DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic

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The Abinader administration and the European Union are behind the National Cybersecurity Center (CNCS) where high tech experts are trained in cybersecurity. The new entity is a teaching center and a model matrix for other technological projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. The project has the backing of the CyberNet project of the European Union. Juan Gabriel Gautreaux Martinez is the first executive director of the National Cybersecurity Center.

The CNCS was set up by the Ministry of the Presidency (Minpre) and the European Union (EU) at the Center of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel), located in the Colonial City. There it shares space with the Center for Cyber-Capacities of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC4). The LAC4 has the backing of the Estonian Information Systems Agency.

Cesar Moliné Rodríguez, director of Cybersecurity at Indotel, explained that the center operates with three main areas: education, for the training of technicians from...

Senator Pedro Catrain (PRM-Samana) read the favorable opinion of the bicameral committee that studied the Extinction of Domain Bill for the Civil Forfeiture of Illicit Goods. The committee studied separate proposals, one presented by senator Felix Bautista (FP-San Juan de la Maguana), and others by Antonio Taveras (PRM-Santo Domingo) and Aris Yván Lorenzo (PLD-Elías Piña) and José Del Castillo Saviñón (PLD-Barahona).

The bill now moves to the floor of the Senate. Once it passes, it moves to the Chamber of Deputies for approval. The bill was first presented to Congress in 2011. The US Embassy has been lobbying for its passing.

A major snag in the approval is the retroactivity of the extent of the bill articles.

Since May 2021, work sessions were held with more than 20 meetings, in which jurists, international consultants and representatives of the public and private sectors participated, including public hearings where the citizens were summoned to analyze the issue...

The First Caribbean and Saudi Investment Forum is taking place in Punta Cana. The event is organized by the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Invest Saudi and the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) with the support of the Center for Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana). Pro Dominicana reports that 15 delegations from different countries are attending.

The meeting aims to identify projects and investment opportunities in the nations represented through conferences and B2B meetings. A portfolio of projects with higher return projections for investors is presented. It is also an opportunity for attendees to learn about the attractions of the Dominican Republic, and those of other Caribbean countries.

Biviana Riveiro, executive director for Pro Dominicana, highlights that the work agenda seeks to strengthen the commercial ties that unite the region while everyone learns about the investment...

The board of directors of the Dominican Foreign Investment Association (Asiex) visited with Vice President Raquel Peña. The Vice President recently was named the acting Minister of Environment. The Vice President is also the coordinator of the Abinader Administration’s Cabinet for Investment Promotion and the Health Cabinet.

In a press release, Asiex explained the visit was to discuss the priorities and initiatives of the Abinader administration for the promotion of investment and reinvestment in the country and how foreign investment companies can contribute to these initiatives and to the social and economic development of the nation.

Lawyer Alejandro Peña Prieto, the president of Asiex, described the meeting with Vice President Raquel Peña as highly positive. He said it was an opportunity to explore new areas of collaboration and proposals to strengthen the business climate and the development of new investments in the Dominican Republic.

The press release also...

The Ministry of Public Health confirmed that a 25-year old Dominican national who recently returned from the United States is the first in the Dominican Republic to receive treatment for monkeypox. The man is hospitalized at the Air Force Base Dr. Ramon de Lara Teaching Hospital in eastern Santo Domingo.

Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera said there is not a reason to be alarmed because the disease is only transmitted with very close contact with an infected person. He said it was the young man who had contacted the public health authorities. He called for medical personnel around the country to report any suspected case. Any suspected case should be reported to the Department of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health.

First Lieutenant Jose Ureña Vásquez, the infectologist who is attending the patient, shared an update on the patient during the Wednesday, 6 July 2022 press conference of the Ministry of Public Health. He said the man had gone on his own to the...

Minister of the Presidency Lisandro Macarrulla tweeted on 6 July 2022 that he has requested a license from his role in government. The announcement is made after state prosecutors included his oldest son in the accusatory file for corruption in the construction of the Nueva Victoria Jail. The file is part of the Medusa Case that is looking into the criminal activities of a network that operated from the Attorney General Office when Jean Alain Rodriguez Sánchez was Attorney General.

