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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 23 January 2020

    Next DR1 Daily News Update on Monday, 27 January
    Regular prosecutors to stand in for Special Electoral Prosecutor?
    ADOCCO criticizes JCE for not developing an effective campaign for the municipal election
    Roberto Rosario says JCE has not corrected automated system vulnerabilities
    Explaining why women in rollers are part of Gonzalo Castillo's campaign
    Bishop warns against politicians seeing themselves as messiahs
    Miguel Vargas meets Mike Pompeo in Jamaica
    Deputies ignore the extraordinary session
    New private alliance for solid waste management
    Environmentalists oppose construction of resort in national park
    EUR47.7 million donation for institutional strengthening
    At least 96,409 traffic fines from January 2019 to date
    Adriano Espaillat to Colombia: Extradite Cesar Emilio Peralta
    Police committed to find who murdered banker Julissa Campos
    911 motorized patrol assaulted
    Dominican airports on alert for coronavirus
    Luis Rojas named new manager of the Metros
    Pre-season MLB game could be held in Santo Domingo
    Toros lead 2019-2020 Baseball Championship

    Next DR1 Daily News Update on Monday, 27 January
    The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 27 January 2020. 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

    Regular prosecutors to stand in for Special Electoral Prosecutor?
    Electoral Regime Law 15-19 establishes that the Attorney General is responsible for naming a Special Prosecutor for Electoral Affairs. With less than a month for the 16 February 2020 election, this relevant electoral officer has not been named.

    Attorney General Office says that electoral crimes committed by militants and political leaders during the next election will be investigated and brought to justice by the prosecutors of each jurisdiction. A group of career prosecutors from different regions of the country has been receiving training to receive eventual complaints and formal charges to investigate the cases.

    Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) politician and former member of the Central Electoral Board (JCE), Eddy Olivares expressed his skepticism about the independence of action that prosecutors may have in electoral matters. According to his considerations, since the Attorney General Office will govern the investigations, these could lack the independence and the needed autonomy necessary to prosecute electoral crimes and offenses outside the interest of the governing party. In 2019, the Attorney General Office carried out a controversial overhaul of prosecutors nationwide, removing many career officers.

    Last week, a mission from the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies (Uniore) recommended actions to eliminate voting card purchases, strengthen the training of the staff at the voting stations, and appoint the electoral prosecutor.

    During a speech last week, the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Román Jáquez, said that the system must be prepared so that electoral crimes do not go unpunished.

    Several civic organizations have requested that the Attorney General appoint the electoral crime officer.

    ADOCCO criticizes JCE for not developing an effective campaign for the municipal election
    Julio César de la Rosa Tiburcio, president of the Dominican Alliance Against Corruption (ADOCCO), says that the Central Electoral Board (JCE) has not developed an effective campaign. For the first time, in this electoral year, the municipal election will be held separately from the congressional and presidential election. The date of the municipal election is 16 February 2020.

    The Justice and Transparency Foundation (FJT) said that 65% of Dominicans are unaware that the municipal elections will take place on 16 February.

    Roberto Rosario says JCE has not corrected automated system vulnerabilities
    Roberto Rosario Marquez denounced that most of the irregularities that occurred in the 6 October Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) primary were repeated in the test run organized by the Central Electoral Board (JCE) on Sunday, 19 January 2020.

    Rosario Marquez is the head of the electoral affairs secretariat at the People's Force Party (FP) for which former President Leonel Fernández is running for President. Rosario was also the past president of the JCE. He said that FP observers verified that a person who entered their fingerprints could vote using the ID of another person.

    Interviewed by Héctor Herrera Cabral on the program De Entero Crédito on RNN Channel 27, the opposition leader said that voters had access to the universal use machine and not only the one assigned to that voting station.

    He said the problems detected during the 6 October primary have not been corrected. Rosario says matters are made worse because the JCE has officially announced that it will use mobile telephony to transmit the results. He said this makes the system even more vulnerable.

    He called for attention to the matters because there are many municipal districts where the vote can be decided by even one vote. The municipal elections are not subject to the 50% + 1 vote.

    He criticized the name change from voting for "none" to "not preferential". He says 39,000 votes were cast for "none" in the past primary. He said that now, the votes marked as "non-preferential" will be added to benefit the mayor candidates.

    He said the party is sharing the findings with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) mission that is carrying out an audit of the voting system.

