Next DR1 Daily News Update: Monday, 16 December 2019
UNESCO: Bachata is an Intangible Heritage of Humanity
Dr. Jesus Feris Iglesias is named National Research Scientist of the Year
JCE announces numbers allotted to political parties
PRM caravan to promote Santo Domingo set for Sunday, 15 December
Felix Bautista says he is backing Gonzalo Castillo
Securities Market Superintendence approves the first issue of securitized securities
750 MW converted to natural gas by February 2020
Electric cars soon to be regulars in the East
Enadom to market natural gas in the East
Total Dominicana to distribute natural gas
Hundreds rally in support of journalist Marino Zapete
Prosecutor in Villa Vásquez barber shop case sent home for Christmas
The four winners of the regular baseball season to be decided this weekend
Long Night of Museums on Saturday, 14 December

Next DR1 Daily News Update: Monday, 16 December 2019
The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 16 December 2019. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the DR1 Forums. See DR1 Forum at

UNESCO: Bachata is declared Intangible Heritage
On Wednesday, 11 December 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced that the danceable music known as the "bachata" is an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Bachata is the second Dominican musical genre to be listed. Merengue was first in 2016.

Bachata emerged from the fusion of bolero with other Afro-Antillean rhythms such as Cuban son, chachachá and merengue. It has four tempos per beat. Usually one of the musicians is the lead singer. The couple’s dance is characterized by a sensual hip movement and simple eight-step structure.

For its performance, Bachata traditionally requires a small group of musicians, who use one or two guitars as lead instruments (electric guitars are used nowadays), and percussion composed of bongos, maracas and a guiro accompanied by a bass.

As a general rule, bachata lyrics express deep and visceral feelings of love, passion and nostalgia. The word 'bachata' is supposed to be of African origin and was not originally used to designate a specific musical genre, but rather a lively gathering or party, UNESCO said in a statement. The UNESCO says that Dominicans see bachata as a vernacular cultural expression that is always present in Dominican community celebrations or social gatherings.

Among its best-known representatives are Tommy Figueroa, one of its pioneers, as well as Leonardo Paniagua, Juan Luis Guerra, Romeo Santos, Prince Royce and Vicente García.

Dominican ambassador to the Unesco, Jose Antonio Rodríguez told Listin Diario that while the request to include the merengue took 12 years, the bid for the bachata was expedited in two years. The motion was approved with the favorable vote of 24 countries present for the meeting of the 14th Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bogotá, Colombia.

"The most beautiful thing about all this is that everyone participated, artists, cultural organizations of the country, the government, which was the one that presented the interest. I think that seldom so many efforts have come together to achieve an objective like this. It is usually but one sector. Still, here I can give you faith and testimony that everyone was involved, from the forerunners of the rhythm to those who now have the responsibility to maintain it," Rodríguez said.

He highlighted that contemporary artist Vicente García had been one of the people who promoted most the recognition, accompanying him to the meeting in Bogotá, Colombia. Vicente García performed one of his bachatas for the list-deciding UNESCO members.

Dr. Jesus Feris Iglesias is named National Research Scientist of the Year
The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCyT) honored pediatrician Jesus Feris Iglesias with the National Research Scientist of the Year. The award was announced at the end of the annual ceremony to recognize the best scientists and innovation researchers in the country held at the Aula Magna of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. Dr. Feris announced he would donate the award to a research project he is backing in his hometown of San Pedro de Macorís. The event was presided over by Higher Education Minister Alejandrina Germán.

Other scientists honored included Fabrice Piazza, Quirico Alejandro Castillo Perdomo in the area of physical-chemical sciences, applications and frontiers, earth and space sciences, water and atmosphere sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, scientific education and educational mathematics. Yolanda León and Ruth Bastardo won the awards in the biological and environmental sciences. Dr. Daisy Acosta was named in the health sciences category. Rosina Taveras Macarrullo for her contribution in agrifood sciences. Engineer Jose Luis Moreno San Juan and Alfredo Manzano won awards in the engineering category. Zoilo García Batista won an award in the technology-based innovation category.

The members of the assessment jury for 2019 were MESCyT Deputy Minister Plácido Gómez Ramírez, biologist Sixto Inchaustegui Miranda, engineer Roberto Arias Milla, physician Dolores Margarita Mejía de la Cruz, and businessman Jaime Alfonso Moreno Portalatín.