From the start of the Abinader government, Macarrulla’s permanence in government was questioned after it was known that Mac Construcciones, of the Macarrulla family, had been one of the big-time beneficiaries of contract work at the controversial Nueva Victoria jail. At the start of the Abinader government, the Ethics Agency of the government said the minister was not involved, and it was his son and the family company that was under investigation by state prosecutors.

The company involved in the...

It is now known that Rafael Stefano Canó Sacco, who was the right hand and chief of cabinet when Jean Alain Rodríguez was Attorney General, is the star witness in the Medusa case. The case is investigating leads that the former attorney general would have fostered criminal activities and profiteering when he head the Attorney General Office. Canó Sacco is a high school classmate of Rodriguez.

Diario Libre reports that Canó Sacco is collaborating with the prosecutors in a deal that leaves him out of the accusatory file. The file says that Canó Sacco had direct influence on deciding the beneficiaries of the Attorney General Office procurement.

At the change of government, Canó Sacco traveled to Spain, and was not arrested when Jean Alain Rodriguez and several higher-up officials at the Attorney General were accused in court and sent to preventive custody at the Najayo Jail.

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As his term in the Dominican Republic comes to an end, German Ambassador Volker Pellet gave an interview to Diario Libre to wrap up his experience here. He addressed key issues, such as the political, economic and security crisis in Haiti, the German Embassy’s contributions to renewable energies, and cultural contributions.

Pellet acknowledged during the interview that there is a will of the international community to help Haiti, but at the same time, he said there is a “tiredness” due to the lack of results. He understands the concerns that the world seems to be leaving the Dominican Republic alone to support Haiti, where armed gangs now seem to be in control.

He remarked that a German company, Dermalog is providing the biometric technology that will be used for the perimeter fence the Dominican government is building at key sections of the border with Haiti. Pellet favors the construction of the fence. “For reasons of national security, the Dominican Republic has to...

The jurors Alfonso Quiñones, Omar Reyes, Smayle Dominguez, Edwin Cruz and Pavel González announced the award winners for the Dominican Film Festival (FestCineRD) nationwide with the showing of around 150 Dominican films, short films and documentaries.

Candela won the most awards during the film festival that involved the exhibition of around 150 Dominican films, short films and documentaries.Candela is the story of The lives of three strangers – a high society girl, a lonely lieutenant and a drag queen cabaret performer. Their lives are intertwine on the eve of a hurricane following the mysterious death of a young poet and drug dealer.

The Best Film award went to “Morena(s),” the story of a Dominican immigrant in Buenos Aires who struggles to maintain afloat her business and dreams of bringing her teenage son to Argentina.

Other awards went to:Best director: Vicky Apolinario and Ivan de Lara – “Morena(s)”Best actor: Felix German – “Candela”Best Actress: Sarah Jorge Leon –...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #839 was 1,080, up from 967 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 1,121, up from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

President Luis Abinader announced the construction of the Santo Domingo Convention Center at the site of the Hotel Hispaniola. The hotel is located on a large property bordered by the Independencia, Abraham Lincoln and Correa y Cidrón avenues. On the south side of the Hispaniola is the closed property of the Hotel Santo Domingo. A Santo Domingo Metro stop is located on the north side of the property.

President Luis Abinader had announced the construction during his participation in the Fitur International Tourism Fair (Fitur) in January of 2022.

The Consorcio Institución Ferial de Madrid (Ifema), the operator of the Fitur fair, would be the builder. Ifema, which organized Fitur and other fairs and conventions in Madrid, was contracted through the Banreservas group, with the advice of Mitur, to do the architectural design and feasibility study.

The Dominican government in...

Energy and Mines Minister Antonio Almonte says the Abinader administration is working to install a 2,000 megawatts between 2022 and 2026 to guarantee stable power service in the country. He said the cold reserve that would be created would permit two large power plants to be out simultaneously for maintenance.

Almonte made the remarks when interviewed by Pablo McKinney on his late night Color Vision McKinney program.

