DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 11 June 2019



Former President of Costa Rica visits
David Collado in New York to advance twin city program
Multiple expressions of solidarity to Big Papi
David Ortiz is flown to Mass General for recovery
Jhoel Lopez leaves clinic
Attorney General says the country is safe
Witness accounts of the shooting
Big Papi shooter was taken to hospital
Bar where Big Papi was shot is shut down by authorities
Increased tension at the border with Haiti
Ministry promises to rebuild Costa Dorada bridge
Traffic changes in Naco
Another road traffic accident in Bani
Four provinces under weather alert

Former President of Costa Rica visits
President Danilo Medina received former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla at the Presidential Palace on Monday, 10 June 2019. Chinchilla was president of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014.

The Presidency reported Chinchilla praised the economic growth of the past seven years. "I see this economic growth with envy, with a lot of envy, because the Dominican Republic, along with Panama, has been practically flying and that is the best news for any country, because when an economy grows it generates jobs and that has repercussions for the people," she said at the end of the meeting.

The Dominican economy grew 7.2% in November 2018 and closed the year at 7.0%.

The former president of Costa Rica says she has always had an excellent relationship with President Danilo Medina. She said her visit is at the request of the Madrid Club and the National Migration Institute of the Dominican Republic to share experiences, observe good practices regarding migratory flows and at the same time to bring some recommendations.

David Collado in New York to advance twin city program
National District Mayor David Collado and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio met to reaffirm bilateral collaboration agreements to work hand in hand on issues of urbanism, planning and security during a meeting held on Monday, 10 June 2019 in New York City.

As part of a twin city program, the New York Police will be training the National District Municipal Police. Likewise, the Dominican urban renewal team will travel to New York to work on urban planning, and the New York Fire Department will provide support to the Santo Domingo Fire Department.


Multiple expressions of solidarity to Big Papi
President Danilo Medina sent his sympathy to David Ortiz. "We deeply regret the incident of which @DavidOrtiz, one of the most supportive Dominicans I have ever met and someone who has made our Dominican Republic very proud." He said: "I talked to him before he left for Boston and we have been in contact since last night with his father and Leo Lopez following up on his condition. With God's help, we hope for his quick recovery, as well as that of @JhoelLopez.

Former US President Barack Obama sent his wishes for quick recovery: "Six years ago, David Ortiz's spirit and resolve helped us all begin to heal from the Boston Marathon bombing. Today, I want to join many others in wishing him a speedy recovery of his own. Get well soon, Papi."

Former President Leonel Fernández said: "It is unfortunate that an international sports figure such as David Ortiz has been a victim of violence in the country. He is part of our cultural heritage."

Vice President Margarita Cedeño: "I pray for the quick recovery of David Ortiz and Jhoel Lopez. Both are examples of hard work, humbleness and solidarity with others. I condemn violence. We want and deserve peace for our country!"

President of the PRM, senator Jose Ignacio Paliza, "It is our reality, pure and simple, that the barrios live every day. Crime is winning the battle, Dominicans are good people."


David Ortiz is flown to Mass General for recovery
Baseball star David Ortiz was flown to Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts to continue his recovery from a gunshot wound suffered on Sunday evening, 9 June 2019.

David Ortiz left the Abel González Advanced Medicine Clinic in Santo Domingo on Tuesday, 10 June at 5:15pm to take an air ambulance for the flight to Boston, Massachusetts.

His father, Leo Ortiz stated: "We are going to the city of Boston, not because of the lack of medical services in the country, because we have are very satisfied, but the family and David's private doctors await us in Boston." Ortiz arrived to Boston at 10:35pm and was taken directly to Mass General Hospital.

In Santo Domingo, Ortiz had been operated at the Abel González Advanced Medicine Clinic on Av. Abraham Lincoln, where he remained in the intensive care unit until his condition was stabilized so he could be flown to Boston.

The bullet went through Ortiz's back, out of his abdomen and then the same bullet hit TV host Jhoel López in the leg. Both men are out of danger.

