DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic

DR1.com is the leading English news source in the Dominican Republic for over 30 years.

Showing articles from the past 7 days. To read past articles, visit our DR1.com Daily News Forum.

Click here for DR1 Travel News

President Luis Abinader has pending convening the National Council of the Magistracy (CNM) to choose the judges for the higher courts in the Dominican Republic. The CNM is responsible for selecting the judges of the Constitutional Court (TC), the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), Superior Electoral Court (TSE), and the Superior Administrative Court (TSA). President Abinader has insisted on the importance of electing judges known for independence of criteria and not political appointees.

During the next four years of his term, President Abinader needs to convene the CNM to replace up to 10 judges whose terms are expiring.

The CNM has pending the replacement or ratifying of a Supreme Court of Justice judge and replacing four judges at the Constitutional Court and five of the Superior Electoral Court.

The CNM needs to name the replacement for Supreme Court of...

27 November 2020

The United Kingdom Embassy in the Dominican Republic announces the signing of an agreement with the University of Oxford to grant scholarships to Dominican students, as reported in Listin Diario. The agreement will open doors to more Dominican students to have the opportunity to do their master’s degree at Oxford University. The students need to choose degrees in the departments of Social Sciences, Medical Sciences and Mathematical, Physical and Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford. This would be the first time that the University will sign an agreement of this type.

Read more in Spanish:

27 November 2020

The Presidency announces this Friday, President Luis Abinader will be in Punta Cana and on Saturday he will be in La Romana on a working agenda. On his schedule is attending the Dominican Federation of Municipalities (Fedomu) assembly and the Dominican Municipal League meeting on Friday evening in Punta Cana.

On Saturday, he will travel to La Romana for a meeting with presidents of neighborhood councils.

The President will attend the inauguration of the Virgilio Castillo (Chola) sports complex. Major League Baseball player Edwin Encarnación will throw the first ball in a softball game.

On his schedule for Saturday in La Romana is also a visit to the Villa Hermosa public hospital.

Read more in Spanish:

People in the eastern provinces of Hato Mayor and El Seibo can now benefit from the 911 National Emergency Attention and Security System services. An estimated 177,000 inhabitants will benefit. With Hato Mayor and El Seibo, the 911 Emergency System has a 91% national coverage. It is present in 109 municipalities in 24 of 32 provinces and the National District. The service began on Thursday, 26 November 2020.

“The Dominican Government is committed to creating the conditions to improve citizens’ quality of life throughout the national territory and the expansion of 9-1-1 is an important step in that direction,” said Minister of the Presidency Lisandro Macarrulla.

The official said that the mission is to bring emergency services closer to the population so that moments of anguish and despair in cases where life is in danger are a thing of the past and so that health and safety are a right for...

26 November 2020

At an estimated cost of RD$2.2 billion, the Ministry of Public Works announced the start of works of the bypass road that would enable travelers headed further west to circumvent entering the city of Baní.

Public Works Minister Deligne Ascención said the people of Peravia and nine other provinces in the south and southwest have asked for the road for years. The bypass will have an extension of 19.60 kilometers and a four lanes, two in each direction.

Read more in Spanish:

Stores in the Dominican Republic began Black Friday clearance sales early in November, but more and better sales are announced for the actual Friday, and for Saturday and Sunday — 27-29 November 2020.

While a select circle of thousands celebrated some form of Thanksgiving gathering in the country, hundreds of thousands are out shopping for that item they have been saving for all year round or they notice has suddenly gone on sale. Most large stores have big sales for Black Friday.

Expect traffic to be heavier than normal. Almost all stores and companies will offer some kind of discount and in many the deals will be too good to resist.

Read more in Spanish:

26 November 2020

The Plaza de la Salud General Hospital discharged Attorney General Miriam German Brito. She had been at the hospital for five days, for treatment for a urinary infection and pneumonia. Dr. Nepomuceno Mejía of the Plaza de la Salud said German will be continuing her treatment and recovery at home. Dashira Martínez, spokesperson for the Plaza de la Salud, said the Attorney General Office would have more details on the recovery of the attorney general.

Read more in Spanish:

The Abinader administration wants to find a solution to the Haitian birthing tourism dilemma that significantly raises the local public health costs. Dominican public hospitals are free and offer better medical care. There is a clandestine birthing tourism business that drops pregnant women off at Dominican hospitals just in time for these to give birth.

