DR1 Daily News next update on Monday, 14 January 2019
JCE estimates 33,819 will dispute elective positions primaries
Osmar Benítez: Farming growing by leaps and bounds
Onion producers protest import of onions
Presidency to repair UASD building
TSA annuls contract between Lajun and Santo Domingo Norte city government
German government backs Dominican efforts to give climate change priority
Jose Ignacio Paliza: watch the Punta Catalina sale
Order, the country needs order
Cyclotron installed to treat cancer in Santo Domingo
Many Dominicans to benefit from NYC health care plan
A chronicle of a death foretold!
Is Figueroa Agosto back in the Dominican Republic
Chaman Chacra formal accusation
Triple tie for first again in the Winter Baseball Championship
Dominican women’s volleyball team schedule
Carlos Sanchez to be The Caveman, in Dominican version of successful play
Les Ballets de Monte Carlo at the National Theater

DR1 Daily News next update on Monday, 14 January 2019
The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 14 January 2019. 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 http://www.dr1.com

JCE estimates 33,819 will dispute elective positions primaries
In preparation for the May 2020 general election, the Central Electoral Board (JCE) is assisting the five political parties that have registered for open parties with the primaries in which an estimated 33,819 candidates could participate. The numbers come from the possibility of 10 presidential candidates for parties, or 50 in search of the Presidency, but also the numerous candidates that will compete for senator, deputy, Parlacen, city mayors, and city councilor positions nationwide for the ruling PLD and the opposition parties PRD, PRM, Al Pais and Opción Democratica.


Osmar Benítez: Farming growing by leaps and bounds
Agriculture Minister Osmar Benítez says that the 6.5% increase the Central Bank reported for the farming sector evidences the dynamic growth of agriculture in the Dominican Republic. He says that there are more than 10,800 million tareas (1 tarea = 629 square meters) planted of food products with the backing, promotion and sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture and other government institutions.

In an interview for El Caribe media group, the government officer mentioned that in the farming province of San Juan de la Maguana alone, 120,000 tareas were planted when he began his term in August 2018, and today 180,000 tareas are planted. He said when he started out Constanza had 3,000 tareas of garlic planted, and today has 7,000 tareas.

He highlighted that the Ministry of Agriculture has underway an intense program to improve rural roads to facilitate the distribution of products from the farms to markets. With seven months on the job, he said the Ministry has repaired 1,800 km of rural roads nationwide.

He also spoke of a program whereby the Ministry of Agriculture has provided free assistance to small farmers to prepare their farms with up to 50 tareas.

He said funds available to farmers have now increased from RD$6.7 billion at the Banco Agricola to RD$28 billion at present.

He told El Caribe that the Ministry has also strengthened regional offices nationwide and these now have improved mobilization with attention to a monthly fuel allotment for Ministry of Agriculture vehicles. He said that all ministry employees are now making a minimum wage of RD$10,000 a month. He said the funds have come from an institutional restructuring.

Benítez visited the El Caribe media group accompanied by the other main officers of the Medina administration farming cabinet. These are: Carlos Segura Fóster, general manager of the Banco Agrícola; Casimiro Ramos, director of the Fondo Especial para el Desarrollo Agropecuario (FEDA); Jorge Radhamés Zorrilla Ozuna, director general of the Instituto Nacional de Estabilización de Precios (Inespre), Claudio Jiménez, director del Mercado Dominicano de Abastos de Alimentos Agropecuarios (Mercadom). Only missing was Emilio Toribio Olivo, director of the Instituto Agrario Dominicano (IAD).

Benitez is a former executive president of the Dominican Agribusiness Council. He says now as Minister of Agriculture he is having the opportunity to put into practice many of the recommendations he had previously made to the government.

Benítez is himself a farm sector businessman. He is a plantain producer for Frito Lay and studied farming at the Instituto Superior de Agricultura (ISA) in Santiago from 1972-1975. He is also a graduate in food engineering from the PUCMM in Santiago.

He estimated that in the first year of the Medina administration food production was at 115 million quintals, and as of 2018 this had increased to 158.1 million quintals.


