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Sports Minister Francisco Camacho said the government will condition the Quisqueya Ball Park to prepare it for the Caribbean Series in February 2022. The stadium has been closed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

Sports Minister Camacho made the announcement after meeting with the president of the Dominican Baseball League (Lidom), Vitelio Mejía and Juan Francisco Puello Herrera, commissioner of the Caribbean Confederation of Professional Baseball (CBPC).

The Minister of Sports assured that every effort would be made so that the Caribbean Classic can be held again in the country, after an absence of five years. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic compete in the Caribbean Series. In recent years, teams from Cuba and Panama have also participated.

Read more in...

President Luis Abinader was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new Miami Marlins Baseball Education and Training Center in Boca Chica on Wednesday, 16 June 2021. The Marlins are investing US$12.5 million in the new academy for training prospects to be signed for play in Major League Baseball.

President Abinader was received by Miami Marlins president, Cooperstown Hall of Fame member Derek Jeter and the general manager of the Marlins, Kim Ng. He was accompanied by Sports Minister Francisco José Camacho and the Mayor of Boca Chica, Fermín Brito. Also attending was Deputy Minister of the Presidency Alberto Rodríguez and the National Professional Baseball Commissioner, Junior Noboa.

The Marlins president thanked President Abinader for his support. He explained that one of the first things he did when he joined the...

The Polígono Central area of Santo Domingo now has its Ochoa hardware store. President Luis Abinader was present for the inauguration on Monday, 14 June 2021. The hardware store opened at Av. 27 de Febrero almost corner Av. Tiradentes. Ochoa had a Santo Domingo location, but this was in West Santo Domingo.

The inauguration of the new store marked the 50th anniversary of the Santiago-based hardware store.

Félix García, president of the board of directors of Grupo Ochoa, emphasized that the business employs 2,000 in its stores located around the country. The flagship store is in Santiago city.

Read more in Spanish:

The Senate approved on Wednesday, 16 June 2021 the second reading of the bill that regulates customs regime in the Dominican Republic. The bill passed with the vote of 27 of 30 senators.

Senator Alexis Victoria (María Trinidad Sánchez), author of the initiative, congratulated the work of the Industry, Commerce and Free Zones Committee in the drafting of the bill. He said it replaces the current customs regulations that are 68 years old.

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Participación Ciudadana, the civic watchdog group, is backing Attorney General Miriam German Brito in her request for more funds to fight administrative corruption. German Brito has explained that the cancellation of many resource-producing activities due to Covid-19 has resulted in the actual resources of the Attorney General dropping to 40% less than in 2020. This at a time when the Attorney General Office is carrying out a major effort to prosecute administrative corruption in the country.

The Attorney General has said her office inherited over 500 cases of administrative corruption, and more staff is needed to prepare these cases.

The board of PC urges that more funding be allocated this year and in the National Budget for 2022 that goes to Congress in October 2021.

PC says that independence of action is not enough...

The Judicial Branch received a donation for the digital storage and backup of its data from the US Embassy.

The counselor of the Judicial Power, judge Bionni Zayas Ledesma said the donation makes possible a gigantic step towards the digital transformation of the justice system.

The Acting Minister-Counselor of the US Embassy, William Swaney, highlighted that the donation from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the US government provides a secure storage system to share, back up and quickly retrieve electronic documents. “This project will help the Dominican judicial system improve its effectiveness and strengthen accountability and transparency in its interaction with other agencies of the Dominican judicial sector,” he said.

Welvis Beltrán, director of Information Technology for the Judicial Branch, said that the...

The United States Embassy in Santo Domingo, through the Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a memorandum of understanding with the Special Programs Agency of the Presidency (PROPEEP) to support the remediation and closure of open landfills and develop new state-of-the-art regional infrastructure as part of a Solid Waste Master Plan. The memorandum was signed under the framework of the Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) program that is supporting the Dominican government efforts to advance in the management of solid waste and includes the closure of open landfills, the development of a regional sanitary landfill, and solid waste management programs.

The program aims to support the national government in advancing solid waste management and implementing scalable waste and recycling solutions. The effort backs the closing of eight open...

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Dominican government presented the #NoEsUnJuego campaign to prevent early and illegal marital unions in the Dominican Republic on 16 June 2021..

The #NoEsUnJuego campaign seeks to raise awareness among children, adolescents, fathers, mothers, teachers and others that child and teenage unions are a form of violence that affects one in five Dominican girls.