Dr. Mario Lama, director of the National Health Service, and himself an obstetrician/gynecologist, says Dominican public hospitals cannot deny service to anyone arriving via the emergency room. He explains that the last-minute care these women demand increases the maternal mortality rate in the country. He said that 47% of all maternal deaths are to foreign women this year, and all are Haitians with the exception of one.

Dr. Lama explains that maternal deaths are up 32% this year, with 170 deaths. The deaths are to...

The Procurement Agency (DGCP) has sent documentation to the Anti-Administrative Corruption Agency (Pepca) as evidence of irregularities in the contracting carried out between suspended Youth Minister Kinsberly (Kimberly) Taveras Duarte and the city government of Boca Chica. The contracting irregularities were made public in a Nuria Piera investigative television program. Piera was investigating how the young woman had accumulated a high fortune at her young age. Taveras had previously been the mayor of two small towns. Taveras’ accumulated wealth went public when published to meet the legal requirement after she was sworn in as the youth minister in the Abinader cabinet.

The investigation revealed Taveras had a parallel career and was involved in businesses that contracted to other city governments. Piera looked into Taveras’ garbage-collecting business and found irregularities...

State prosecutors say they will be presenting evidence against the six incriminated in the US$92 million Odebrecht bribery case starting on Thursday, 3 December 2020. The public prosecutors say they have some 1,700 pieces of evidence against the six already accused in the corruption case concerning bribes paid by the Brazilian construction company to win government contracting in the Dominican Republic.

The prosecutors maintain that defendants Ángel Rondón Rijo, Víctor Díaz Rúa, Conrado Pittaluga Arzeno, Andrés Bautista García, Tommy Galán and Roberto Rodríguez, increased their family assets in the period from 2002 to 2017, as a result of illegal activities in collusion with the Brazilian multinational.

The group is accused of committing the crimes of bribery, misconduct, money laundering, illicit enrichment, forgery of deeds and money laundering, and...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #252 reports 1,258 new PCR confirmed cases. This is a recent high in confirmed cases. The previous 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases is 600 cases.

A record 7,002 first PCR tests were carried out in time for the 25 November report deadline. The government is reaching out to the population in shopping malls, government offices and companies, and more testing is being carried out. The previous 14-day average is at 4,677. The country has capacity to process 10,000 PCR tests a day. Bulletin 252 reports a all time high of 9,479 PCR tests (including follow up PCR tests) for a single day.

The 4-week positivity rate is 11.52%, again up slightly. The 24-hour positivity is a recent high of 17.97%. The number of reported active cases is now at 24,918, up more than a thousand cases from the...

US Ambassador Robin Bernstein reiterated the US government’s support to the new government’s efforts to fight corruption, protect strategic assets, transparency, and promote foreign investment. She spoke during the traditional Thanksgiving Day address that this year was held online. The theme of her talk was “Stronger Together.”

“As I have said before, the United States is ready to work with companies interested in investing in the Dominican Republic and we are pleased to collaborate and work together to address today’s challenges,” she said.

Before Bernstein spoke, Ramón Ortega, president of AmChamDR, highlighted the public-private alliance of AmChamDR with the Dominican government to facilitate trade and position the country as a nearshore destination and logistic hub, digital transformation and improvements in processes and procedures with the government...

President Luis Abinader answered questions by journalists of the Corripio Group media. During the hour-long presentation, the President reiterated several of the actions of his government and announced relief programs and economic recovery programs would continue.

The President said his government is open to reducing curfew restrictions during the Christmas and New Year holidays but would act “intelligently.” Any relaxing of measures would depend on the pandemic indicators as the 24 and 31 December dates are nearer. He said the government has ready the protocol for vaccinating 5 million in the country for the coronavirus.

He announced the government would work closely with rice producers that seek to renegotiate terms with the United States and DR-CAFTA trade agreement.

He reiterated his support to changing the Constitution so it cannot be modified for...

Today ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) would seem to be smooth sailing given the fragmented opposition it faces. After more than 20 years of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) controlling the three branches of government, the 2020 elections gave majority control to the PRM at least in the Executive and Legislative branches of government. A political appointee of the PLD still presides over the Supreme Court of Justice and the Judicial Branch.