JCE announces numbers allotted to political parties
The Central Electoral Board (JCE) published the order in which political parties will be listed for the 2020 general elections. The order was weighted primarily by the number of votes received in the 2016 general elections. Being high up gives a subtle psychological advantage.

The numbers allotted to the political parties are:
1. Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD)
2. Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM)
3. Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC)
4. Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD)
5. Bloque Institucional Social Demócrata (BIS)
6. Partido Movimiento Democrático Alternativo (MODA)
7. Partido de Unidad Nacional (PUN)
8. Partido Alianza Pais (ALPais)
9. Frente Amplio (Frente Amplio)
10. Partido Humanista Dominicano (PHD)
11. Partido Quisqueyano Demócrata Cristiano (PQDC)
12. Partido Cívico Renovador (PCR)
13. Partido Dominicanos por el Cambio (DxC)
14. Partido Liberal Reformista (PLR)
15. Partido Unión Demócrata Cristiana (UDC)
16. Partido Revolucionario Social Demócrata (PRSD)
17. Fuerza Nacional Progresista (FNP)
18. Partido de los Trabajadores Dominicanos (PTD)
19. Partido Popular Cristiano (PPC)
20. Partido Verde Dominicano (Pasove)
21. Partido de Acción Liberal (PAL)
22. Alianza por la Democracia (APD)
23. Partido Demócrata Institucional (PDI)
24. Partido Demócrata Popular (PDP)
25. Partido Revolucionario Independiente (PRI)
26. Partido Nacional Voluntad Ciudadana (PNVC)

PRM caravan to promote Santo Domingo set for Sunday, 15 December
The Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) announces a demonstration of its large following for Sunday, 15 December 2019 at 3pm. The PRM chose to kick off the political caravan at the same Nicolas de Ovando Avenue with Ortega y Gasset Avenue corner continuing south to the Malecon as announced earlier by the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD).

The event is headed by presidential candidate Luis Abinader who is backing Carolina Mejía for mayor and Faride Raful for senator of the National District.

Felix Bautista says he is backing Gonzalo Castillo
Senator Félix Bautista, who won the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) candidacy to bid for reelection as senator for San Juan de la Maguana, confirms he is staying in the PLD. He said his pals are in the party. Bautista ran for the position against deputy Lucia Medina, sister to President Danilo Medina.

Bautista has said he will campaign for Gonzalo Castillo, the presidential candidate of the PLD.

Bautista is best known as a close ally to former President Leonel Fernández. During Fernández’s administrations, Bautista was the head of the Office of Supervision Engineers of Public Works (OISOE), a dependency of the Presidency, from 2004 to 2010. Transparency International has described Bautista as one of the most corrupt men in the world.

Securities Market Superintendence approves the first issue of securitized securities
The housing and construction sectors are expected to benefit from the Securities Market Superintendence (SIMV) approval of the first securities issuance program. The first of its kind in the Dominican Republic, it was approved for up to RD$2 billion.

Carlos Marranzini, general manager of the Dominican Tiltling Company (TIDOM), said: "This is a milestone in the Dominican Republic's stock market and is great news for TIDOM.”

He said the issue would soon be on the market. It will be divided into three series: TIDOM A, with 92.5% of the securities, subordinated TIDOM B, with 7.5%, and subordinated TIDOM C, with 1.2% of the securities. The securities will have a value of RD$1.00 and the minimum investment will be RD$1,000. The securities that make up this first issue received an AA rating from Fitch Ratings in October 2019.

Marranzini highlighted the direct impact on the national economy, mainly in the housing and construction sector. He explained that the originators of the securitized credits, the Asociación La Nacional de Ahorro y Préstamos and the Banco BHD León, will reinvest at least 80% of the value received from the sale of their credit portfolio in the housing sector through construction loans or through new fixed rate mortgage loans.

He explained that the resources received by the savings and loans organizations would benefit Dominican society itself, contributing to the reduction of the one million deficit in homes.

750 MW converted to natural gas by February 2020
Energy corporation executives were at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, 11 December 2019 to announce together with President Danilo Medina advances in the conversion of 750 MW of power generation to natural gas by February 2020. After the meeting, the executive vice president of the Dominican Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), Rubén Jiménez Bichara announced the finalizing of the negotiations to ensure the conversion of power plants in the eastern zone to natural gas.