“In electricity there are no short-cycle products, there are long-cycle products. These are two, three or four year products, and what has to be evaluated is whether we are working to solve the problem of blackouts definitively. And yes, we are working to solve it by installing two thousand megawatts between 2022 and 2026, which will guarantee a real cold reserve”, said the Minister.

He explained that in most Latin American countries, the electrical system...

Edesur Dominicana, the government power distributor, announced it has lit up 300 light posts in 20 sectors belonging to “Los Kilómetros” of Independencia Avenue, in the National District.

The general manager of Edesur Dominicana, Milton Morrison said the action contributes to citizen security.

The operation included the installation of new LED lamps, replacements, normalizations, and the turning off of over-lit luminaires.

Barrios that have benefited are San José, San Miguel, María Josefina, Nordesa, Residencial José Contreras, Esther Rosario, El Pedregal, El Gacela, El INVI, Miramar, and Mar Caribe. Also Roca Mar, San Gabriel, Solimar, Renacimiento, El Atlántida, Manga Nagua, El Enriquillo, Luz Consuelo, Tropical Malecón and 30 de Mayo.

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The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) notified on Tuesday, 5 July 2022 that the first suspected case of monkeypox has been identified in the country. The case is reported in a Dominican national who had recently entered from the United States.

“After presenting symptoms similar to those of this disease, the suspicion alarm was activated, and he was immediately subject to the corresponding evaluations and laboratory tests,” reads a Ministry of Public Health press release. The person is in isolation at the Air Force Hospital Doctor Ramón de Lara, under the MSP’s control, awaiting the tests’ results.

The Ministry says that none of the people who have been in close contact with the man have reported symptoms.

“The patient is stable, under medical surveillance, and with the follow-up of his attending physician, to ensure his health and care,” said Public Health.

Monkeypox...

Investigative journalist Nuria Piera dedicated her most recent report to look into how political patronage has impeded advances at the National Aquarium. Piera recalled that just four days after taking office, then Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera visited the facilities and commissioned the new director Wanda Garcia to rescue and transform what he described as “the marine treasure of the Dominican Republic.” In Jorge Mera’s visit on 20 August 2020, he urged the intervention of the technical areas, reproduction laboratories, and/or incubation of species, to provide these with the necessary equipment.

Piera reports that two years later, the National Aquarium is far from improved and is in apparent deterioration. She reported that the only thing new there is nepotism and a bloated payroll.

Nuria Piera reported in her Nuria Investigacion Periodistica that the technical aspects seem...

The president of the Dominican Football Federation (Fedofutbol), Rubén García and Arturo Heinsen, secretary-general of the Dominican Football League (LDF) say that the growth of soccer in the Dominican Republic is a reality. The efforts to build the sport are evident. The Dominican under 20 team, ranked 23rd of 41 countries, last week won the recent U20 championship and slots to compete in the 2023 Santiago de Chile Pan American Games and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

García and Heinsen, in an interview with El Caribe, highlighted several of the key points in the local development of the sport in the last few years. They say soccer in the Dominican Republic is living its best moment with the two historic qualifiers, first to the U20 World Cup and then to the Paris Olympic Games, confirming the sport has reached unexpected levels.

The Dominican Football League...

26-year old Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a four-year US$224 million extension of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The deal begins with the 2024-25 season and delivers Towns’ total contract value to six years and US$295 million. Towns has played on the Dominican national basketball team. Born in NY, he is the son of a Dominican mom.

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The National Weather Office (Onamet) says the cloudiness and rains will continue through Thursday, 7 July 2022, caused by the humidity and instability generated by the passing tropical wave and a trough located northeast of the country that is moving westward.

These rains will be more frequent and intense mainly in the afternoon over different provinces of the northeast, and southeast regions (including Greater Santo Domingo), the Caribbean coastal plain, the Central Mountain Range and provinces on the border with Haiti.