The November 2020 Gallup poll reflects the uncertainty regarding who is the opposition. 53% of the population told pollsters that they do not know who the leader of the PLD is at this time. The PLD received 37.46% of the popular vote in the 2020 presidential election to 52.52% of the PRM.

42% told Gallup pollsters that former President Danilo Medina (2012-2020) is the party leader. Only 2% of those polled thought that PLD...

President Luis Abinader announced in Salcedo on 25 November 2020 the reopening of the Salcedo free zone park. The manufacturing center has been closed for 10 years. President Luis Abinader remarked that the reopening is part of the government’s efforts to back businesses that create jobs.

Ulises Rodríguez, director of the governmental Center for Industrial Development and Competitiveness (Proindustria) that has been in charge of refitting the park, said that a cigar factory will employ 300 when it begins operations at the manufacturing site in January. This is the first of many other companies expected to begin operating at the location.

Rodriguez said that Proindustria is working hard to restore manufacturing at industrial parks throughout the country that had abandoned by the past administration.

Industry & Commerce Minister Victor Bisonó said free zone companies have added 15,000...

26 November 2020

The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) majority in Congress passed the bill for extending the National State of Emergency another 45 days. The present state of exception would have expired on 1 December 2020. The bill passed in a morning session in the Chamber of Deputies and in an extraordinary evening session in the Senate. The President needs now to issue the official decree to formalize the continuing of the state of emergency.

Read more in Spanish:

Photo: CDN

The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) is the majority in Congress after winning the most seats in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. This majority gave the party the vote to pass another 45-day extension of the National State of Emergency. The argument is that the measures are needed to combat Covid-19. Yet, this is the same political party that when opposition in Congress said that the National Health Law had dispositions to adequately deal with the coronavirus, making continuing the state of emergency unnecessary.

The National State of Emergency comes in handy because it reduces requirements and simplifies government procurement. Now, the Abinader administration announces it is going ahead with the RD$15 billion purchase of equipment for the online programs implemented by the Ministry of Education for public schools nationwide. The acquisition...

The board of the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (Intec) voted on 25 November 2020 to name Julio Sánchez Mariñez rector of the Santo Domingo university for a three-year term. He replaces Rolando Guzmán who lasted the maximum three terms (2011-2020).

Sánchez Mariñez is a graduate in psychology from the state university (UASD). He has a specialty in planning and higher education management from Intec. He has a doctorate in organization and management from the State University of New York.

He served as rector of the Salomé Ureña Higher Institute of Teacher Training (Isfodosu). He was the Colegio Dominicana de la Salle high school director; executive secretary of the National Council of Higher Education (Cones) and teaching advisor to the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany.

Read more in...

President Luis Abinader traveled on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 to San José de Conuco, in the municipality of Salcedo, to commemorate the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women at the Mirabal Sisters Museum. The day was established by the United Nations in honor of the efforts of the Dominican sisters.

“Let us work to build a country and a world in which it is no longer necessary to give our lives for freedom. And where we work in unity of purpose to achieve the necessary cultural transformation so that violence against women is no longer justified,” he urged.

He used the occasion to right a more than 60 year wrong. When at the Museum, President Luis Abinader delivered the exequatur that posthumously authorizes Maria Argentina (Minerva) Mirabal to practice law in the Dominican Republic. Despite being an honors student at the University of...

The Embassy of China hosted 10 senators at a meeting on Tuesday at the Embassy of China to explore business and investment opportunities between both countries, reported the Embassy of China in a press release.

The president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate, Pedro Catrain (Samaná) and fellow senators Antonio Marte (Santiago Rodríguez), David Sosa (Dajabón), Melania Salvador Jiménez (Bahoruco), Félix Bautista (San Juan), and Martín Nolasco Vargas (Valverde), Dionis Sánchez (Pedernales); Valentín Medrano (Independencia), Alexis Victoria (María Trinidad Sánchez), and Lía Díaz Santana (Azua) attended.

The senators met with the president of the Association of Chinese Companies in the Dominican Republic (AChiRD), Ma Guoqiang, and representatives of the Chinese companies Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, Megastar S&T SRL, Huawei Technologies, China Harbour...

