, there were only a few customers at the market.

The suspension of the market has affected the local economy as customers, both Haitians and Dominicans, stay away.

In addition, the sales of used clothing that are packed in the Export Free Zone in Pedernales has been stopped due to the closure of the border crossing that gives access to the population of

The people of Pedernales have asked the government for a contingency plan to alleviate their economic woes caused by the closure of the bi-national market.

Baby girl would have been sold for RD$5,000
The National Police says that the baby girl abducted on 4 April in a park in Los Minas had been sold for RD$5,000. Spokesman for the Police Frank Duran Mejía said that eight persons have been arrested. The Police say that the abduction was carried out by a gang now suspected in the trafficking of infants. Among those arrested are 40-year old Evelin Moronta and 21-year old Jessica Castillo. When the baby was rescued, Castillo was holding the baby. The arrest took place at Km. 19 of Las Americas Expressway. The baby was taken to the General Hospital of the Police for medical care and delivery to the rightful mother.

The Police accuses Reina Polanco, a cousin of the mother, Joanna Ramirez Montero, of serving as accomplice in the abduction for which she was paid RD$5,000. Reina Polanco is pregnant.

Others identified as participants in the ring are José Alberto y Rafael Gerónimo García Valdez, Eduviges Beltrán Mañón, Grileisi Princesa and Railin Beltrán Moronta, who were arrested in Los Tres Brazos, and Manuel Emilio D' Oleo Montero in La Ureña.

The mother of the seven-day old baby, 16-year old Joanna Ramírez Montero, denounced the kidnapping last week to the Police. She said she had agreed to meet with Moronta in the Los Mina Park in Las Palmas, Santo Domingo Este because the woman had promised to bring her gifts of diapers and milk.
While originally it had been reported that Ramirez was knocked out with a drug to steal the baby, the teenager, as reported in El Dia, clarified that she went with her cousin to the park and then one of the women told her to accompany her to pick up the diapers and milk, and leave the baby with her cousin and the second woman. When the mother returned, her cousin told her that the unknown lady had left with the baby after giving her RD$100 to buy a chicken lunch and then spraying an unknown powder to take the baby.

The father of the baby, Jerry Joel Tavares said he always suspected that Reina Polanco could have been involved because of the many telephone calls she was receiving and avoiding that her conversations be overheard.

Surveillance video of a business located adjacent to the Los Mina park captured the moment of the delivery of the child to the gang members and the payment was made. The case is now being used to resolve other similar cases. The authorities also tracked the calls made by cell phone by Moronta Inoa to contact the cousin of the young mother.
El Dia reports that the scheme may have worked best with poor Haitian mothers that give birth in public hospitals.

Emely Peguero murder case continues
Local media is closely following the testimony of Simón Bolívar Ureña “El Boli,” the man hired by the Martinez family to dispose of the body. He now says that lead suspect Marlon Martínez confessed to him that he had given 16-year old pregnant Emely Peguero something to drink, causing her miscarriage, although he did not specify to the court exactly what it was.

Several weeks after the murder, Ureña led investigators to the body of Emely Peguero that had been placed inside a suitcase and left on a road in Cayetano Germosen, in Espaillat province.

So far in the case, there have not been formal charges made against the main suspect Marlon Martínez, nor his mother Marlin Martínez, who is accused of hiding the body, as well as Henry Martínez, brother of Marlin, accused of criminal association.

All three are currently serving coercive measures in jail.

In addition, the lawyer of Marlin Martinez, Candido Simó has resigned from the case, following the rejection by the Supreme Court to move the case to another area. He said that if the case were to be held in San Francisco de Macoris he would be wasting his time. He is the second lawyer to resign from defending the Martínez. Simó says that the intense media coverage impedes the family receiving a fair trial.

More arrests for undocumented in the DR
The Migration Agency has announced that over the weekend they arrested 260 illegal foreigners in different areas of San Pedro de Macorís. Most of those arrested were Haitians and were arrested in rural areas around San Pedro de Macorís, as well as Los Guayacanes, Juan Dolio and Los Llanos.

One hundred of the arrested Haitians were taken directly to Elias Piña and handed over to Haitian immigration authorities, and the remaining 160 were taken to the Refuge Center of Arrested Persons in Haina, San Cristobal province to be processed and then returned to their country.

Migration authorities also said that one of the Haitians arrested was in possession of 109 portions of what is thought to be marijuana and he was handed over to the National Drug Control Department (DNCD).