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The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #838 was 967, up from 874 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 1,044, down from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

A football team from the Caribbean had not made the Olympics since Curacao made the cut in 1952. The Dominican football team was the perfect description of an underdog, and grabbed a slot in the Concacaf U20 Championship that recently ended in Honduras. The team was ranked 23rd of 41 countries in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) region.

President Luis Abinader has called the team national heroes.

With its participation in Honduras, the Dominican team grabbed a slot to the U20 World Cup in Indonesia and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The performance in Honduras also delivered a slot for the Dominican Republic to participate in the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile in 2023 and the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador in 2023.

A special Arajet flight returned the players to the Dominican...

The Dominican Republic received the Pro Tempore Presidency (PPT) of the Central American Integration System (SICA) on 1 July 2022 and commits to continue advancing in the strengthening of the regional guidelines established in this organization.

This is the third time that the Dominican Republic assumes the position for the six month term. Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez said the country identifies with the slogan of the term: “Adapting regional integration to the new challenges.” Alvarez spoke of renewed efforts to strengthen the regional dialogue mechanism and draft an agenda to address the common problems faced by the member states in Central America and the Caribbean.

Alvarez said that the Dominican Republic is committed to draw strategic lines that will contribute to the economic, social and especially institutional strengthening of the region, working together to...

The Ministry of Public Works says intense rains have forced a detour of the road connection to Pedernales at Los Patos River in Barahona. Work is underway to restore the flow of traffic on the Barahona-Enriquillo road.

The Ministry of Public Works said it is not true that the Maniel Bridge, near the Los Patos in the municipality of Paraíso, in Barahona, has collapsed. The Ministry explained the intense rains caused a landslide of the filling material used for the construction works that are underway to improve the road connection.

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President Luis Abinader met on Monday, 4 July 2022 with the members of the Senate-Chamber of Deputies committee that is reviewing the extinction of domain bill that will be presented to the floor of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The bill seeks to be an effective measure to seize property result of drug trafficking, government corruption, organized crime and money laundering. The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Alfredo Pacheco told the press that experts from the US Embassy have consulted with the legislators on key issues.

As reported, legislators of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) protested that the committee had excluded the article that would include tax evasion in the expedited prosecution bill. The PLD legislators say this would be away to prosecute personal fortunes deposited in offshore destinations.

Read more in...

Montecristi province in the northwest is home to the largest aloe vera plantation in the world, reports Diario Libre. The newspaper feature looks into the Universal Aloe mega farm in El Pocito, Guayubín municipality. The company produces 10,000 gallons of liquid aloe gel a day.

Diario Libre reports that Universal Aloe S.A.S. has planted 5,000 acres (about 20 million square meters) for export to 152 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia.

The gel is pasteurized and packaged in 355-gallon bags and transported to the Caucedo Port in Santo Domingo for export to Holland, where the global distribution center is located.

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The National Energy Commission (CNE) signed the definitive concession agreement for Energia Renovable BAS SRL to build the 50-MW/73.2-MWp Washington Capital Solar Park 3. The company will invest US$80 million in the project. The power is sold to the national electricity grid.

The solar farm concession is for 25 years and is to be located in Mata de Palma, San Antonio de Guerra municipality in Santo Domingo province.

Energia Renovable BAS is an affiliate of California-based private equity fund Washington Capital Global Finance.

Edward Veras, executive director of the CNE, said that with the Washington Capital Solar Park 3, there are now 14 renewable energy projects approved in the Abinader administration. Of these, three have been completed and 11 are under construction. He said this means that by 2030, 30% of the power demand will be supplied by the renewable energy source...

The accusatory file establishes that the outcome of the big procurement tenders carried out by the Attorney General Office under former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez were decided beforehand. The “winners” committed to pay at least 20% for the privilege. Chief prosecutor Wilson Camacho is talking about RD$1 billion in paid bribes.

With the presentation of charges on Saturday, 2 July 2022 for the so-named Medusa Operation, state prosecutors accuse the former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez and accomplices of directing major corruption schemes.

In the case, many close associates of Rodríguez Sánchez seem to have skipped ship and are instead sharing details to help the prosecutors build a stronger case against the former authorities at the Attorney General Office. The contracting under investigation is vast and diversified. It covered...