Onion producers protest import of onions
Farmers in south central Peravia province say they are affected by the imports of onions carried out by the Bolsa Agroempresarial de la República Dominicana (BARD). The BARD operates under the umbrella of the Agribusiness Board (JAD). They say the imports are lowering the market price of their product. The onion farmers called for Agriculture Minister Osmar Benitez to compensate them or they will be bankrupt.

The producers say that on 28 September 2018, the BARD conducted an auction of 82,530 quintals of yellow onions. The commission for farm imports is overseen by Agriculture Minister Osmar Benitez, Customs Agency director Enrique Ramirez Paniagua, and Industry & Commerce Minister Nelson Toca Simó.


Presidency to repair UASD building
OISOE announces it will fund repair of UASD student orientation building. The Presidency has accepted to spend RD$5 million to repair the Dr. Rogelio Lamarche building of the state UASD building. The renovations will take three months. The UASD rector Emma Polanco said the OISOE will also fund the repairs to the languages lab center and will provide new equipping of the university dining hall.


TSA annuls contract between Lajun and Santo Domingo Norte city government
The First Hall of the Administrative Disputes Court of the Superior Administrative Court (TSA) announced null the contract between the Alcaldia de Santo Domingo Norte and the multinational Lajun Corporation for the administration and operation of the Duquesa sanitary dump, the main garbage dump for Greater Santo Domingo. In September 2017, the Ministry of Environment took over the operations of the dump on grounds of national health issues.

The court ruled that Lajun violated articles 3.3, 13, 50 and paragraph II of at. 57 of Government Procurement Law 340-06.

Lajun Corporation has taken the city government to international arbitration demanding US$300 million in compensation for the cancelation of its management of the facility.


German government backs Dominican efforts to give climate change priority
The German government supports the Dominican Republic in its preparations for a UN Security Council (UNSC) high-level open debate about the impacts of climate-related disasters on international peace and security, a foreign ministry source told Clean Energy Wire. The Federal Foreign Office is “in close contact with” the Dominican Republic regarding the preparation of the debate, which will take place on 25 January 2019, said the source. As reported, at the Caribbean nation’s request, the foreign office “contributed elements to a concept note, which was sent to all Security Council members.”

Both countries are newly elected non-permanent members of the UNSC and have announced their intention to make the impacts of climate change on international security a priority during their term. The Dominican Republic holds the presidency of the Security Council throughout January 2019 and is a non-permanent member through December 2020.

Like the Dominican Republic, the German government has said it will use its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to spotlight the security implications of climate change. Germany was elected for the same two-year term as the Dominican Republic as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.


Jose Ignacio Paliza: watch the Punta Catalina sale
The president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) Jose Ignacio Paliza advises that the public be vigilant in the sale of shares operation the Dominican government has announced for the Punta Catalina thermoelectric coal-fired power plant it is building in Peravia province. Paliza says the public needs to pay close attention to the compensation the government will be granting investors to make the sale and how this could translate into higher cost of power for consumers.

Paliza speculated that no one is going to invest money in a power plant if the market cost of assets is higher than the market price.

"And Punta Catalina, which originally had a cost of US$1.2 billion, is now close to US$3 billion, that is, the cost of its construction has doubled over time," he said.

The senator for Puerto Plata also said that this is why the PRM has opposed to the selling of assets without being accountable to the National Congress and without having its approval as if the Congress did not exist,” he stated.

The Presidency pushed through the PLD-majority Congress a provision in which the sale would not be subject to congressional approval.

Paliza spoke when interviewed by journalists on 9 January 2019 after participating in a meeting at the Central Electoral Board (JCE).


Order, the country needs order
An editorial in El Dia on 9 January 2019, speaks out to the lack of order that brings chaos to everyday living in the Dominican Republic. “More than being a ‘rich country poorly managed’ the Dominican Republic is in dire need of order in all the sense of the word,” reads the editorial.

The editorial highlights that the country needs order in transit, order in making queues, order in court, order in government bureaucracy. There is a need for order in daily living with neighbors, public transport, and paying taxes.

