DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 11 September 2019



27th Dominican Week in the United States
US$100 million wind farm project in Puerto Plata
Five PLD presidential pre-candidates to compete in the primaries
PRM's Ulises Rodríguez says time is not right to modify the Constitution
Barahona prosecutor dismissed
Medical insurance managers sentenced to three years in jail - again
New jail for Blas Peralta?
Former consul general to Jamaica arrested in New York for drug dealing
David Ortiz cheered at Fenway Park
Rains on the way and provinces under alert
Dominican volleyball at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup

27th Dominican Week in the United States
With the participation of the government, academia and business representatives from the United States and the Dominican Republic, the 27th Dominican Week in the United States began on Monday, 9 September 2019 in Washington, DC. The event is held annually to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the Dominican Republic and the United States of America. This year it is taking place from 9-13 September with events scheduled in Washington, DC and New York.

Dominican ambassador José Tomás Pérez opened the 27th Dominican Week with a gathering at the Dominican Embassy in Washington, DC. Present were US Ambassador in the Dominican Republic, Robin Bernstein, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmChamDR), Ramón Ortega, and the president of the Dominican Week Organizing Committee, Roberto Herrera. Also attending were members of the US Congress and government officials, OAS accredited diplomats.

In his inaugural address, Ambassador Perez said that "relations between the United States and the Dominican Republic are at their best." The AmChamDR president, Ramón Ortega, emphasized the event contributes to maintaining and strengthening, trade and the business and investment climate between both countries. Trade between the US and the DR last year amounted to US$13.8 billion.

On the agenda for the 27th edition of Dominican Week are talks on competitiveness, tourism, education, culture and the diaspora. Participating this year is the presidents of Apple Leisure Group, Alex Zozaya; Jerry Livingston of the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), and the president and CEO of Playa Resorts, Bruce Wardinski. Also attending are Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García and Rafael Blanco from the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores).


US$100 million wind farm project in Puerto Plata
SÓLIDA Energías Renovables was awarded a new project management contract and construction supervision of the new wind farm on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The Spanish engineering company will develop its work in the Los Guzmancito wind farm in Puerto Plata. 16 Vestas V160 wind turbines of 3.6 MW and 132 meters high hub will be installed.

This new contract involves the consolidation of the Spanish company in the country, where it has been serving promoters and engineering, procurement and construction contractors for several years. In addition to wind power, SÓLIDA is also providing engineering services for the optimization of future photovoltaic plants.


Five PLD presidential pre-candidates to compete in the primaries
Lidio Cadet, the coordinator of the National Electoral Commission of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), says there will be five participants in the party primary on 6 October 2019. These are Leonel Fernández, Gonzalo Castillo, Manuel Crespo, Maritza Hernández and Melanio Paredes.

Four pre-candidates have now resigned. These are Temístocles Montás, Andrés Navarro, Radhamés Segura and Francisco Domínguez Brito.


PRM's Ulises Rodríguez says time is not right to modify the Constitution
The Modern Revolutionary Party's (PRM) pre-candidate, former President Hipólito Mejía, has spoken in favor of constitutional reform. Even so, speaking for the PRM, Ulises Rodríguez says that the party has met and decided the time is not right to modify the Constitution.

Rodríguez said that the convening of the National Constitutional Assembly could bring about a political crisis such as that which occurred when President Danilo Medina attempted the amendment to be able to run for office in 2020.

"In the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) it was agreed not to touch the Constitution now. The Constitution should not be modified to satisfy particular interests. We believe that when this is going to occur it should by consensus of all sectors of the country," said the legislator. He added that the reform that was attempted created a crisis and the work of Congress was paralyzed because they wanted to do it by force. If you try again that way there could be a problem again."

Rodríguez is a deputy and pre-candidate for senator for the PRM.

Support for constitutional amendment has come primarily from followers of President Danilo Medina in the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). Political analysts say that on the table are amendments that would enable Medina to run again for eight more years as of 2024. Others mention that the outcome of the municipal elections could affect how people vote in the congressional and presidential election. Moreso, there are others who say this would be an opportunity for Congress to lower the 50%+1 vote that is needed to win in a first round.


Barahona prosecutor dismissed
The board of the Public Prosecution Service dismissed the head prosecutor for Barahona, Yván Ariel Gómez Rubio. He is charged with committing irregularities during the confiscation of a consignment of cocaine in Azua.

The report from the board has been sent to the Regional Prosecution Office in San Cristóbal. Prosecutors Francisco Mejía and Constantino Beltré are ordered to investigate to see if criminal charges should be brought.

The interim replacement for Gómez Rubio is Wellington Matos Espinal.