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has imposed three months of preventive imprisonment against Alain José Gómez Luna, accused of operating two illegal financial entities with which he is accused of financial fraud.

Judge Jose Consoró, of the Permanent Attention Court of the National District, ordered Alain José Gómez Luna to serve three months preventive custody in the Najayo Men’s Jail in San Cristóbal. The Public Prosecutor’s Office accuses Gómez Luna of operating a finance corporation that swindled people of more than RD$283 million.

Charges were pressed after Gómez Luna was deported from Russia back to the Dominican Republic. He was in Russia from 5 June 2020 after leaving the country via Cuba on 17 March 2020.

Gomez Luna was arrested in Russia in August 2021. The National Department for Investigation of Financial Crimes of the Public Prosecutor’s Office then initiated actions against...

Dominican athletes won 72 medals, including 19 gold in the recently concluded Bolivarian Games in Valledupar, Colombia. The Dominican Republic had won 68 medals when the games were held in 2017.

Dominican athletes won gold in track and field, boxing, judo, karate, swimming, table tennis, horse riding, softball, gymnastics, skeet and water skiing.

Of the 11 participating countries, the Dominican Republic ended in sixth place, behind Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. The DR team did better than Guatemala, Paraguay, Panama, El Salvador and Bolivia.

Swimmer Krystal Denisse Lara Garzon delivered four medals, including two gold medals, for 200 m freestyle and 100 m fly. Robert King Demorizi delivered two gold medals to make the Bolivarian Games top athletes list.

The Bolivarian Games are a regional multi-sport event held in honor of Simón Bolívar...

The Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) reported on 4 July 2022 a new record in tourist arrivals for the month of June. Tourism Minister David Collado announced that 644,861 foreigners arrived in June 2022. This is 9.9% more than in June 2018 and 9.8% higher than in June 2019, the two pre-pandemic years. He attributed the increase to the total recovery of the industry due to the efforts of the public and private sectors.

Collado announced that 3,547,142 tourists have visited the country in the first half of the year. He said average hotel occupancy is at 71% with an average stay of 10 days. Punta Cana and Las Americas (Santo Domingo) airports have received the most visitors.

Collado said that there has been a sustained increase in visitors by sea. He revealed that 72,689 cruise passengers visited in June, which represents 25% more than those arriving in the...

Iberojet now flies from Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) to Barcelona’s Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport, the second most trafficked in Spain. Iberojet uses an Airbus 330-300 with capacity for 250 passengers for the flights. The flights will be twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) during the summer months through 12 September 2022.

Orion Hernandez, spokesperson for the low-cost carrier has said the airline had been operating six weekly frequencies from Madrid, Spain to Punta Cana but was aware of the demand for a direct flight from Barcelona. He said the company initially had intended to fly once a week, but the demand was such that the twice-a-week flight was scheduled.

He said that if the demand remains stable the flights could be continued.

The schedule for the flights is now:Barcelona – Punta Cana Vuelo EVE 841 BCN 17:45 – PUJ 20:40...

Last week, the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) announced works to improve the Santo Domingo East boardwalk attraction for residents in eastern Santo Domingo and visitors. The Columbus Lighthouse and the National Aquarium are two of the key attractions in the area.

The eastern side of Greater Santo Domingo Malecón is part of the long boardwalk that continues on to the Las Americas International Airport from the National District in the West. The Ozama River divides the National District from Santo Domingo East.

Tourism Minister Collado sees the new works as an extension of the Malecón project, a major commitment he first spearheaded when he was Mayor of Santo Domingo (2016-2020). He highlighted the Malecón improvements are a continuation of the National District’s Malecon project from the Montesino Monument and the Colonial City, across the river.

Recently, the...

Pasion Vega and Paloma San Basilio from Spain and Maridalia Hernandez from the Dominican Republic come together for an evening of three great Latin voices. The divas’ show is booked for 22 and 23 July 2022 at the Carlos Piantini Hall of the National Theater. Tickets start are going for around RD$8,000-RD$9,000 and are available at the National Theater box office, CCN Servicios (Supermercados Nacional, Casa Cuesta, Jumbo stores) or online at Uepa tickets.