“We have everything to be a great country, but the lack of order impedes the country from realizing its potential,” writes the editorialist.


Cyclotron installed to treat cancer in Santo Domingo
The Nuclear Agency of the National Energy Commission under the Ministry of Energy has licensed Ciclolab Dominicana to produce, distribute and market a radiopharmaceutical to be used in PET-CT diagnostics and follow up treatments for cancer.

Grupo CDD, a pioneer in Latin America in the installation of FDG production centers, is taking the initiative to install a cyclotron in Santo Domingo to meet the national demand for this radiopharmaceutical.

A press release explains that this new cyclotron the CDD Group is positioned as the largest producer of FDG in the region serving the demands of Venezuela, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Cyclotrons can be used in particle therapy to treat cancer. Ion beams from cyclotrons can be used, as in proton therapy, to penetrate the body and kill tumors by radiation, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue along their path.

The CDD Group, led by Dr. Wilson Mourad, has more than 10 years of presence in the local market, with an impeccable career under its brands CDD Radioterapia, CDD Images and Clínica Abreu.

It is reported that Grupo CDD also installed a PET-CT Discovery IQ of the General Electric Healthcare Division at Clínica Abreu, for which permits are being processed and expected to be in operation in January 2019.

The CDD Group says that Dr. Bayohan Durán, a nuclear specialist from the Hospital Oncológico Docente Fundación Arturo López Pérez (FALP), in Chile, and the Hospital Universitario Vall d’Hebron Barcelona, Spain.


Many Dominicans to benefit from NYC health care plan
New York City is about to get the biggest and most comprehensive health coverage program in the United States. Given that New York City is home to the second largest population of Dominicans in the world (second only to Santo Domingo), hundreds of thousands of Dominicans are likely to benefit from the program that was announced on 8 January 2019 by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.

The city will be paying for comprehensive health care coverage for those who can’t afford it or are undocumented, a spokesman for the city government announced. The plan is to guarantee health care to every single resident regardless of ability to pay or immigration status.

The De Blasio government says that the US$100 million plan will roll out this year and New Yorkers will be able to access the program via the city’s website or by calling 311 to make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services.

This is an unprecedented plan to protect roughly 600,000 of New Yorkers who are currently uninsured and use the emergency room of city hospitals as primary providers, Bill de Blasio has said.

De Blasio has explained that the new program “is not health insurance.” "We'll put the money in to make it work; it's going to save us money down the line," he said speaking on MSNBC. "We're already paying an exorbitant amount to pay for health care the wrong way when what we should be doing is helping them get the primary care."

"This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can't afford it, or can't get comprehensive Medicaid — including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers," spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted for the city mayor’s office.

According to Mayor De Blasio’s office, those who seek health coverage through the program to be known as NYC Care will receive a card that will allow them to see a primary care doctor but also seek specialty care services. Those who can afford to pay will pay for services on a sliding scale, while those who cannot afford to pay will then receive free coverage. The mayor said that there will be no tax hikes to fund the program.

NYC Care is expected to begin in the Bronx this summer 2019 and to be eventually available for the other four boroughs in 2021, according to the De Blasio Mayor office.


A chronicle of a death foretold!
Senator for Peravia Wilton Guerrero had warned in June 2018 of the many drug sales points in Baní, and of the negligence of the National Police. The reality is back in the news after a Police colonel was murdered by a suspect drug dealer when confronting the latter at his sales point. Guerrero had warned that the dealers were frequently armed with assault weapons, such as AK-47s. At the time, he said that the drug dealers paid bribes to authorities to operate freely.

“The authorities know who the criminals are, but these drug dealers are not touched because they offer bribes and thus are protected by National Police agents in this city,” Guerrero had told the press in June.

Marino Vinicio Castillo (Vincho), a lawyer and politician who had advised the Executive Branch on drug matters had estimated last year there are around 40,000 drug points nationwide. He estimated at 300,000 the number of youths who are drug addicts.