Golf is a sport where players can easily keep their distance. Puerto Plata is keeping with the organization of its Puerto Plata Open PGA Tour Latin America. The games are scheduled for 14 to 20 December 2020 at the Playa Dorada Golf Course, where players play amidst legendary 70+ year-old majestic trees. The organizers are keeping to the golf health protocols to safeguard the health of participants and staff. The tournament comes with cash prizes for US$175,000. Some 144 national and international golfers are expected to compete.

The organizers explain that players must take a Covid-19 test prior to participating. Each player must stay at Playa Dorada hotel and condos under the Ministry of Tourism lodging health protocol program.

The Dominican Republic has hosted Latin American PGA Tour Latin America tournaments every season since the Tour’s founding in 2012. This is...

25 November 2020

In the mountain town of Constanza, temperatures are dropping below 12 Celsius in the early morning. In Santo Domingo and several other municipalities, the temperatures are dropping below 22 Celsius. This is “freezing cold.” Time to save up on air-conditioning.

The weather news is even better. The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) forecasts sunny skies through the upcoming weekend.

Read more in Spanish:

The November 2020 Gallup-Hoy poll revealed the difficulties for online education in the Dominican Republic. The Ministry of Education is set on instating a digital learning program nationwide and is placing an order for RD$15 billion to buy 940,000 computers and tablets. It is confident this will reduce the digital divide in the country.

The poll revealed that the gap in Internet connectivity is greater in the East and Southwest. Even in Greater Santo Domingo (National District and Santo Domingo province) 65% of homes are not connected.

As a result, the Ministry of Education uses time on regular TV channels and radio to broadcast classes. Public schools that already have been supplied with computers and are located in areas with known Internet coverage are working with online learning, supplemented by TV and radio programming.

The poll also asked how the distance...

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

In the Dominican Republic, so far, 139,396 people have tested positive to PCR tests. Now the Gallup-Hoy November 2020 poll says that 90% of those polled say no one in their household has caught the virus. In 4.4% of the households, there was one case, in 2.7% two, in 1.2% three, and in 1.8% four cases or more.

No one has been hospitalized in 80% of the homes where there have cases of Covid-19. There was one case in 16% of those homes; in 2.7% two, and in 0.9% three cases.

There were no deaths in 92.9% of the households where there were cases of coronavirus.

In 6.3% of the homes, there was only one death, and in 0.8% there were two deaths. 32% of the people who died in the country due to coronavirus suffered from hypertension, and another 20% had diabetes as a...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #251 reports 567 new PCR confirmed cases. The 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases is 600 cases.

5,021 first PCR tests were carried out in time for the 24 November report deadline. The government is reaching out to the population in shopping malls, government offices and companies. The previous 14-day average is at 4,409. The country has capacity to process 10,000 PCR tests a day, yet labs have not had the demand for the tests.

The 4-week positivity rate is 11.16%, up slightly. The 24-hour positivity is 11.29%, down from 17% the previous day. The number of reported active cases is now at 23,818, again up slightly from the previous day.

The Ministry of Public Health Covid-19 team has been reporting a marked decline in demand for tests over the past month. To reach out to the people...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #250 reports 282 new PCR confirmed cases. The 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases is 630 cases.

1,585 first PCR tests were carried out in time for the 23 November report deadline. The government is reaching out to the population in shopping malls, government offices and companies. The previous 14-day average is at 4,143. The country has capacity to process 10,000 PCR tests a day, yet labs have not had the demand for the tests.

The 4-week positivity rate is 11.07%, while the 24-hour positivity is 17.79%, a recent high. The number of reported active cases is now at 23,664, up slightly from the previous day.

The Ministry of Public Health Covid-19 team has been reporting a marked decline in demand for tests over the past month. To reach out to the people, the Ministry has been setting...

Gonzalo Castillo / Hoy

Víctor Díaz Rúa, who was minister of Public Works during the presidency of Leonel Fernández, highlighted that the investigations carried out regarding the US$92 million Odebrecht bribes scandal under former Attorney General left out many persons that he says are also involved. He told the judges of the First Collegiate Court of the National District to consider that his successor at the Ministry of Public Works, Gonzalo Castillo had further increased the cost of the Coral Highway.