The spokesman for the clinic, Dr. Abel González, had said that the surgery on Ortiz was successful. He noted that the bullet struck the liver and the small and large intestines. He says Ortiz's gall bladder was removed to make space to treat the liver. He was operated by doctors José Abel González, José Alejandro Smester López and Felipe Martínez.

Ortiz was shot while out with friends, television producer Jhoel López and the rap singer, Urbano Secreto, in the Dial Bar on Venezuela Avenue, in eastern Santo Domingo. He was said to be a frequent patron of the popular Ozama neighborhood bar and dance parlor.

In the case, the Police have said they have under arrest Eddy Feliz Garcia, aged 25. The Police suspect he was the driver of the motorcycle that transported the assailant to the scene. Feliz García has a police record with arrests for drug charges in 2017. The bike is also under custody.

But the man who fired against Ortiz is fugitive. The Police is on the lookout of the other person who is seen on the surveillance video shooting at the ball player.

The Police are investigating the possibility that the killer had been contracted and it was due to "a fight over a woman". Photos and videos have extensively circulated on social media showing a voluptuous woman said to be what sparked the incident. A video of a woman who was not allowed to see Ortiz at the Abel González Clinic has also circulated on social media.

Ortiz's spokesperson, Leo Lopez, told local press that a hitman is suspected, but denied claims that jealousy and a woman were behind the shooting. The New York Post carried a report whereby sources within the Police had mentioned the woman as the motive for the shooting.

Major General Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte has gone on record saying the shooting was not a robbery. He said the Police is carrying out an exhaustive investigation into the incident.

The Central Office of Investigation (Dicrim) and the Forensic Police are working the scene to clarify what exactly happened at 10:30pm on Sunday. Witnesses are being interviewed and the Police are working to discover if other people are involved. The Police says it has made several arrests.

As reported, FBI agents from the United States are working with the local Police authorities on the case.


Jhoel Lopez leaves clinic
Liza Blanco, wife of Jhoel López, has spoken about the current condition of her husband who was shot, along with David Ortiz, on Sunday, 9 June 2019 at around 10:30pm. She said that he was out of danger and stable. López left the Abel Gonzalez Clinic on Tuesday. He has not shared details of the attack with the media.


Attorney General says the country is safe
The Attorney General, Jean Alain Rodríguez, speaking about the shooting of David Ortiz and Joel Lopez, ruled out robbery as the motive. He went on to say how much he regretted what had happened and confirmed that all efforts are being made to clarify the events and ensure justice is carried out. He said that the Dominican Republic is a safe country that has had many challenges to face and the authorities were working hard to ensure the country becomes even safer.


Witness accounts of the shooting
Local people in the area where David Ortiz was shot on Sunday night, 9 June 2019, and television presenter Jhoel Lopez was also injured, have been talking about how the attack took place. An employee of a food business, owned by the same people as the nightclub where the shooting took place, said that before it happened, the motorcyclist was talking to other people inside a car. He said the driver and his passenger stopped at the car and were talking to someone, then the passenger on the motorcycle got into the car, and someone got out of the car and took his place on the bike.

Following the shooting, a colmado worker said that the two people on the motorcycle split up, the shooter ran off and the other one tried to escape on the bike but ran into a parked car. It was then that the crowd caught up with him. He managed to get into the colmado, but he was dragged out and beaten and kicked and hit with bottles for around 15 minutes until the police appeared. Some wanted to kill him, but several stopped this from happening so the man could explain why he had fired at David Ortiz.


Big Papi shooter was taken to hospital
Eddy Vladimir Feliz Garcia, the man who shot David Ortiz on Sunday was admitted to the Dario Contreras Trauma hospital after having been severely beaten. He was discharged around midnight and handed over to the Police. According to the hospital he was suffering from blows to the head, trauma to his chest, his left knee and right leg. Police spokesman, Colonel Frank Feliz Duran Mejia said that Garcia was being held at the Police Headquarters but he could not be interrogated due to his injuries.