Listen to their music: Pasion Vega Paloma San Basilio Maridalia Hernandez

5 July 2022

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #837 was 874, down 1,317 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 1,044, down from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

Remnants of a tropical wave and a passing trough continue to bring rains and seasonal low temperatures nationwide. The Center for Emergency Operations (COE) has issued a yellow alert for thirteen provinces and a green alert for five. The rains are causing flooding of rivers, streams and creeks, and flash urban flooding. The rains could continue through Thursday, 7 July 2022.

On yellow alert are Greater Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macorís, Pedernales, San José de Ocoa, San Cristóbal, Monseñor Nouel, La Altagracia, Peravia, Sánchez Ramírez, Monte Plata, La Romana, Azua and Barahona. Green alert is issued for La Vega, María Trinidad Sánchez, Samaná, Hato Mayor and El Seibo.

More frequent and intense rains are forecast for La Romana, San Pedro de Macorís, Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal, Peravia, Azua, Barahona and Pedernales.

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Miriam German and Katja Afheldt / Hoy

The European Union delegation in the Dominican Republic honored Attorney General Miriam Germán Brito with the European Human Rights Award on Friday, 1 July 2022. Ambassador Katja Afheldt of the European Union presented the award to the former Supreme Court of Justice penal judge Miriam Germán, today the country’s top prosecutor in a ceremony appropriately held at the Fray Anton de Montesinos Monument to Human Rights on the Malecon in Santo Domingo.

In her remarks when accepting the award, Germán Brito stressed that a society with optimal controls so that public and private corruption receive the expected consequences is one where human rights can take root and people can aspire to progressive and sustainable human development.

Germán Brito said the winning of the award is the result of the collective effort of prosecutors who...

President Luis Abinader and Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ignacio Paliza both have spoken up on the will of the government to push the Extinction of Domain legislation through Congress. The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) has the votes to pass the anti-narcotics and government corruption bill. The present legislative period closes in 22 days.

The Extinction of Domain Bill has been debated in Congress since 2011. It primarily focuses on illicit wealth acquired through drug trafficking and corruption in government.

Senate president Eduardo Estrella told the general public that the spectacle of extradited drug lords serving their time in prison in the United States and returning to reclaim billionaire fortunes in the country needs to come to an end.

Legislators are pushing to add tax evasion to the bill so that businesspeople can also...

Residential and small business electricity will cost more starting July 2022. The general increase will be about 9% for modest users. Heavier consumers, those consuming more than 700 kwh and using air-conditioning, for example, will see increases of about 7% in their monthly bills.

This latest price hike is part of the government plan to eliminate the subsidy on electricity by 2026. The hike is the fourth such increase in the past nine months. And, this is really a modest increase given the cost of fuels.

A modest consumer, 0-300 kwh, will need to add RD$115 to the electricity bill payment.

The Superintendent of Electricity told reporters that the true adjustment should have been in the 20%-30% range.

Working overtime, state prosecutors presented the formal accusation against former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez and accomplices to the First Instruction Court of the National District near midnight of Saturday, 2 July 2022, the deadline to do so. The Public Prosecutor’s Office presented the indictment against those involved in the so-named Medusa Operation. The prosecutors identify the case as the most extensive corruption case ever prosecuted in Dominican history for the number of people and the diversity of social, political and economic sectors involved.

El Dia reports that around 60 persons have been indicted, up from the original nine who had received preventive custody in the case. El Dia reports that its source said the accusatory file is around 12,000 pages long, including 1,500 pages of accusations. The rest is the presentation of evidence and annexes...

The Permanent Committee on Economy, Planning, and Development of the Chamber of Deputies met with airline executives to see what they could do to cut the cost of fares to the Dominican Republic. It is a fact that tickets to San Juan, Puerto Rico or Miami cost as much as a budget ticket to Europe from New York or Miami. The airlines blame government taxes, ramp fees and fuel costs for the high fares.