In the continuing of the Odebrecht trial on Tuesday, 24 November 2020, Díaz Rúa said that the prosecutors under Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez had removed from the accusatory file documents that he says incriminate the former PLD presidential candidate.

In his declarations for more than two hours before the judges, Diaz Rua said that he is accused of taking bribes...

On 22 November 2020, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Police of Colombia announced the capture of Dominican citizen Jonathan Perez Santana, who is accused of a criminal scheme for the export of cocaine. The group was said to collect the drugs near the border with Ecuador and then move the cargo to Cali and Bogotá. Later, the drugs were sent to Buenaventura, the departure point for Central America, the United States and Europe.

Pérez Santana, alias Jonathan, was captured in judicial proceedings held in Barranquilla. Simultaneously, the Colombian authorities arrested six of his alleged accomplices in Envigado and Medellín (Antioquia), and Cali (Valle del Cauca).

As reported, Perez Santana is one of the most wanted drug traffickers by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is associated with numerous deaths linked to criminal groups. He has been...

On occasion of the International Day of International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, President Luis Abinader announced the Presidency will be submitting comprehensive legislation to combat violence against women. The bill will be part of the National Plan for Prevention and Attention to Violence against Women of the new administration.

In presenting the plan on 24 November, President Abinader said the initiative seeks to install a comprehensive system to protect and guarantee the right of all women to a life free of violence.

He also announced a specialized police force will be created to respond to cases of gender violence in a rapid and timely manner.

President Abinader spoke on the occasion of the anniversary of the murder of the three Mirabal sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa for their efforts to combat dictator Rafael Leonidas...

A report from the Association of Commercial Banks (ABA) says that deposits are up RD$180 billion this year compared to January-October 2019. Last year, deposits for this time of the year were RD$98.3 billion.

The ABA reports that the total deposits of multiple banks as of October 2020 had reached RD$1.49 billion, according to data from the Superintendence of Banks of the Dominican Republic.

“These figures show us that, despite the economic challenges brought about by the pandemic, people continue to recognize the value of savings,” the ABA said in a note sent to the media.

The growth in deposits is mainly due to savings deposits and time deposits, which show increases of R$139.8 billion and RD$31.7 billion, respectively.

ABA says the resources are lent to other bank customers, stimulating the economy.

The savings also are had because Dominicans are shopping, eating less out and...

Dominicans by nature are among the most gregarious people in the Americas. So not being able to kiss and hug is a tough call for the population. Not being able to spend a night out over drinks with friends is even tougher for young people.

Yet, the Gallup November 2020 poll reveals that 68.7% of the population favors keeping the Covid-19 curfew that has Dominicans home before 9pm on weekdays and before 7pm on weekends and holidays.

Adults aged 55 and over feel strongest about keeping the curfew. 80.5% spoke up in favor when polled by Gallup. Yet, 69.6% of adults aged 25 to 54 were also in favor. Yet, only 54.9% of those 18 to 24 years.

Overall, most women, or 71%, approve of the restriction, compared to 66.3% of men.

The findings are from the Gallup-Hoy poll carried out 11-16 November 2020. 1,200 Dominicans eligible to vote were polled. The poll has a margin of error of 2.8%.

Read...

24 November 2020

Dominicans are a practical people. Dominicans told Gallup pollsters that the Abinader government should be giving priority to creating jobs (15.4%), improving health services (13.8%), the economy (11.2%), social welfare plans (8.6%), controlling Covid-19 (8%) and combatting crime (7.1%).

The findings are from the Gallup-Hoy poll carried out 11-16 November 2020. 1,200 Dominicans eligible to vote were polled. The poll has a margin of error of 2.8%.

Read more in Spanish:

JetBlue began new daily direct flights from Newark International Airport to Punta Cana on 19 November 2020. The relatively short flight makes it possible for tourists to get to the beach fast. Punta Cana resorts are operating under extensive health protocols, and the low density and health protodols tourists will find at the resorts increases the likelihood of having a Covid-19 safe vacation.

JetBlue included the new route to meet demand by the leisure and visiting friends and relatives market segment. JetBlue reports that the VFR travel trends are up for the third quarter of the year. The increase in this market segment has reduced losses for the airline in the third quarter of the year.