First Lady Raquel Arbaje, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Robert W. Thomas and USAID director Rebecca Latorraca were present for the event. For the Dominican government, also attending were Youth Minister Luz del Alba Jimenez; Paula Disla, president of the Children and Adolescents Council (Conani), and Gloria Reyes, director of Pro Solidarity, the government welfare agency.

“For the US government, ensuring that Dominican youth have access to...

Diario Libre published the complete list of all the awards effective 15 June 2021.

The newspaper also shared dozens of photos of the trend-setting fashion of the show business awards evening.

Follow the story at: Diario Libre Diario Libre Diario Libre Diario Libre

17 June 2021

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #454 reports 1,442 new PCR cases for the Tuesday, 15 June 2021 deadline. There is a spike of Covid-19 cases attributed to the entry of the more transmissible variants of the original coronavirus and the increased mixing of young people.

As has been happening since the start of the pandemic, Greater Santo Domingo concentrates the most new registered cases. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 1,058, up from the previous day.

As per Bulletin #454, with the deadline of 15 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 310,391 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 5,392 first-time PCR tests. This number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 5,375, down from the previous day.

The national 4-week...

The Dominican Association of Exporters (AdoExpo) president, Elizabeth Mena, reports a record of exports for the first four months of 2021. She says exports were US$3,752,219,096, up 23.1%. Exports in March 2021 were US$1,115,276,658, making it the highest export total ever. Mining and free zone exports made up most of the difference.

Speaking on the occasion of the National Exporters Day and the 47th anniversary of the Dominican Exports Association, Mena said that the export total demonstrates the sector’s resilience. She says the country is firmly on its way to becoming the logistics hub of the Caribbean.

Mena explained that from 2010 to 2020, Dominican exports increased from US$6.81 billion to US$9.86 billion, a robust growth of 44.67%.

She attributed much of the success to the diversification in the national export portfolio. Mena said that two...

The Health Cabinet cleared Dominican businesses that can now stay open three more hours on Saturdays and Sundays. That is, from 5am to 6pm, the same as on weekdays. There is a three hour free transit period. That is, full curfew applies as of 9pm every day. This schedule is in place for the National District and 24 provinces where the Covid-19 positivity is over 15%.

Decree 378-21 issued by the Presidency on 15 June 2021 extends the measures ordered in Decree 349-21.

Curfew is now Monday to Sunday from 6pm to 5am with the three-hour free circulation period continues. The government kept the dry law (ban on sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages) from 3pm to 5am but allows the sale of alcoholic beverages for takeout or delivery.

The measures are applicable in: the National District and the provinces of Santo Domingo (Greater Santo Domingo), Azua, Bahoruco...

Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera issued a resolution that reaffirms the ban on farming activities in the Valle Nuevo National Park in La Vega province. While for the most part farming has been eradicated in the north side of the park, it had continued in the south. The new ban seeks to fully rescue the park area.

The Ministry of Environment issued Resolution 0016/2021 that permanently prohibits agricultural and livestock activities that are still being developed in Valle Nuevo National Park. The 910 square kilometers national park is also called “the mother of waters” because many of the country’s most important rivers originate in that mountainous area.

The decision signed by Minister Orlando Jorge Mera modifies Article 3 of Resolution 0014/2016, on the Action Plan for the Rescue of the Park, that had served to initiate the elimination of agricultural activities in that area...

The National Hemocenter, the government blood bank, opened this week to serve the population. The blood bank receives blood donations that are stored and preserved for later use in blood transfusion.

The center’s director, Dr. Pedro Sing said that it will begin servicing blood to the Ney Arias (400 units per month), Reynaldo Almánzar (250 units per month) and Hugo de Mendoza (150 units per month) public hospitals located in the Ciudad de la Salud Evangelina Rodríguez in eastern Santo Domingo.

The Hemocentro Nacional also acts as a blood collection center, receiving, processing, testing, separation, and storing blood for future use. A blood bank-truck will go to any community where 25+ persons want to donate, be this a church, community or club, explained Dr. Sing.

The blood bank is encouraging Dominicans to donate blood. To be a donor, the person must have a...

President Luis Abinader confirmed Teófilo José Abrahán Leo Tabar Manzur (Quico Tabar) as the administrator of the National Lottery.

The appointment is in Decree 379-21 issued on Tuesday, 15 June 2021. Tabar replaces Luis Maisichell Dicent, who was recently arrested for involvement in fraud at the government entity. The case is known as Operation 13.