On Tuesday, 8 January 2019, 68-year old Police Colonel Daniel Ramos Alvarez, who served as commander of preventive police in the province of Peravia, was killed by suspected drug dealers. A lead suspect is identified as Rafael Antonio Diaz (Buche), who turned himself in. El Dia reports that Buche had been deported from the United States in the 90s after serving 10 years in jail for drug trafficking. He had been detained by the Police in September 2018, but was released in December.

Spokesman for the Police announced on Wednesday, 9 January 2019 the arrest in La Cienaga, National District of Estiben Milcíades Ruíz González (Quiquito). The Police say they are on the trail in the case of suspects.

Juan Manuel Mejía Martínez (Chen), Julio Ernesto Matos Martínez (Gustavo) and others identified as “El Karateca”, “Paco”, “Yegui” and “Yeguito de Pueblo Nuevo”.
The Police say they have seized a Glock pistol that after being analyzed matched the bullet shells found at the murder site.

Hoy reports that witnesses say that Ramos Alvarez was left on his own in the intelligence operation in the Barrio Santa Cruz in Baní, leaving him vulnerable to be shot at by two drug dealers. As reported, he attempted to take a photo of the drug vending operation with his cell phone. The neighbors say they transported the colonel to the hospital after he was shot.

The neighbors say that the town people and the authorities knew that the drug point operated freely from the location at Calle Padre Lorenzo in Santa Cruz. The incidents of the murder and the abandoning of the Police colonel at the scene by other agents is captured in a video, as reported in El Dia.


Is Figueroa Agosto back in the Dominican Republic
TV host Melton Pineda of El Sol de la Manana morning talk show revealed that Puerto Rican big time cocaine trafficker Jose David Figueroa Agosto (Junior Capsula), the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean, has returned to the Dominican Republic. When making the statement, Pineda said he was not able to confirm the news provided by a source.

The director of the National Investigations Agency (DNI) Sigfrido Pared Perez could not confirm to reporters of El Nuevo Diario the veracity of the claim. “We are going to investigate, but as far as we know he is in jail in the United States,” he said. It was last known that he was sentenced to 30 years in jail by federal judge Juan Pérez Giménez in Puerto Rico. As reported, on 27 March 2012 he had declared himself guilty of leading a drug trafficking organization that imported drugs to Puerto Rico. He was arrested in Puerto Rico in 2010.

Reports on Figueroa Agosto’s whereabouts are contradictory. A news report in Noticia Libre said that Figueroa Agosto is not in Puerto Rico. He is held at a shelter maintained by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Brooklyn, New York City. The same source says that Figueroa Agosto does not have an impediment to enter the Dominican Republic. Another media, Acento would later carry a statement by Pared Perez whereby the DNI director confirms that Figueroa Agosto is held at the Brooklyn, New York facility.


Chaman Chacra admits he killed his spouse and her three children
On 9 January 2019, the First Colegiate Court of the National District sentenced Victor Alexander Portorreal Mendoza (Chamán Chacra) to 30 years in jail. The First Collegiate Court of the National District was presided by Judge Gisell Pérez Méndez.

Portorreal was accused of the murder of his spouse and incestuous rape of her three children and had pleaded guilty and asked the court for a pardon. The Prosecutor's Office of the National District had accused Víctor Alexander Portorreal Mendoza, "Chamán Chacra", of killing his spouse, Reyna Isabel Encarnación, and his three stepchildren, in February 2018. The prosecutors had requested the maximum 30 years sentence for Portorreal.

At the hearing, prosecutors Maria Cristina Benitez and Juan Alberto Liranzo, argued that the motive for the crime was that the accused feared that his partner would reveal that he had raped two of his stepdaughters, ages 6 and 10. During the court hearing opening, his former mother-in-law, Brígida Morales said that what triggered the tragedy was that Chamán fell in love with the six-year-old girl. "He nicknamed the girl, 'my little girl.' “Once I took her to the house and he went and looked for her. I did not trust that man and I always told my daughter to be careful," she said.

According to the indictment, as a result of the investigation, it was determined that the two girls were raped by the accused before being murdered on 4 February 2018, in the family residence, located in the Enriquillo sector, kilometer 8 of the Carretera Sanchez.