So far, in the month of April, there have been more that 11,000 foreigners detained who could not produce proper documents, including Haitians, Venezuelans, Colombians, Chinese, Ecuadorians and other nationalities.

New twist in murder case of Yuniol Ramírez
The murder of lawyer, Yuniol Ramírez took another turn when the lawyer of Argenis Contreras, currently a fugitive, revealed that Ramirez was murdered by two supposed policemen in an SUV in the car park of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). Ramírez was investigating corruption at the government bus division, OMSA.

Lawyer Carlos Balcácer, said that the two supposed policemen were there to hand over three million pesos to Yuniol Ramírez, with the intention of then “bumping him off”.

He said that Argenis Contreras, who he said is in the United States, revealed that he was in a vehicle next to the SUV and he heard arguments and several shots. He said that Contreras also said that José Mercado Blanco “El Grande,” who is also accused of the crime, was not even there, and the authorities know that as there are videos of him between La Vega and Santiago at the time of the murder.

Balcácer said that Contreras would return to the Dominican Republic next week and would reveal the name of the person who sent the police to carry out the murder.

Having been questioned as to where Contreras is living, Balcácer would only say that he was in the United States and that the US authorities had carried out several raids to try and find him.
He drew attention to businessman, Eddy Santana Zorrilla, who had been the person involved in the negotiations and of whom he said “he is involved in this”.

Meanwhile the judge in Las Caoba set the date for the hearing about coercive measures against three new accused persons; Lucas Tobías Ortega Duarte, Víctor Elisander Raverlo Campos, alias “El Herrero”, and Jorge Luis Abreu Fabián, alias “DJ and El Taxista”, accused of covering up for Argenis Contreras and trying to destroy evidence in the case.

Those already in jail for the murder as coercive measures are Manuel Rivas, sent to jail for a year, having been director of the Metropolitan Office of Autobus Services (OMSA), José Mercado Blanco (El Grande), in the La Victoria jail ; Colonel Faustino Rosario Díaz of OMSA in the police jail for Special Operations in Manoguayabo.

Eddy Rafael Santana Zorrilla, spent a month in jail and now is out.

Seven provinces on flood alert
The Emergency Operations Center (COE) has said that seven provinces are on alert for flooding, overflowing rivers and landslides. On yellow alert are the provinces of Santiago and La Vega and on green alert are Monseñor Nouel, Espaillat, San José de Ocoa, El Seibo and San Juan.
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has forecast thunderstorms and rain in the northwest, northeast, central mountain area and the border zone.

Iberoamerican bowling at the Sebelen Bowling Center
The 7th Iberoamerican Bowling Championships are taking place from 8-14 April 2018 with the participating of leading bowlers from nine countries. It is being held at the Sebelén Bowling Center in Santo Domingo. Rolando Sebelén said the championship will last for five days with the participation of competitors from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico, Spain and host Dominican Republic. It is organized by the Federation of Dominican Bowlers, presided by Francis Soto.

Participating for the Dominican Republic are:
A Team: Aumí Guerra, Astrid Valiente, Alex Prats and Rolando Antonio Sebelén, adults category; Sarah Cavallo, Carmina Hermón, Gregory Morín Jr. and Wascar Cavallo, juvenile. B Team: Virginia Bello, Rosanna García, Willie Javier and Leonardo Ardente, adults category; and juveniles Ana Gabriela Soto, María Paula Hernández, Juan Cavallo and Ricardo Garrido.

Soto said the competition will help prepare the team for the Central American & Caribbean Sports Games to be held in Barranquilla, Colombia from 19 July to 3 August 2018.

Candido Bidó art exhibition at Galeria 360
The bright colors of late Dominican artist Cándido Bidó are showing at the central hall of the Galeria 360 mall on Av. John F. Kennedy in Santo Domingo. The exhibition, “Bidó, el color dominicano,” is a collective with works of the Bonao arts maestro from different periods. In the presentation of the exhibition, producer Guillermo Cordero says the works of Bidó reflect the brightness of Caribbean color. He said Bidó’s mastery of the blue tones defined him, and his works were a song to the countryside and the people he loved so deeply.

In this exhibition, master Bidó's works reflect the strength of the Caribbean color, because he made his color and especially those blue tones that defined him, a song of the countryside and the people he loved so deeply. The exhibition will be open through 29 April 2018.