Bar where Big Papi was shot is shut down by authorities
Interior and Police Minister Jose Ramon Fadul ordered on Monday, 10 June 2019 the temporary closure of the "Dial Bar and Lounge" after Red Sox legend David Ortiz and television presenter Jhoel Lopez were injured in a shooting.

"This closure is ordered to continue the investigations of the event that took place yesterday, Sunday, 9 June, in the aforementioned establishment, located on Avenida Presidente Vásquez, almost on the corner of Venezuela, Ensanche Ozama, municipality of Santo Domingo Este," explains the statement.


Increased tension at the border with Haiti
There has been a tense calm and a 1,000-men reinforcement of military presence at the Dominican-Haitian border in Dajabón, due to the mayor protests on Sunday, 9 June 2019 in Haiti.

The increase in military presence is an attempt to avoid the entry of more undocumented Haitians, possibly fleeing from the violence in Haiti. People in Haiti are demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moses over the Petrocaribe issue.

The Defense Minister, Lieutenant General Ruben Pauline Sem, ordered the increase in troops in coordination with Army commander general, Major General Estanislao Gonell Regalado.


Ministry promises to rebuild Costa Dorada bridge
A small pedestrian bridge that links the beaches of Costa Dorada and Playa Dorada collapsed on Saturday, 8 June 2019. There were no injuries. As reported, two tourists had just crossed the bridge when it collapsed.

It is the access for visitors staying at the Costa Dorada and Playa Dorada hotels who want to visit the artisan market and restaurants in El Pueblito.

There have been calls to maintain and repair the bridge for the last two years, along with requests to finish the work in the vendors' marketplace.

Now the Vice Minister of Tourism Julio Almonte has announced on social media that the Ministry of Tourism will rebuild the bridge in the next few days.


Traffic changes in Naco
The National District government announced traffic direction changes for the Naco commercial and residential area in Santo Domingo that will go into effect on Saturday, 15 June 2019. The city government says that there will be a three-month test period to give time to roll in adjustments. The changes respond to Ordinance 06-2018 and have been approved by the National Institute of Transit and Land Transport (Intrant), and the Traffic Safety and Land Transport Agency (Digesett).

According to the proposal, the streets affected are:
Salvador Sturla, which becomes West to East;
Carlos Sanchez will become East to West;
President Gonzalez, West to East;
Gracita Alvarez, North to South;
Manuel Perdomo, North to South;
Del Carmen becomes South to North.
Auro Paulino Street becomes West-East;
Orlando Martínez, East-West;
Tetelo Vargas, West-East;
Sócrates Nolasco, South-North;
Octavio del Pozo, West-East.

Once the test period expires, the authorities will assess the plan and present suggestions to the councilors before definitely ratifying the ordinance.

The city government says that over the next three months, no traffic fines will be applied to give citizens time to learn the new road directions.


Another road traffic accident in Bani
Two people died and another five were injured in a road traffic accident on Sunday evening, 9 June 2019. The accident happened on the Sanchez highway near to the Las Charcas crossroads between Azua and Bani, when two cars collided and burst into flames. Those who died were 38-year-old Jorge Luis Martínez, the driver of one of the vehicles, and 39-year-old Fernando de Jesús Doñé. The injured are Jessica Adames, aged 30, Estefania Adames, 29; Verónica Adames, 32, Yonathan Vilchez Beltre, who was driving the other car and a 12-year-old, Gesaias Santana.

They were taken to the Taiwan hospital in Azua and the Nuestra Señora de Reglas hospital in Bani suffering from broken bones and burns.


Four provinces under weather alert
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has warned that four provinces are on alert due to the recent and continuing rains.
The provinces of Puerto Plata, Santiago, La Vega and Monseñor Nouel (Bonao) are warned of possible flooding and overflowing of rivers.

Storms and heavy rain is expected in the afternoons in the northeast, southwest, central mountain area and the border zone.

It is expected that high temperatures will continue, due to a warm wind from the southeast.