    Explaining why women in rollers are part of Gonzalo Castillo's campaign
    Diario Libre explains that a woman who was in a beauty parlor in Tamayo ran out of the shop to hug Gonzalo Castillo as he campaigned in her town. The case was widely disseminated. Later campaign strategists decided to incorporate "women in rollers" into the regular campaign activities. Andres Navarro, former Minister of Education and today, operational director for the Gonzalo 2020 campaign, says the moment was a sincere and spontaneous one that they have sought to maintain. "After that in all the Gonzalo campaign actions there are women in rollers coming out to hug him and express their support," he said.

    Political analyst Rosario Espinal did a different take on the rollers campaign strategy. She called it part of the constant degradation of women in politics. She says the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) has consistently shown lack of sensibility to the rights of women. She says in the Medina cabinet, there are only three women. These are the Ministry of Women, Ministry of Youth and Ministry of Superior Education, three of the ministries with the smallest budgets.

    She also observed that all the candidates running for office for the National District are men. She criticized that these three men campaigned through city barrios on Sunday on board a SUV accompanied with several women wearing rollers.

    "It's one thing for a candidate to spontaneously greet women in rollers on the street, but it's quite another to do a political-electoral choreography where three male candidates appear in front of a SUV and several women behind them in rollers," she complains.

    Bishop warns against politicians seeing themselves as messiahs
    The Bishop of Higuey, Monsignor Gregorio Nicanor Peña Rodríguez urged those who aspire to be President not consider themselves "political messiahs." He spoke during the La Altagracia Day mass at the Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia held in Higuey.

    President Danilo Medina, First Lady Cándida Montilla, ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) presidential candidate Gonzalo Castillo and Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) presidential candidate Luis Abinader were present for the mass on Tuesday, 21 January 2020, among other political leaders.

    In the same mass, the bishop warned that citizens not sell their vote in the municipal election of February or in the presidential and congressional elections set for May. He blasted out against those who offer deals for votes.

    Monsignor Peña urged voting for proposals that are an authentic national agenda. He said voting is a right that cannot be motivated by personal interests. He urged to vote for honest people that offer a better future for the country. He also urged that the vote be for politicians who are against abortion.

    Miguel Vargas meets Mike Pompeo in Jamaica
    Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas was in Jamaica for the two-day meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness hosted seven Caribbean countries for the meeting.

    In his Twitter account, Pompeo wrote that the meeting was about a constructive discussion on cooperation across the Caribbean. Pompeo held bilateral talks with delegates from Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, The Bahamas, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, St Lucia, and St Maarten. Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados did not attend.

    Responding to concerns that the US was attempting to divide the region, Pompeo brushed aside the suggestion, saying: “There is no intent from the United States to divide Caricom, the organization that unites countries of the English-speaking Caribbean bloc. Not yesterday, not today, not tomorrow. We want to invite them all to be part of the economic prosperity, security zone that is this region.”

    As reported by Jamaica Gleaner, Pompeo, in his earlier presentation at Jamaica House, said that the US was working to assist countries across the region to become more attractive to private sector infrastructure investments. The newspaper described the event as an effort by the US Government to forge stronger alliances across the region to pressure the beleaguered Venezuelan regime to relinquish power. Also on the table is the Caribbean vote for the reelection of Luis Almagro for secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS).

    In a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Relations quotes Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas saying: “The Dominican Republic welcomes the renewed commitment of the United States to the OAS and to democracy in our region." He observed that the OAS must respond to the challenges of the present and place itself in a position to anticipate the challenges of the future.

    Deputies ignore the extraordinary session
    N Digital says that the extraordinary session convened by President Danilo Medina started a week late and has practically been wasted time for the few attending the sessions. The Wednesday, 22 January session scheduled for 10am was not met because quorum was only met at 1pm. N Digital reports that nothing of importance was reviewed on the day.

    Meanwhile, the 32 senators were more active and passed first readings on bills that will amend the social security system and pension plan rules. A first reading on the Extinction of Domain Bill was also passed.

    New private alliance for solid waste management
    The Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic and several other business organizations presented the new NUVI alliance seeks to turn what would have been garbage into raw materials, with savings of natural resources and energy. The alliance promotes technological innovation, competitiveness and environmental protection.
    The Dominican Republic produces around 16,000 tons of waste every day and only 5% of these are recycled.

