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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 25 April 2018

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 25 April 2018

    Medina motivates business opportunities on the border with Haiti
    President Medina participates in anniversary of 1965 Civil War
    New agriculture initiative bears fruit
    Forests inventory to be finished by July 2018
    Opposition parties oppose open primaries and ask for priority to Electoral Regimen Bill
    Alianza País tells JCE to do its job
    Parents use their daughters for their financial gain, say Plan International and Unicef
    Diabetes on the rise, binge drinking partially to blame
    Customs detects US$1 million in cash smuggling in Haina Port
    The majority of cash from security truck heist still missing
    Police says RD$36 million bank heist robber left the country
    Freight carriers may strike to protest fuel increases
    Title fight in Colonial City
    Vehicle robberies increase

    Medina motivates business opportunities on the border with Haiti
    on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at the Presidential Palace, President Danilo Medina held a meeting with cabinet ministers to push forward more projects for border provinces.  At the end of the meeting, he gave 15 days to receive a list of the programs and projects being implemented and new ones that could be implemented for economic development on the border. 

    Gustavo Montalvo, Minister of the Presidency, highlighted that the border provinces are the poorest and most socially vulnerable in the country. He said that is why the Presidency is giving priority to the area.

    At the meeting, President Medina stressed the need to carry out strategic initiatives to facilitate investment and development of new businesses with capacity to create many jobs to reduce unemployment at the border. Discussed at the meeting were possibilities of increasing opportunities for locals to supply products for the public school food programs in the area. 

    Meeting with President Medina also were Defense Minister Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem; Environment Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito; and deputy ministers of the Presidency Sina del Rosario and Industry & Commerce, Ignacio Méndez; Yokasta Guzmán, Procurement Agency director; Luis Estrella Pichardo, executive director of the Council for Coordination of the Special Border Zone Development (CCDF); Julio Mariñez, director of the Institute for Development and Cooperative Credit (Idecoop); Mayra Jiménez, director of the Program for the National Council of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Promipyme); Osmar Benítez, president of the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD); Carlos Segura Foster, director of the Agriculture Bank (Bagricola), and Rene Jáquez, director of the National Institute for Student Welfare (Inabie).  

    Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, said that "the policy of improving border security requires that efforts foster economic activity, in order to avoid a reduction of the Dominican presence in the provinces of our border."

    The participants in the meeting also reviewed the progress and pending challenges for the development of Pedernales and the Bay of Manzanillo in Monte Cristi with its port, initiatives that the Presidency considers essential for the growth of the region.

    President Medina participates in anniversary of 1965 Civil War
    On Tuesday, 24 April, 2018 President Danilo Medina participated in events to commemorate the Constitutional Revolution that began on 24 April 1965, and which is still one of the most transcendental episodes in the country. The struggles to uphold the Constitution led to a bloody civil war. The President remembered those who gave up their lives in the defense of the nation’s sovereignty and honored all of those who came together to fight for their ideals. 

    He said that on the 53rd anniversary of the event, one of the main objectives was to reestablish the 1963 Constitution and return the government of Professor Juan Bosch to power. Bosch had been the president for seven months following the fall of the Trujillo dictatorship, but was forced to leave after a coup d’etat.

    In his message, Medina said that this event led to the second military intervention led by the United States and the OAS that sent a contingent known as the Fuerza Interamericana de Paz to impede the restoration of the Bosch government by men commanded by Colonel Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deñó. Caamaño went on to take over the presidency of the Constitutionalist Government until Bosch would return. 
    He finished by saying “the 1965 Revolution led to the birth of a new period of political, economic, cultural and social life in the Dominican Republic, with more demonstrations, an air of freedom, following 30 years of bloody dictatorship”.

    New agriculture initiative bears fruit
    According to Pedro Ángeles, director of the Agricultura Familiar project, 314,195 low income families who live in rural areas and enrolled the Progress with Solidarity program (Prosoli), are producing food by means of small farming groups and community networks. The program operates under the Office of the Vice President. 

    Angeles said that to date, these families have produced 281 million eggs, 2,400 pounds of tilapia in four 250 square meter tanks and have 2,700 square meters of short cycle crops. In addition 172,102 of the program’s beneficiaries have kitchen gardens. 

    Ángeles relayed the information to the public during a conference entitled “Shaded structures: An alternative means of production for food security and reduction of poverty: headed up by Vice President Margarita Cedeño. 

    He said that 729 families have been trained in the area and 335 are selling their products in the local market and explained that these shaded structures are similar to greenhouses, whose main function is to create the ideal conditions for growing crops, allowing the farmer to reduce light intensity from the tropical sun and thus improve plant vigor.   

    By means of this project, Prosoli have installed 14 of such structures with 10 working as training centers, located in El Seibo, Monte Plata, Hato Mayor, San Juan and Montecristi.