The airline promotes itself saying it is flying Airbus A320 aircraft that offers the most legroom in coach. Service on-board includes free Fly-Fi, described as the fastest broadband...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is ready to host the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 regional qualifier this coming 29 and 30 November. A basketball court has been set up complying with international standards.

Fans are not allowed to be present. But the games will be transmitted live for Dominican audiences on TeleAntillas, Channel 2. The games would have been between Canada, US Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and Cuba, but Team Canada declined due to the Covid-19 virus.

On 29 November, the Dominican Republic team will match the US Virgin Island at 5pm. On Sunday, the team will play Cuba at 8pm.

Hard Rock Punta Cana expects to use the new basketball court to attract more games in 2021. A committee made up by Frank Elias Rainieri, Jorge Tavarez and Andres Vanderhorst Jr is working with the Dominican national basketball team to prepare the tournament and attract new...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #250 reports 282 new PCR confirmed cases. The 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases is 630 cases.

1,585 first PCR tests were carried out in time for the 23 November report deadline. The government is reaching out to the population in shopping malls, government offices and companies. The previous 14-day average is at 4,143. The country has capacity to process 10,000 PCR tests a day, yet labs have not had the demand for the tests.

The 4-week positivity rate is 11.07%, while the 24-hour positivity is 17.79%, a recent high. The number of reported active cases is now at 23,664, up slightly from the previous day.

The Ministry of Public Health Covid-19 team has been reporting a marked decline in demand for tests over the past month. To reach out to the people, the Ministry has been setting up more fixed stations for testing and expanded services at public hospitals and places to catch the...

The director of the ProConsumer Agency, Anina Del Castillo, reminded consumers in the Dominican Republic that they should not allow additional fees to be charged when they pay super sales prices for Black Friday.

“Don’t let them charge you anything extra for paying with your credit or debit card,” said Del Castillo in a telephone interview on the program El Gobierno de la Tarde, on Z 101 radio. It has been a common practice for stores to tack on the cost of the credit card transaction to consumers that do not pay in cash.

She said if the business makes the charge, they should make a direct claim to the store so the charges are reimbursed. Del Castillo says the price of the product cannot vary depending on the means of payment used.

She also alerted shoppers to not fall for the practice of businesses that raise prices to then offer big discounts for Black...

The Attorney General’s Office requested a report on the situation that occurred last Saturday, 21 November 2020 with senator Ramon Antonio Pimentel (PRM-Montecristi) from their office in the province of Monte Cristi.

The request is in a letter signed by Deputy Attorney General Rafael Leonidas Suarez, responding to comments in the media on the alleged excess of power, cover-up, hindering the enforcement of the law against private citizens and the police in the town of Castañuelas, Montecristi.

The senator, who is better known as Moreno Arias, showed up at the National Police station in Castañuelas, Montecristi to demand in an authoritarian manner that a close friend of his [Richard Rivas Mendoza, alias Tibiche) who was under arrest be released. The senator insisted he had spoken with the Minister of the Interior and Police, Jesús (Chu) Vásquez.

After the scene went viral...

In his second hour-long presentation in his defense in court on Monday, 23 November 2020, Odebrecht representative Angel Rondón said he was paid US$79.2 million for his work on behalf of the company. He denied the payment was for bribes. He told the First Collegiate Court of the National District that is hearing his case that the amount was confirmed and certified by the Superintendence of Banks.

Since the case was first heard in a Dominican court in 2017, Rondón has always said he was paid for his services and has demanded proof the money was for bribes. Rondón now says the prosecutors should interrogate others on the bribes Odebrecht has admitted to paying.

The case is a follow up to original hearings in a New York City Court that ended in December 2016 with the revelation that the Brazilian company had accepted it paid US$92 million in bribes to expedite...

The Tigres del Licey and Gigantes del Cibao baseball teams will resume playing in the Dominican Professional Baseball Championship this coming Friday, 27 November 2020, said Health Minister Plutarco Arias.

As reported, 13 players in the Licey and 10 in the Gigantes del Cibao tested positive. The teams are under a protocol that requires constant testing.

Dr. Arias said the tournament continues with games played by the four other teams (Escogido, Aguilas, Estrellas and Toros) where no players have tested positive.

Dr. Arias said that the Escogido team is in a bubble that has worked for them. He said other teams should follow the example to guarantee that the tournament develops without difficulties.