Tabar was appointed temporarily after the scandal of the rigged awards ceremony of 1 May 2021 exploded in social media. For years it has been hearsay that many of the winning numbers have been pre-arranged.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office accuses La Vega province congresswoman Amalia Pilarte of irregular transactions for RD$2.59 billion through the banking system. Pilarte won the seat for the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) in the 7 July 2020 congressional elections. The PRM is the ruling party.

In the indictment, the prosecutors allege that Rosa Amalia Pilarte López has not been able to justify the abovementioned transactions. In her social security (TSS) record, Pilarte López is a medical doctor with monthly earnings of RD$30,000 until her election as legislator. Pilarte López is married to “Miky” Lopez, who is under arrest accused of drug trafficking and money laundering.

“Rosa Amalia Pilarte López, who happens to be the wife of Miky López and mother of the accused José Miguel López Pilarte, is an active member of the criminal organization led by her sentimental...

State prosecutors filed charges against the former executive vice president of the Public Electricity Corporation (CDEEE), Rubén Jiménez Bichara, and a brother and two brothers-in-law of former President Danilo Medina for fraud, coalition of officials and money laundering. Jiménez Bichara was the campaign manager for Gonzalo Castillo, the Danilo Medina-backed candidate of the former ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) in the past presidential election of 7 July 2020.

The accusation follows the investigations the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for the Prosecution of Administrative Corruption (Pepca) carried out into the management of the government-owned power utilities – EdeSur, EdeNorte, EdeEste. As a result, the prosecutors have presented evidence of major fraud for more than RD$20 billion.

The former President Medina’s brother accused in the case is Juan...

Lawyers of the former head of the Presidential Security Corps (Cusep), Major General Adan Cáceres denounced that the Najayo Jail authorities require a person to be present taping the conversations when they meet with their client. Lawyers Cristian Martínez and Romer Jiménez complained that the imprisonment of the major general at the Najayo Jail is an abusive action. In an interview on Despierta con CDN on Chanel 37 (Claro TV), the lawyers complained of excesses and little intelligent actions against their client. “He is not allowed to walk more than some square meters and then for only an hour,” they stated. Cáceres has the category of maximum security at the prison.

Major General Adan Cáceres is in pre-trial custody at Najayo accused of abusing his high-ranking position in government to commit major irregularities. The Attorney General Office has named the case...

In a night-long gala on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, the Dominican Republic recognized the best in show business for 2019 and 2020. The Soberano Awards take place in March of every year, but the Dominican Oscars-like ceremony was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The winners of the Grand Soberano were Niní Cáffaro for 2019 and Romeo Santos for 2020.

Highlights of the event also were the awards to centenarian radio broadcaster and actress Maria Cristina Camilo; to Jose Antonio Molina, director of the National Symphony Orchestra; to Dominican comedian Felipe Polanco. The long career of merengue band leader Josie Esteban was honored with a special award. The Covid-19 medical teams were honored with a special award received by Dr. Felix Cruz Jiminián.

Juan Luis Guerra performed “Rosalia” on the Teatro La Fiesta stage to celebrate the 30th anniversary...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #453 reports 914 new PCR cases for the Monday, 14 June 2021 deadline. There is a spike of Covid-19 cases attributed to the entry of the more transmissible variants of the original coronavirus and the increased mixing of young people. The spike, nevertheless, seems to be under control.

As has been happening since the start of the pandemic, Greater Santo Domingo concentrates the most new registered cases. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 1,057, down from the previous day.

As per Bulletin #453, with the deadline of 14 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 310,391 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 5,392 first-time PCR tests. This number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 5,391, down...

A 5.1 earthquake was felt at 6:15am on Monday, 14 June 2021. The earthquake had its epicenter in Boca de Yuma, west of the Punta Cana resort area. Whatsapp notifications were quick to tell about the shake, but most people in the capital city of Santo Domingo did not feel it. The United States Geological Survey/Puerto Rico University site reports the earthquake took place at 31 km SSE of Boca de Yuma (18.120°N 68.496°W) at a 87.0 km depth

No damages were reported.

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The National Senate swore in Pablo Ulloa as the nation’s ombudsman on 14 June 2021. Alternates Roberto Carlos Quiroz Canela and Miguel Antonio Puello Maldonado and their adjuncts Ana Leticia Martich Mateo and Darío Antonio Nin were also sworn in for the 2021-2027 period.

Pablo Ulloa, the new ombudsman, said at the ceremony: “We are here to contribute to the institutional and democratic strengthening of the Dominican Republic, by bolstering respect for human dignity and the consolidation of the social democratic state of rights.”