    Forests inventory to be finished by July 2018
    Preliminary results of the Ministry of Environment National Forestry Inventory reveal that Dominican forests store more than 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), with 80% of this in the soil. The inventory is expected to be concluded in July 2018 making available information on the condition of the forests regarding their composition, and existence of volumes of biomass and carbon, explained forestry engineer Ramón Díaz, director of the Forest Monitoring Unit of the Ministry of Environment. 

    He said the inventory will also reveal data on the biodiversity of the forests. "For the first time we will have the biodiversity index as part of the inventory," said Díaz. The inventory in six regions nationwide is possible thanks to cooperation from the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and the Forest Carbon Facility Program (FCPF) of the World Bank.

    Opposition parties oppose open primaries and ask for priority to Electoral Regimen Bill
    Directors of 11 opposition parties met on 24 April 2018, with the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Ruben Maldonado, to lobby for a “no” vote to a Political Parties Bill that recently passed in the Senate. The opposition party leaders do not agree with the motion that would make obligatory for all political parties to hold simultaneous open primaries to choose their presidential candidates in the 2020 general election. The opposition representatives also advocated that the Congress give priority to the Electoral Regimen Bill instead of the Political Parties Bill. 

    Meeting with Maldonado at the Chamber of Deputies were key officers of the political parties Revolucionario Moderno (PRM), Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC), Revolucionario Social Demócrata (PRSD), Alianza por la Democracia (APD), Quisqueyano Demócrata Cristiano (PQDC), Fuerza Nacional Progresista (FNP), Humanista Dominicano (PHD), Partido Socialista Cristiano (PSC), Alianza País,  Frente Amplio, Opción Democrática y Dominicanos por el Cambio.

    Even the ruling PLD party is divided on the issue. While simultaneous open primaries are backed by legislators loyal to President Danilo Medina, supporters of former President Leonel Fernández reject the method. In a recent written statement published online at, the official website for the PLD, states that if the method it is opposed it would only be through force. Nevertheless, the note concludes the motion would not divide the party. 

    There is speculation in the media that the government seeks for the bills that would instate controls and checks to political system to continue stagnated in congress, where they have lagged for over 20 years.

    Alianza País tells JCE to do its job
    The political party Alianza País (AlPaís) is requesting that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) start discussions for the drafting and approval of the ruling for the 2020 general election in within the next two weeks. AlPaís insists this is essential to guarantee free, transparent and fair elections in 2020. The party bases its request on the Constitution, Law 137-11 of the Constitutional Court. 

    Alianza País demands that the JCE rule on transparency regarding the source of campaign funds to be used by the political parties and candidates in the electoral campaigns, limits to funding for political party and candidate spending during the electoral campaigns.  

    The representatives of the political organization say that since the enactment of the 2010 Constitution, the JCE has ignored the provisions of its article 212, paragraphs I and IV, that, for the purpose of organizing truly democratic electoral processes, grant the JCE the power to produce regulations in all matters of its competence. Alianza País says the JCE has also ignored the regulatory mandates by the Electoral Law No.275-97 that is in effect.

    Instead, the JCE has continuously sought that the National Congress pass a new Political Parties Bill and Electoral Bill with the regulations contained within.

    Parents use their daughters for their financial gain, say Plan International and Unicef
    Plan International and Unicef again are stressing the troubling situation of sexual exploitation that affects children in the southern border provinces. A recent study, “Invisible under the sun: A look at the sexual exploitation of boys, girls and teenagers in the Enriquillo Region”, reveals that 50.9% of those under 21 years in the region have already had sex. Of that percentage, 26.8% told pollsters they had done so with a person at least 10 years older, 11% said they did so at least once for money or another retribution, and 76% had had sex at least once in the past 12 months. These statistics are above national averages. 

    The poll is part of the project “Adding up efforts: Prevention of sexual exploitation of boys, girls and teenagers in the country.”

    The poll also revealed that 48.6% of women 20 to 49 years had been in cohabitation before their 18th birthday, and 17% before their 15th birthday. 

    Rosa Elcarte, representative in the Dominican Republic for Unicef, said the authorities need to do better to care and prevent victims of sexual abuse. She said the present efforts are insufficient. 

    The provinces in the Enriquillo Region are Pedernales, Independencia, Barahona and Bahoruco.
    Most cases in the south occur in the poorest communities, where parents use their girls as an economic asset, said ElCarte. She said then the girl is marked for life. 

    Plan International's program manager, Silvio Minier, says that the sexual exploitation of children "is a form of violence, a violation of their rights and ironically a preventable crime”. She defined as causes the patriarchal culture and gender inequality. 

    Both entities recommend the "promoting public policies of prevention, involving private companies, especially the tourism sector, communities and adolescents themselves in the construction of protective environments, promoting the reduction of social tolerance and increased persecution of this crime."