A new corporation formed between AES Dominicana and Energas (Energía Natural Dominicana) has invested US$100 million to build a 50 km natural gas pipeline from the Caucedo port area in Boca Chica to San Pedro de Macorís. The pipeline will feed the power plants Quisqueya I, Quisqueya II of Barrick Pueblo Viejo, EGE Haina and CESPM. These will continue to be able to generate power with fuel oil, if necessary.

Electric cars soon to be regulars in the East
InterEnergy Group announced the forming of a joint venture with Blink Charging Co. to develop electric vehicle charging station products in the east of the country.

“We are very excited to enter the electric mobility market. We see the roll-out of a network of EV charging stations as a key part of our mission to continue to bring reliable and cost-effective energy alternatives to our region”, said Gonzalez Bunster.

InterEnergy is the exclusive supplier of electricity to the fast-growing tourism resort area of Punta Cana-Bavaro, covering over 50,000 hotel rooms and over 40,000 low-tension clients.

“This joint venture to bring EV charging infrastructure to the Caribbean and Latin America will make it possible for these countries to begin importing EVs and join the movement from fossil-fuel driven economies to sustainable green ones,” stated Blink’s founder and executive chairman Michael D. Farkas. He continued: “The Caribbean and Latin America are facing a classic chicken and egg scenario — the lack of EV charging infrastructure is stopping the importation and sale of EVs and vice versa. Our JV intends to solve the puzzle. Our JV will invest in developing, deploying, managing, and maintaining the charging infrastructure and will begin to expand the availability of charging ports in the Caribbean and Latin America so that the citizens and guests of those countries can enjoy the benefits of driving EVs.”

Enadom to market natural gas in the East
InterEnergy Group Ltd and AES Dominicana will be operating as Energia Natural Dominicana (Enadom) to market natural gas in the East of the country. The new corporation groups the power plants operating under the Compañía de Electricidad San Pedro de Macoris (CESPM), the Consorcio Energetico Punta Cana Macao (CEPM) that serves the communities of Bavaro, Bayahibe, Verón, Punta Cana, Macao, Miches and Uvero Alto.

A 50 km natural gas pipeline is under construction in the East, as well as a new of 120,000 cubic meters storage tank.

“This is a very important partnership, perhaps one of the most important in the country’s energy sector in recent years, as it brings together the collective effort of companies that have made significant investments over the years, which are now being focused on more clean energy,” said Rolando González Bunster, Chairman & CEO of InterEnergy.

The partnership calls for investing over US$300 million over the next four years to provide the eastern region of the country with natural gas for electricity generation, industrial and domestic use.

Total Dominicana to distribute natural gas
V Energy S.A., the local branch of the French energy company Total, announced it has purchased 70% of the shares of Plater Investment S.A., a local natural gas distributor. At present, Total distributes natural gas through a marketing agreement with AES Dominicana. The announcement was by Philippe Jaurrey, executive director of V Energy.

Hundreds rally in support of journalist Marino Zapete
Hundreds of journalists and freedom of speech defenders showed up in support to muckraking journalist Marino Zapete. Zapete is being sued by Maybeth Virginia Rodríguez Sánchez, sister of Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez.

Zapete in his El Jarabe show on 25 September 2019 on TeleRadioAmerica presented evidence collected by a lawyer on irregular contracting signed by Maybeth Rodríguez Sánchez. The journalistic program resulted in the cancellation of Zapete from the program on that television station. The owner of the station was told he would be included in the lawsuit if the station continued to air the program.

The demonstrators showed up at the Ciudad Nueva Fourth Criminal Court of the National District where the first hearing for the defamation lawsuit was heard on Wednesday, 11 December 2019. The Maybeth Rodríguez is asking for compensation of RD$5 million and six months in prison for damages suffered. The compensation would be later donated to a non-profit that works to combat cancer in children.

“We all are Zapete,” “Don’t mess with Zapete,” “Don’t mess with the people,” were written on many of the posters.