One deputy noted that local airlines went bankrupt because of the high taxes and fees. A spokesman for Air Century said they abandoned the highly popular SDQ-SJU (Santo Domingo- San Juan, Puerto Rico) route because they just could not compete with budget airlines based in the United States. He noted that one operator offered US$99 flights to Santo Domingo, but just the taxes on a flight to San Juan from Las Americas International Airport amounted to US$98.63...

A group of deputies in the Dominican Congress have suggested that Beata Island, a 28 km2 island that is seven kilometers off the very most southern tip of the Dominican Republic, Cape Beata, be turned into a high-security prison. They see the new jail as a solution to the very serious issue of overcrowding in the nation’s penal system. There are some 43 prisons in the country: 19 jails and 24 correctional centers. The current population is around 27,000 inmates.

The legislators envision building an enormous jail for 10,000 inmates on Beata Island. The island was once used as a political prison during the Trujillo dictatorship. The legislators, nevertheless, apparently are not aware that the yet-to-be-used Nueva Victoria jail is under much criticism for being a large jail.

The proponents of the Beata jail say the facility would only be used for persons who are given sentences of more...

The general coordinator of Citizen Participation, Joseph Abreu warns that the Ombudsman Office contracting with the UNDP is being done outside the mandate of Procurement Law 340-06.

Joseph Abreu joined those questioning the millionaire contracts that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has been obtaining in purchases and contracting of goods and services for the government. Recently, the Ombudsman contracting with the UNDP has made headlines.

Regarding this last case, Abreu maintains that if the resources for the construction of the building come from the international organization, that is another matter, but if they are public resources, it is obligatory to abide by the law and the Constitution of the Republic in this regard.

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The environmentalist Luis Carvajal denounced on Friday, 1 July 2022 that the Francisco Alberto Caamaño National Park is prey to more than a thousand active ovens used to manufacture charcoal. He criticized lack of action by the government to combat the continuous extraction of guayacán wood and that of other trees from the natural reserve.

Carvajal said that the future and the present of the Dominican Republic are turning into smoke, ashes, hunger and thirst.

“Water, agricultural production, climate balance, biodiversity, ecological tourism, sustainable development, security in the face of extraordinary events, social and environmental resilience are words that sound very good in speeches and official documents,” he said. He pointed out the reality would require the use of their antonyms.

The ecologist pointed out that what is happening in the Francisco Alberto Caamaño...

The country is celebrating the life of marine biologist Idelisa Bonnelly de Calventi. She was 90 years old when she passed away last week. From the forum of her classes at the state university (UASD) and through her research, Bonnelly made people aware that we are an island and we have to look to the sea.

She had graduated with a masters in marine biology in 1956 from Columbia University in New York. In 1962 she founded the Research Center for Marine Biology at the UASD.

She is regarded as one of the most outstanding scientists in Latin America. In 1995, the UN Environment Program awarded her the Global 500 Award for having collaborated in the creation, in 1986, of the Banco de la Plata humpback whale sanctuary, the first sanctuary in the region for this endangered species. In 2018 she received the Ministry of Superior Education award as the country’s leading...

Miss Universe 2022 will not be held in the Dominican Republic. According to media reports, the event would have cost the Dominican government US$15 million.

Nevertheless, the critical obstacle to the hosting of the event is that resorts in Punta Cana where the event would have been held are booked for the year.

Andres Marranzini, executive director of Asonahores made the announcement that the event would not take place in the country in 2022.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 Rotator Graphic for af.mil. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario “Charo” Gutierrez)

The outright number of cases of Covid-19 has been climbing in recent weeks, yet the Ministry of Public Health has reported no deaths from the virus for the past three weeks. The last death was reported in the 7 June 2022 bulletin. Most new cases are occurring in Santo Domingo/National District and Santiago. Although the number of cases has been on the rise, the authorities have not reimposed any of the restrictions on the general public.