    Environmentalists oppose construction of resort in a national park
    An editorial in Diario Libre today focuses on the announcement during the Madrid FITUR Tourism Fair on the start of the development of an “ecologic” resort inside the Cotubanamá National Park (National Park of the East) by the Spanish firm Globalia. Diario Libre points out the irony of the description when environmentalists denounce the Ministry of Environment illegally issued the permit for the construction of the hotel within the protected area. Environmentalists say that the requirement for public hearings was skipped by the Ministry. Diario Libre reports the construction has begun with heavy machinery and workers clearing of a dry forest in the park.

    The Coalition for the Defense of Protected Areas announced on Wednesday, 22 January 2020 that it will take actions to prevent the construction of the resort in the Guaragua-Punta Catuano protected area in the Cotubanamá National Park.

    Kelvin Antonio Guerrero, a member of Ecoparque, speaking on behalf of the environmentalist movements, said: "Cotubanama National Park, the only protected area in the entire East, is a climate regulator. Building in the area would have very negative consequences that we could later regret. Look at all the forest fires that are occurring in other countries, it's due to bad decisions," he argued.

    A press conference is called for Thursday, 23 January at the Academy of Sciences to present the coalition’s positions and reasons to combat the construction of the hotel in the protected area. Among the groups that are part of the Environmental Coalition are Ecoparte, Ozama Verde, SOS Ambiente RD, Grupo Jaragua, Campamento Loma Miranda, Maela, Macoris Verde Ecological Project and the Academy of Science.

    EUR47.7 million donation for institutional strengthening
    The European Union (EU) donated EUR 47.7 million (about RD$2.83 billion) to the Dominican government for implementing three public policy programs aimed at promoting institutional strengthening, transparency and democratic governance.

    The head of the EU's Regional Programmes Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean, Felice Zaccheo, made the announcement during his visit to the country, reported the Multilateral Cooperation Agency (Digecoom) of the Dominican Ministry of Economy (MEPyD).

    Present for the signing of the donation were Ambassador Gianluca Grippa, head of the EU delegation in the Dominican Republic, and Ambassador Antonio Vargas Hernández, National Authorising Officer of the European Funds for Development and director of the Digecoom.

    At least 96,409 traffic fines from January 2019 to date
    Cars without front or back lights (47,561 violations), incorrect use of the left lane by heavy vehicles (11,213 violations), driving a vehicle with low tire tread are among the most common reasons for traffic fines. A recent Transit and Transport Safety Agency (Digesett) report nevertheless does not indicate the number of fines issued for red light crossings, speeding, cell phone use and lack of use of seat belts.

    Listin Diario reports that the number of deaths on the road in 2019 was 1,007 accidents on the road, was 90 less than in 2018 when there were 1,053 fatalities on the roads.

    Efforts are underway to reduce road accidents. The Center for Emergency Operations says that the operation carried out for the Our Lady of Altagracia holiday on 21 January 2020 ended with a 63% reduction in traffic accidents in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020 for the holiday there were only four traffic accidents, compared to the 11 accidents in 2019.

    Adriano Espaillat to Colombia: Extradite Cesar Emilio Peralta
    US Representative Adriano Espaillat urges Colombia to authorize the extradition of Dominican drug lord César Emilio Peralta (César the Abuser) to face criminal charges in the United States. The US government identified Peralta and the Peralta Drug Trafficking Organization (Peralta DTO) as "significant foreign narcotics traffickers" under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

    Espaillat said: "Although the degree of his criminality is unparalleled in the Caribbean, he is simply the face of a criminal side in the region that the US has overlooked in recent years”. He explained that as the law cracked down on drug trafficking in Mexico, the cartels turned to the Caribbean as an alternative route for moving drugs to the United States.

    He said the US Congress and the Executive Branch must proactively increase the US focus on security and law enforcement in the Caribbean to mitigate this threat. He said that programs such as the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) have proven to be viable solutions to combat illicit activity on all islands.

    "Cesar the Abuser" operated a vast criminal network that not only trafficked tons of heroin and cocaine through the Caribbean and into the US over the past decade, but also coordinated countless acts of violence and corruption in Latin America.

    Adriano Espaillat says that for years, in communities along the East Coast, including in the district he represents, the heroin and cocaine trafficked by "The Abuser" and his cronies have destroyed families and caused the loss of innocent lives.

    As reported, last year, Espaillat successfully secured a US$2 million increase in funding for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) to combat illicit drug trafficking and prevent the escalation of violence in the region. US$60 million has been allocated to fund CBSI programs to help prevent young people from being caught up in drug trafficking, help improve and support judicial systems and fight corruption throughout the region.