Medical insurance managers sentenced to three years in jail - again
National District judges have sent three former managers of the Public School Teachers Medical Insurance (SEMMA) to jail for three years. They are charged with the mismanagement of RD$540 million.
The court, presided over by judge Tania Yines, with judges Jissel Naranjo and Evelyn Rodríguez, sentenced Bélgica Díaz Moreno, former head of the Department of Education, Marcelino Rijos Guzmán, former administrative and financial director, and Eddy Leonardo Terrero Fermin, former head of the Audit Department and ordered Rijo Guzmán and Terrero Fermín to serve their sentences at Najayo men's jail and Díaz Moreno at Najayo women's jail.

The sentenced are ordered to pay a fine of RD$500,000 to the Dominican state and Rijo Guzmán and Terrero Fermín were ordered to pay an additional RD$64 million in indemnity payments to ARS Semma. Díaz Montero was sentenced to pay more than a million pesos.

The group were convicted and sentenced to three years in jail on 23 May 2016, but the Supreme Court of Justice overturned the sentence and ordered a new trial.


New jail for Blas Peralta?
Blas Peralta, the Fenatrado truckers' boss convicted of the murder of the ex-rector of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), Mateo Aquino Febrillet, says that his life is in danger. He fears for his safety and has requested a change of prison from La Romana.

In July last year, Peralta was put into the La Romana maximum-security cell. His lawyers say he was attacked by another inmate with a broom. Peralta says that he is scared it will happen again, and also wants to be closer to his family members. The hearing to discuss his request is due on 13 September 2019.

Peralta is currently serving a 30-year prison term in La Romana for the murder of Aquino Febrillet in March 2016. Since then he has been taken to different jails on two occasions.


Former consul general to Jamaica arrested in New York for drug dealing
Former Dominican government official Jeremías Jiménez Cruz, 50, is charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and money laundering offenses.

Jimenez was arrested on 6 September. His case has been assigned to New York's South District Court Judge Kimba M. Wood, the same judge who handled the Quirino Ernesto Paulino Castillo drug case.

US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said that Jiménez Cruz allegedly had used his high-level role in Dominican government to traffic large quantities of cocaine into the United States. "When senior foreign officials invidiously conduct illegal activity in the United States, this Office and our law enforcement partners will act swiftly and resolutely to bring them to justice," said the prosecutor.

If convicted, Jiménez could receive a life sentence.

The case explains that Jiménez Cruz began his diplomatic career in 2004 as vice consul for the Dominican Republic in Frankfurt, Germany. He remained there until 2008 when he was transferred to Jamaica as consul general.

Foreign Relations Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado said that he had no idea that Jeremías Jiménez Cruz trafficked in drugs and laundered money when he was in Jamaica. He said Jiménez Cruz was dismissed from the position in May 2017.


David Ortiz cheered at Fenway Park
Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz made a surprise appearance on Monday, 9 September 2019, in the evening at Fenway Park. He threw the ceremonial first pitch before the team's series finale against the New York Yankees to a standing ovation. His former Red Sox catcher, Jason Varitek, received the pitch.
Following the pitch, Ortiz addressed the Fenway crowd:
"I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be here with all of you," Ortiz said. "I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family. They always have been there for me, supporting me. ... They were the first ones there supporting me."

The 43-year old retired baseball player is recovering from being shot in the back by a gunman at an eastern Santo Domingo night club on 9 June. Ortiz spent seven weeks in a hospital and has undergone three surgeries.

Ortiz, also known as "Big Papi," was a 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion with the Red Sox.


Rains on the way and provinces under alert
According to the National Meteorological Office (Onamet), there will be an increase in cloud cover along with rain and electrical storms in the north, northwest, central mountain area, border with Haiti and Los Haitises.

Temperatures will remain very high over the next few days due to a weather front.

Meanwhile, the Center for Emergency Operations (COE) announced a green alert for the provinces of Santiago, Monseñor Nouel, La Vega and San Juan due to the recent rains and those anticipated over the next few days.

Onamet says they are also watching an area of low pressure near the Cape Verde islands with only a 20% chance of development.


Dominican volleyball at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup
The Dominican national women's team is playing in the FIVB Volleyball World Cup that starts on Thursday, 12 September 2019 in Japan. 12 teams will compete from 14-29 September. The teams are Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia and the USA.
The Dominican Republic first plays Japan in Yokohama on Saturday, 14 September (6:20am Dominican time). Next, on Sunday, 15 September, Team Dominicana plays Korea at 2:30am (Dominican time).

http://worldcup.2019.fivb.com/en/women/teams/dom dominican republic/players