Ulloa committed to abide by the Constitution and Dominican laws. He is an industrial psychologist by training with doctorates in government and public policies.

Read more in Spanish:

The Dominican Republic received an upgrade in the US State Department Travel Advisory recommendations due to Covid-19 on 14 June 2021. The country was upgraded from the Level 4 Do Not Travel recommendation to a Level 3 Reconsider Travel recommendation.

The US State Department has 4 travel advisory levels. The statements regarding Covid-19 are issued in coordination with the Center for Disease Control. These are:

Exercise normal precautionsExercise increased cautionsReconsider travelDo not travel

The DR is now at Level 3: Reconsider travel to the Dominican Republic due to Covid-19.

The announcement comes at a time when around two million people have the full doses of Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 4.25 million have at least the first dose. The National Vaccination Plan has a pace so that more than 60% of the population should be fully vaccinated by August 2021...

The Soberano Awards are the Oscars night for Dominican performers. Tune in to Color Visión Channel 9 for an overview of the entertainment business in the Dominican Republic. The Soberano Awards is the most lavish and complete show business extravaganza carried out every year. It did not take place in 2020 due to Covid-19 so this year’s awards encompass two years – 2019 and 2020.

The Dominican Association of Show Business Chroniclers (Acroarte) is the organizer. Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, the Presidente beer brewery, is the lead sponsor.

The members of Acroarte voted for the nominees. The general public, though is being asked to vote online for the winners on the awards website.

The hosts of the show this year are Caroline Aquino and Clarissa Molina. René Brea is the producer.

Dozens of leading Dominican artists will perform from the stage of the Teatro...

Coach Melvyn López announced on Monday, 14 June 2021 the Dominican team to the basketball Olympic Games qualifier in Belgrade, Serbia, 29 June- 4 July 2021. The winning team gets a slot in the Tokyo Olympics 12-team basketball tournament.

The Dominican team members are Brandon Francis, Sadiel Rojas, Gelvis Solano, Rigoberto Mendoza, Adonys Henríquez, Ángel Núñez, Víctor Liz, Jonathan Araújo, Andrés Féliz, Luis Santos and Mike Torres and Eloy Vargas.

The coaching staff that accompanies Coach Lopez is José (Maíta) Mercedes, David Díaz and Luis Guzmán, and physical trainers Eliezer Dubin and Marvin Zamora. Dr. William Grano de Oro will be the biosecurity doctor and Junior Páez, the delegate.

The team flew out of Punta Cana International Airport to Serbia via Germany after spending several intense days of training at the Palacio de los Deportes Profesor...

What’s in the waters of Hermanas Mirabal province that is producing so many brain childs? This year, the students of the Hermanas Mirabal province’s Salcedo public school, Liceo Cientifico Dr. Miguel Canela Lázaro, won the NASA Task Challenge Award (International Human Exploration Rover Challenge). 

Now, Diario Libre reports on another Hermanas Mirabal gifted student. Adelson Aguasvivas recently graduated from Harvard College where he studied Computer Science and a secondary degree in Ethnicity, Migration and Rights. At 20 years of age, he is employed as of May 2021 as Incoming Software Development Engineer at Amazon, working at the firm’s Cambridge, Massachusetts office. On Linkedin, Aguasvivas describes himself as having a passion for software engineering, data science, product management and education. 

Aguasvivas told his story to Diario Libre. He...

President Luis Abinader presented the National Water Commitment during an event at the Presidential Palace on 14 June 2021. The short-term objective is to draft the National Water Pact 2021-2036 to ensure sustainable water management. In the long term, it contemplates the construction of several dams nationwide. Overall, it considers investments of US$8.5 billion and an annual investment of approximately US$567 million over the next 15 years.

The plan guarantees a universal, safe and sustained supply of water for irrigation, electricity and human use. The plan encompasses the maintenance, construction and operation of dams nationwide.

The President called on all national sectors to join this crusade for the preservation of water. He said: “The difficulties we face show us that we must change our traditional way of relating to water. We can no...

The Specialized Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prosecutor’s Office and the La Vega Prosecutor’s Office filed indictments against Miguel Arturo López Florencio, alias Miky López, and four other members of a criminal organization dedicated to international drug trafficking. Miky López is married to ruling Modern Revolutionary Party deputy Amalia Pilarte (PRM-La Vega).