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A failed migration attempt has turned into a Texas tragedy. As the news of the horrific discovery of over 50 persons dead from heat and de-hydration in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas began to appear in local newspapers, many families were prepared for the worst. At least the bodies of four persons from the Dominican Republic have been identified so far.

US government officials said that at least 53 of the 64 people inside, men, women and some children died from the extreme heat inside the truck. Several survived and were treated in local hospitals. Federal officials said this is the most deadly migrant smuggling case in US history.

Not so long ago, there were many Dominicans among the 160 persons packed inside the trailer that crashed in Chiapas, Mexico and 55 persons died, among them 16 Dominicans, and most of these were from the town of Bani. So...

A movie script could be made of the events in Honduras this past week. A young and generally inexperienced team of Dominican soccer players, members of the U-20 national team, were vying for a spot in the FIFA World U-20 Championship. To punch that ticket they needed to defeat Jamaica in San Pedro Sula, Honduras where the Concacaf U-20 Championships was held.

In the quarter-finals, the Dominican team defeated Jamaica, 1-0, and so the team got the ticket to the FIFA World U-20 Championship. This is the first world event ever for a Dominican football team. It culminates over 55 years of frustration and is the result of a concerted effort to improve.

A Mexican commentator said a few years ago, when the Cibao F.C. played Guadalajara, that the DR would become an emerging worldclass player. That day has come.

After winning the game against Jamaica...

Entering the FIFA World U-20 Championship, the Dominican Republic soccer team was ranked 23rd of 41 countries in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) region. In a historic first, the Dominican Republic U20 men’s football team would make the cut for the 2024 Paris Olympics after defeating Guatemala 4-2 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw on Friday, 1 July 2022 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The teams were playing the semifinals of the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship.

The win delivered the country’s first-ever Olympic berth. The country will also be competing for the first time in a football World Cup at any age level at next year’s FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Concacaf press release highlights that the win continues a remarkable run for the Dominican Republic that had qualified for...

The Dominican Republic men’s basketball team lost to Canada 95-75 in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 – Americas Qualifier in Hamilton, Canada on Friday, 1 July 2022. The team redeemed its loss when playing the DR in summer 2021.

Writing on the game, FIBA highlighted:“Dominican Republic was not scared by the home team’s crowd however and responded with pressure to force multiple turnovers that lead to baskets in transition, and Rigoberto Mendoza knew exactly how to keep his team grounded alongside Canada’s fast-paced game – slowing down their offense and not getting flustered by Canada’s physicality was key.

“In turn, by staying calm while Canada continued to foul, Dominican Republic found themselves at the free throw line more often than not and managed to take the lead three minutes into the second quarter – flustering Canada and leading to more easy baskets...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #836 was 1,317 up from 1,214 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 1,064, up from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #836 was 1,317 up from 1,214 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 1,064, up from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #835 was 1,214, down from 1,364 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 1,005, up from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

Dominican Republic vs Guatemala / CONCACAF

“The Dominican Republic is going to the Olympics!” In a historic first, the Dominican Republic U20 men’s football team made the cut for the 2024 Paris Olympics after defeating Guatemala 4-2 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw on Friday, 1 July 2022 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The teams were playing the semifinals of the 2022 Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship.

The win delivered the country’s first ever football Olympic berth. The country will also be competing for the first time in a football World Cup at any age level at next year’s FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Concacaf press release highlights that the win continues a remarkable run for the Dominican Republic that had qualified for the Championship via last November’s CMU20 Qualifiers and has now eliminated three sides on the way to a U20 World Cup spot, a...

The number of Covid-19 cases for Bulletin #833 was 1,028, up from 1,014 on the previous day. This number compares to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed lab-reported cases that is now 915, up from the previous day. Ronald Skewes, director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health says that in context the increase in cases with the new variants (BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5) are below the Omicron wave that occurred over the holidays. The new peak has not led to a significant surge in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Ministry of Public Health recommends getting the third and fourth booster vaccines. The third booster is now highly recommended for children from 12 years now that there have been outbreaks in private and public schools.

The fourth booster is available for those 18 years and older. The fourth booster can be applied four months after the third booster. It is...

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