    Police committed to find who murdered banker Julissa Campos
    The police investigators are dedicated to find who murdered 43-year old banker Julissa Margarita Campos Hernández. She was injured of a gunshot to her chest when she looked out a window on the early morning of Monday, 20 January 2020.

    The assailants were inside the gate of her house and were working on entering by a front glass door. She lived in the house in San Isidro with her husband and three children. The assailants never entered the house. The house in Residencial Las Acacias II of San Isidro road in Santo Domingo East had surveillance cameras that the suspected thieves destroyed.

    Somos Pueblo reports that Campos kept in her house the access key to the vault of the bank where she worked.

    The father of the victim, José Campos spoke up full of impotence. "This s--- has to be stopped, because this s--- is going to continue, this is just dirty politics, this is everything, but there is no goodness, no feeling," he said at the wake. He called for President Danilo Medina to take action.

    911 motorized patrol assaulted
    A uniformed 911 Emergency System nurse and driver on board a motorcycle were assaulted on Avenida Padre Castellanos on Tuesday, 21 January 2020. The assailant snatched the purse of the nurse, Basilia Cabral, causing the motorcycle driver Eduvigen Rodriguez to lose control and crash. Cabral suffered a broken hip and Rodríguez serious scratches. The news went viral on social media.

    Dominican airports on alert for coronavirus
    After the United States announced its first case of coronavirus, Dominican airports have scaled up to prevent the spread to the country of the respiratory virus. The symptoms are fever and cough. Good hygiene is said to be most effective at preventing catching the disease.

    Aracelis Castillo de la Cruz, director general of the Specialized Corps for Airport and Civil Aviation Security (CESAC), said that airport staff is alert to the arrival of citizens, mainly from Asia, who may arrive in the country infected with the coronavirus.

    "The World Health Organization has not yet taken any specific decisions, but we are implementing rather preventive measures so that people who arrive with high fever, or with possible symptoms be isolated and given special treatment," he said. The sickness starts as a cold, evolving into a pneumonia or bronchitis and does not respond to antibiotics.

    The virus would have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei at the end of 2019, and has now spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

    Luis Rojas named new manager of the Metros
    Luis Rojas, the 38-year old Dominican-born son of legendary Felipe Rojas Alou, was named the next manager of the New York Mets. He is the quality control/outfield coach for the team. As reported the club is preparing a multiyear agreement. Rojas would be the team’s fourth manager in the past 2-1/2 years and third in four months.

    Rojas has experience managing in the Dominican Professional Winter Baseball League. He is the sixth Dominican to be named to manage a MLB team. Others have been Felipe Rojas Alou (Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants), Tony Peña (Kansas City), Luis Pujols (Detroit Tigers), Juan Samuel (Detroit Tigers) and Manny Acta (Washington Nationals).

    Pre-season MLB game could be held in Santo Domingo
    Diario Libre reports that a MLB spring training game could be played at the Quisqueya Ball Park this March 2020. The game would be one of the Grapefruit and Cactus League.

    The last time MLB teams played in the Dominican Republic was in 2000. On 11 and 12 March 2000, the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros played at the Quisqueya Ball Park. Diario Libre reports that back then, paid admission was only 4,500 in a stadium with capacity for 18,000 fans. The fans thought the prices were too high.

    This time around, the organizers of the game want the prices to be low enough to fill the ballpark. A recent experiment when the Tigres del Licey dropped playoff prices and filled up the stadium is a hint that it might not be too costly to see MLB play.

    As reported, once the Tigres del Licey and the Toros del Este playoffs end, MLB will take over the stadium to prepare it for the spring training games. The ballpark already had passed a pre-check.

    Toros lead 2019-2020 Baseball Championship
    The Toros del Este have won 2 of the first three games played in the 9-5 playoff series of the Dominican Winter Professional Baseball Championship. The Licey won game 1 (17-2) in La Romana, the Toros won game 2 (6-3 in the 11th inning) in Santo Domingo and the Toros won game 3 (5-2) again in La Romana.

    The next scheduled games are:
    23 January: 7:30pm Santo Domingo
    26 January: 7:30pm La Romana
    28 January: 7:30pm Santo Domingo
    29 January: 7:30pm La Romana
    30 January: 7:30pm Santo Domingo
    Last edited by Dolores; 01-23-2020 at 11:15 AM.

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