The Dominican Baseball League confirmed the positive cases of Covid-19 in Licey players that were not showing any symptoms of the disease. The same happened with players...

The state of health of the 71-year old Attorney General Miriam German Brito is “stable within her condition”, as reported yesterday by Dashira Martinez, communications manager of the General Hospital of Plaza de la Salud.

German Brito was admitted to the hospital because of a urinary tract infection and pneumonia that became complicated due to her diabetic condition. Martinez responded that the Attorney General is responding well to treatment.

She said German Brito tested negative to a Covid-19 test and is expected to evolve favorably.

German Brito suffers from high blood pressure, a condition that is under control, as well as type 2 diabetes mellitus, informed the Attorney General’s Office through a press release.

After informing of her hospitalization and state of health, the Attorney General’s Office issued a statement in which it thanked citizens for their interest in...

President Luis Abinader was in Boca Chica on Monday, 23 November 2020 for the signing of two agreements for better coastal management with the National Hotel & Tourism Association.

One of the agreements is for improvements at 35 beaches. It was signed between the Ministry of Tourism, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the National Association of Hotels and Tourism (Asonahores). Beach regeneration will include engineering works to revert or mitigate erosion. A large number of possible environmental and conservation measures have been identified. The agreement is a follow-up to the contract signed on 11 May 2019 with the IH Cantabria consulting firm for the “Feasibility Study for Comprehensive Coastal Management funded by the IDB (ATN/OC-16820-DR. The findings will then serve to carry out the terms of reference for the regeneration and recovery of the...

Learn what basic agriculture staples cost. Seeking to educate consumers, the Ministry of Agriculture is now publishing the list of 14 popular products. The list details whether the products are going up or down in price. It serves as a reference to shoppers.

Read the list at: Ministry of Agriculture Diario Libre

23 November 2020

When the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) was opposition, the party objected the extensions arguing that the National Health Law had all the attributions needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The National State of Emergency reduces red tape for government procurement and is a situation in which the government is empowered to be able to put through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do.

The Abinader government has now submitted the request to extend the National State of Emergency for another 45 days. The status expires on 1 December 2020. The Abinader administration argues the status is needed to control the pandemic, especially when people are suffering from pandemic fatigue.

The virus is under control in the Dominican Republic, albeit in recent weeks the downward trend has been interrupted. There is a concern in the government that...

On Monday, President Luis Abinader promoted Montecristi police second lieutenant Salvador Sanchez, who resisted law-breaking demands by the Montecristi senator Ramón Antonio Pimentel Gomez (Moreno Arias). Sánchez refused to release a close friend of the legislator who was under arrest at the police station. A video went viral with the exchange between the senator and the Police, leading to the President’s decision. The policeman was right and the senator was wrong in his action.

“I am arranging the promotion of 2nd Lieutenant Salvador Sanchez, commander of the police detachment in Castañuelas, Montecristi, as recognition of the fulfillment of his duty and his attachment to the law,” said the President in a tweet on Monday, 23 November 2020.

Montecristi senator for the ruling PRM, Ramón Antonio Pimentel Gómez (Moreno Arias) had visited the Castañuelas...

The Ministry of Public Health is hopeful the national Covid-19 vaccine campaign will begin no later than March of next year. Interviewed on El Dia TV on Channel 11 by journalists Huchi Lora, Edith Febles and Carolina Santana, Health Minister Plutarco Arias said the first vaccines should arrive in February.

Dr. Arias is confident the country will be inoculating health care workers by March, at the latest. The Dominican Republic contracted the vaccines with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca that has developed the vaccines with the University of Oxford in England. The country has made an advance deposit to buy 1 millon doses of the vaccine. The second dose is required 28 days and immunity lasts for four months. Recent reports from AstraZeneca say it may be possible that only half dose be needed in the first dose. This would increase the number of...

23 November 2020

Former Jesuit priest Mario Serrano was appointed executive director of the Department of Government Ethics by the director general of that government body, Milagros Ortiz Bosch.

Serrano is known for his activism against corruption and impunity from the platforms of the Center for Reflection and Social Action Father Juan Montalvo, the National Coordination of Haitian Pastoral in the Dominican Episcopal Conference and Green March.