Triple tie for first again in the Winter Baseball Championship
The Escogido defeated the Estrellas on 9 January 2019 and now the Escogido, Estrellas and Toros all have eight wins and six losses in the round robin to decide the playoff teams. The Licey lost to the Toros and the team is practically out of the race, with only 4 wins and 10 losses. There are only four games to go.
The Leones will play the Toros del Este at 7:15pm at the Quisqueya Ball Park. The Tigres del Licey will play the Estrellas in the Tetelo Vargas of San Pedro de Macorís.

See games calendar and standings at http://www.lidom.com

Dominican women’s volleyball team schedule
The Dominican senior women’s volleyball team (the Caribbean Queens) is regarded as one of the top 10 in the world. The Dominican team has announced its 2019 schedule as it seeks a slot to compete in the top world competitions and prepares for major competitions, such as the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

The upcoming schedule of competitions for the team, that recently defeated Puerto Rico in a friendly Caribbean Series played in San Juan, is as follows:
21-29 April - Pan Am Cup Sub-20. Santo Domingo.
19-27 May – Pan Am Sub-18. Lima, Peru
21 May-7 July – League of Nations
4-15 July XVIII Women’s Pan Am. Lima, Peru
12-21 July - World Cup Sub-20. Mexico
2 - 11 August – Pan Am Games. Lima, Peru
2-4 August – Group D, World Cup Qualifier. Brazil.

Carlos Sanchez to be The Caveman, in Dominican version of successful play
Comedian Carlos Sanchez accepted the challenge for the monologue “Defending the Caveman” that holds the record as the longest running solo play in Broadway history. The play has been seen in 45 countries and translated into 18 different languages.

Defending the Caveman is described as a hilariously insightful play about the ways menand women relate. The play is said to make men and women laugh at themselves, and the ways men and women fight, laugh and love. The play was written by Rob Becker and originally opened in San Francisco in 1991.

The Dominican version, El Cavernicola, is directed by Manuel Chapuseaux and will open Thursday, 14 February at 8:30pm with Thursday showings at the Escenario 360 hall of the Galeria 360 mall. Tickets are for sale online at Uepa Tickets and Tickets Express or by calling 829 953-0360.


Les Ballets de Monte Carlo at the National Theater
From Thursday, 21 February to Saturday, 23 February 2019, the Monaco dance company, "Les Ballets de Monte Carlo", will perform in Santo Domingo. The event is sponsored by the Principality of Monaco and is a benefit for the Quiéreme como soy” and “Nido para Ángeles” foundations that help children with special needs.

Sonia Villanueva de Brouwer, honorary consul of the Principality of Monaco, announced that Les Ballets de Monte Carlo will present "LAC", based on the Swan Lake, with music by PI Tchaikovsky.

New choreography for the classic ballet performance is by the dancer and choreographer, Jean-Christophe Maillot, who along with the writer Jean Rouaud, winner of the Prix Goncourt in 1990.

Jean-Christophe Maillot has created more than thirty works for "Les Ballets de Monte Carlo", since he began his work as director and choreographer of the company in 1993. Among these works are several that enter the repertoire of large international companies such as " Vers A Pays Sage "(1995); "Roméo et Juliette" (1996); "Cendrillon" (1999); "La Belle" (2001); "Le Songe" (2005); "Altro Canto" (2006); "Faust" (2007); and "LAC" (2011).

Monika Despradel, co-producer of this event and president of the Nido de Angeles Foundation, explains in the press release for the event: "We will see the transformation of a great classic to a more contemporary innovative work, the combination of these talented artists and performers together with the skill and sensitivity of Jean-Christophe Maillot promises an exciting reinterpretation of this important work and a great dance show. "

This show features a cast of about 50 dancers, the set design by Ernest Pignon-Ernest and the design of Philippe Guillotel's costumes.

Tickets are for purchase calling the Fudnación Sinfonía at 809 532-6600 and 535-8690 / 91. Also, they are on sale at the National Theater Eduardo Brito box office, the Club de Lectores Listín Diario and the Fundación Nido de Angeles.