    Diabetes on the rise, binge drinking partially to blame
    According to a study carried out by the National Diabetes Institute (INDEN) and the Ibero Americano University (UNIBE), 13% of Dominicans are diabetic and 58% of those diabetics also have hypertension.
    The study’s researchers sampled 10,500 people in the 31 provinces in the country.  Of the 13% who had diabetes, 2.35 % did not know they had suffered from the disease. Of the sample, 9.3% were pre-diabetic.

    The results of the study were presented by the director of INDEN, Ammar Ibrajim, who recommended the detection and prevention of diabetes and highlighted that the majority of the diabetics made their disease worse by their behavior, type of food and alcohol consumption.

    Customs detects US$1 million in cash smuggling in Haina Port
    The Customs Agency (DGA) reported seizing around US$1 million that had entered by way of Haina Port. The money was camouflaged in vehicle parts that arrived in tanks. The transporter was identified as Salcedo Cargo Express with offices in New York and Salcedo, as reported on Telenoticias.

    The majority of cash from security truck heist still missing
    Of the RD$36 million stolen from a G4S security truck, which appears to have been an inside job involving the G4S employees, the police have so far recovered  RD$4,836,000 and 28,500 Euros.  
    Last weekend, another of the supposed robbers, 25 year old Misael Vólquez Espinosa, handed himself in to the public prosecution office in Barahona.

    Those already arrested, which the police say are all of those thought to be involved, are 50 year old Rudy Alberto Serrano Féliz; Manuel Isaías Pérez Sánchez, 33, Nircido Féliz Fernández, 51, Darlin Vólquez Feliz (Wassa), 33, Israel García García and his nephew Ernesto García Reyes.
    However, the whereabouts of the remainder of the money is unknown.

    Police says RD$36 million bank heist robber left the country
    The director general of the Police, Major General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte, says that one of the lead suspects in the robbery of RD$36 million to a G4S security company cash truck, Manuel Antonio Pérez Sánchez (Elién) traveled abroad on the day after the robbery that took place at the Curva de Billeya on the Baní-Azua highway. Bautista made the announcement when making public that another suspect, 25-year old Misael Vólquez Espinosa has turned himself in to the authorities in the presence of his mother, and Moneidy Gómez, of the local Human Rights Commission; Benny Rodríguez, secretary general of the Journalists Guild, among others. 

    Vólquez’s brother, the Barahona Jail inmate Darbinson Vólquez Espinosa, is suspect of having planned the crime from inside the jail using his mobile phone. 

    The Police has arrested several others in the case, but say they have only recovered RD$5.7 million of the RD$36 million stolen from the truck. Bautista suspects Pérez Sánchez knows the whereabouts of the missing cash.

    Freight carriers may strike to protest fuel increases
    The National Dominican Transport Federation (Fenatrado) has called on the government and the private sector to meet to readjust the tariff for cargo transport and warned that if they do not, then they will paralyze the service. Fenatrado is known for unilaterally imposing its high rates and using vandalism to make sure they maintain their practical monopoly. 

    Fenatrado spokesmen argue they cannot continue to work with their present rates given the rising price of fuel.

    Ricardo de los Santos, president of Fenatrado said that no sector could take on this level of cost increase without the danger of leaving the market or going bankrupt. He added that in addition to the high cost of fuel, other costs included tires, lubricants, spare parts and repairs all contribute to the very high costs of the freight transport.

    Title fight in Colonial City
    A lawyer has refuted the complaint from residents at 356 Isabel La Católica, in the Colonial City over a title dispute. Rafael Lara, lawyer of Katherine Lara, owner of Island Life Backpackers Hostel, said that his defendant had legitimate title to the property which had been acquired in 2015, from Huáscar Valera, who bought it in 1981.  Lara produced the title dated 10 November 1981.

    He said that some of those living in the property next to the hotel accepted money to leave. However, an individual moved back to property to pressure the owners.

    Lara denied the claim that this property belonged to a woman who died in Puerto Rico and said that his client had been a victim of aggression with tires being burned in front of the hotel.  Lara noted that his client was paying a loan for a building that she could not move into. He also criticized the authorities who had been asked to intervene and who did nothing, saying that this affected foreign investment and the image of the country.

    Vehicle robberies increase
    According to a report on Citizen Safety issued by the Observatory for Citizen Safety, in 2017 there were 5,970 robberies of vehicles. This translates to an average of 58.7 vehicles stolen per 100,000 inhabitants and 15.4 per 10,000 motor vehicles registered in the country. Some 90% of the thefts were of motorcycles. 

    The figures show a 9% increase over 2016, when 5,455 were stolen. However, the report states that the violent robberies have decreased from 1,795 in 2016 to 1,594 in 2017.

    Most of the thefts occurred between January and September with a decrease in the last quarter of 2017 compared with the same time period in 2016. Of the thefts some 31% take place between six and eleven in the morning and 47% happen at the weekends.
    Last edited by Dolores; 04-25-2018 at 10:24 AM.

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