Serrano will now be responsible for developing projects that contribute to the government’s culture of ethics, transparency, and integrity. The former priest’s work will focus on public policies that help identify and prevent conflicts of interest in the state sector.

Read more in Spanish:

After years of debates and discussions, representatives of the Dominican Republic Association of Industries (AIRD) and the Association of Border Industries (Adefro) have reached an agreement, as reported in the media. Juan Celso Marranzini, president of AIRD and Manuel Taveras, president of Adefro visited with the president of the Senate Eduardo Estrella to deliver the new proposal for the border incentives law.

The businessmen explained that both entities reached a consensus for the extending of Law 28-01 on the Special Border Development Zone and offers additional incentives for manufacturing in the provinces of Pedernales, Independencia, Elias Piña, Dajabón, Montecristi, Santiago Rodriguez and Bahoruco on the border with Haiti.

Read about the amendments and new inclusions to the...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #249 reports 419 new PCR confirmed cases. The 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases is 660 cases.

3,514 first PCR tests were carried out in time for the 22 November report deadline. The government is reaching out to the population in shopping malls, government offices and companies. The previous 14-day average is at 4,277. President Abinader announced on 16 November that the country can process 10,000 PCR tests a day, yet labs have not had the demand for the tests.

The 4-week positivity rate is 11.03%, while the 24-hour positivity is 11.92%. The number of reported active cases has risen for the fourth consecutive day and is now at 23,636, up slightly from the previous day.

While the Ministry of Public Health Covid-19 team has been reporting a marked decline in demand for tests over...

The government of Luis Abinader is getting a 70% positive rating, according to the November 2020 poll carried out by Gallup. Only 10% have an unfavorable opinion of the first three months of the Abinader government

78.2% of Dominicans approve of how the Abinader government has tackled the Covid-19 disease.

67% believe the Abinader government embodies the changes Dominican society demand.

38% see the economic situation as very difficult, while 34% have a positive outlook. 24.9% don’t see the economy as good or bad.

Dominicans’ main concern is that of losing their jobs, according to 21.4% of adults polled. 17.8% named security as a main problem to tackle. 17.4% mentioned Covid-19 and 9.8% the economic recession.

The sample of 1,200 persons eligible to vote in the Dominican Republic were polled from 11 to 16 November 2020 nationwide. The opinion poll has an error margin of 2.8%.

Read...

23 November 2020

The executive editor of the Listin Diario was named Journalist of the Year. Members of the Dominican Association of Journalists (Colegio Dominicano de Periodistas) and the Ministry of Education voted to choose Franjul, a career journalist with a practice of over 50 years. The CDP announced the decision on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

Read more in Spanish:

The director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Ronald Skewes conditioned returning to a version of in-person learning at schools nationwide to when the Covid-19 positivity rate drops to under 5%. Today the positivity rate hovers around 10%. Dr. Skewes said that for weeks the rate had been gradually descending, but now it has plateaued to around 10-11%. In the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Education authorized only distance learning programs for the 2020-2021 school year.

Dr. Skewes is also against reducing the present Covid-19 preventive measures, including curfew during the Christmas holidays. He warns Dominicans should not let down their guard and continue to wear facial masks, keep physical distancing and wash hands when meeting friends and family.

Educa, the local pro-education society, has been...

23 November 2020

71-year old Attorney General Miriam German is interned at the Hospital General de la Plaza de la Salud. She was hospitalized on Saturday, 21 November 2020 after feeling ill. Dr. Nepomuceno Mejía Severano, spokesman for the hospital, said the patient suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus 2.

Read more in Spanish:

The PLD government instated dozens of laws and regulations to combat administrative corruption. Nevertheless, in government procurement loopholes and sheer negligence in complying with the laws and regulations were what prevailed, as Carlos Pimentel, the new director of the Procurement Agency (DGCP) reveals in an interview with El Dia.

Pimentel explains that complicity between private and public sectors degenerated in record levels of corruption. Pimentel explained that in any country there will be corruption, “but in our czse there was impunity and a high level of complicity between many sectors.” Pimentel remarked in the interview: “Those that have a long time in government say they had never seen such a level of cooperation.”

He spoke of the modality of camouflaging rental tenders as a way to lease public property to third parties. He also spoke of how the agency was an...

To read past articles, visit our DR1.com Daily News Forum.