Lawyers José Martínez Hoepelman and Julio Cury are representing Maybeth Rodríguez Sánchez in the case. He told reporters covering the lawsuit that the Attorney General Office was not part of the investigation or the trial process. He maintains that Maybeth Rodriguez proceeded as established by law when she sued Zapete, for violation of the Articles 29 and 33 of Law of Expression and Dissemination of Thought that dates back to 1962.

The case hearing was postponed until 19 December 2019 when the judge asked the demandants for proof that the accused had been notified and they did not have this document. The judge argued that if the hearing was to conciliate the parties and secure a retraction from Zapete, this was not possible if the person had not been correctly notified.

Meanwhile, Zapete said when he arrived at the Palace of Justice that it is the Dominican press that is being sued. "Before anything else I want to tell the people, the people and the world that this is not a complaint by Mrs. Maybeth against Marino Zapete for a defamation matter. This is a political decision of the government, that is not satisfied with the large amount of paid voices it has in the press to manipulate the population and wants to shut up the journalists who have decided not to be their voices.”

Prosecutor in Villa Vásquez barbershop case sent home for Christmas
The Justice Ministry in Montecristi authorized that Montecristi prosecutor Carmen Lisset Núñez and National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) agents involved in the drug scandal at a Villa Vasquez barbershop to post a RD$40,000 bond and go home for Christmas. Previously, she had been sentenced to six months of pre-trial custody.

The Attorney General Office said the change in pre-trial measures would be appealed because there is the possibility Núñez could attempt to flee and leave the country. Núñez and her husband had attempted to leave the country after the incident became publicly known. At the time, Núñez was detained at Las Americas International Airport, but her husband was allowed to leave as he did not have a case in the judiciary against him.

The El Mana barbershop case went viral after the owner of the shop released the video of the happening on social media. It shows what appears to be the law enforcement officials themselves planting what is presumed to be drugs in the shop. After analyzing the video, the DNCD and the Judicial Ministry, suspended the entire staff assigned to the locality and an investigation was begun against the agents. But the case against DNCD former agents Víctor Ignacio Encarnación Cuevas, Juan de Dios Heredia Martínez, Adan Maurito Rodríguez Pichardo and Juan Antonio Arias Peguero, and the suspended prosecutor Carmen Lisset Núñez has yet to conclude.

The four winners of the regular baseball season to be decided this weekend
It looks like it will be the Toros del Este, the Leones del Escogido, the Tigres del Licey and the Aguilas Cibaeñas. The 2018-2019 defending champions, Estrellas Orientales and the Gigantes del Cibao have not managed to get the wins needed to move up in the standing.
As of 12 December 2019, the standings are:
Toros del Este (28 games won, 16 lost)
Leones del Escogido (24-20), 4 games difference
Tigres del Licey (23-21), 5 games difference
Aguilas Cibaeñas (21-23), 7 games difference
Estrellas Orientales (18-26), 10 games difference
Gigantes del Cibao (18-26), 10 games difference

The final games of the regular season are scheduled for 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 December.

Afterwards, the best four will compete in the round robin tournament to determine the two teams moving to the playoffs in late January 2020. The winner then will travel to Puerto Rico, to represent the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series 2020 playing teams from Venezuela, México, Cuba and possibly Panama.

Long Night of Museums on Saturday, 14 December
The Ministry of Culture announces the Long Night of Museums for Saturday, 14 December 2019. The Ministry has programmed a concert with singers Adalgisa Pantaleón, Miriam Cruz and the Boba Band at the Plaza España in the Colonial City.

For the Long Night of Museums, most of the museums in the Colonial City are open from 9am to midnight free of charge. All day there are special activities organized for the hundreds of visitors.

The Museo de las Casas Reales, Casa de Tostado, Casa de Teatro, Museo de la Familia Dominicana, Alcázar de Colón, Museo de Cera Juan Pablo Duarte, Centro Cultural de Telecomunicaciones, Centro Cultural Banreservas, Centro Cultural de España, KahKow Experience will be offering guided tours from 10am in the morning.

The event is also an opportunity to visit the new Museo de las Atarazanas (MAR) dedicated to treasures salvaged from the sea that opens on Thursday, 12 December 2019 in the Colonial City.

This December, the day is dedicated to merengue and to non-violence against women. Music, choir and drama activities have been programmed at the public spaces and museums in the Colonial City.