Along with López, his two sons, Miguel Arturo López Pilarte and José Miguel López Pilarte, as well as Ada María Pilarte and José Antonio Román, and the companies Auto Crédito Selecto, SRL, Servi Crédito Selecto, SRL, Agropecuaria Gloria Ivette, SRL and Inmobiliaria Gloria Ivette, SRL, are accused of complicity in the criminal network.

According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office indictment, all the abovementioned companies are front and/or shell companies, whose operations disguised the earning of...

What’s up for grabs is the last slot to play in the Tokyo Olympics baseball tournament. Venezuela (ranked 8th), the Dominican Republic (ranked 10th) and the Netherlands (ranked 9th) will battle it out after Australia declined from participating. The winner will join Japan, Israel, Korea, Mexico and USA, teams that have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced the schedule on 14 June 2021. The games will be played from 22-26 June in Puebla, Mexico at the Estadio de Béisbol Hermanos Serdán, home to the Pericos de Puebla team of the Mexican Baseball League.

The tournament schedule is:

Tuesday, 22 June: 5pm: DR vs VenezuelaWednesday, 23 June 5pm: Venezuela vs. NetherlandsThursday, 24 June 5pm: Netherlands vs. DR

Friday, 25 June 5pm: Semifinal 3rd vs 2ndSaturday, 26 June 1pm: Semifinal...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #452 reports 827 new PCR cases for the Sunday, 13 June 2021 deadline. There is a spike of Covid-19 cases attributed to the entry of the more transmissible variants of the original coronavirus and the increased mixing of young people. The number of active cases, nevertheless is declining, meaning the recent restrictive measures are working. As has been happening since the start of the pandemic, Greater Santo Domingo concentrates the most new registered cases. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 1,070, down from the previous day.

As per Bulletin #452, with the deadline of 13 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 309,477 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,193 first-time PCR tests. This number of PCR...

El Seibo senator Santiago Zorrilla (PRM-El Seibo) called for the government to build a four-lane highway from San Pedro de Macorís, connecting the provinces of Hato Mayor and El Seibo, and its new Miches beach resorts. Zorrilla is a native of Miches himself.

He envisions the new road saving 41 kilometers over the present land connection. He said this could mean an increase to around 4,000 hotel rooms in the Miches area within the next four years. At present, the main resort is the new Club Med Playa Esmeralda.

“The distance between San Pedro and Miches would be about 40 minutes and from the Las Americas International Airport about 1 hour 20 minutes and not 3 hours as of present,” he emphasized.

The Ministry of Public Works announced last week the beginning of feasibility studies for three roads to facilitate travel to the new tourism developments in the Miches...

Dominicans contributed RD$3,267,000 to the children’s causes of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in the Dominican Republic. Unicef organized the fundraiser, Grand Telethon “Together for Children” on Sunday, 13 June 2021, to support the UN agency social programs in the country.

Unicef director Rosa Rosa Elcarte explained that the pandemic has resulted in job losses to vulnerable families, with consequences of increased malnutrition in children under five years, pregnant and lactating women. The telethon resources will be directed to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, improving quality of education, aiding the return to in-person learning for all students in a safe manner. Funds will also be allotted to programs to prevent violence against children, detect and treat acute child malnutrition and reduce teenage pregnancy and early unions of girls with adults...

The Dominican Republic’s women’s volleyball team, known internationally as the “Queens of the Caribbean,” is seventh in the Nations League tournament standing. The event is serving as a warm-up for the July 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Team Dominican Republic is one of the 12 women’s volleyball teams competing in the Olympics.

The Dominican Republic picked up recent wins against Thailand and tournament host Italy while losing to China in the championship taking place in Rimini, Italy.

So far, the DR has won six games and lost five in the 16-team Nations League tournament. The top seven teams are: USA, Brazil, Japan, Turkey, Netherlands, Russia and the Dominican Republic.

Over the weekend, the DR lost to China 1:3 (14-25, 20-25, 25-19 and 22-25), but won games to host Italy (25-21, 25-19, 22-25 and 26-24) and Thailand 3-0 (16-25, 17-25 and 23-25).

The DR matches have...

President Luis Abinader attended the inaugural of the largest solar power plant in the Caribbean. The Empresa Generadora de Electricidad Haina (EgeHaina), a public-private venture, invested US$100 million to build the new Girasol Solar Park. The plant has installed capacity for 120 megawatts and is estimated to produce 240,000 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, enough to supply the electricity consumption of more than 100,000 homes

The new clean energy plant is located in the municipality of Yaguate, San Cristóbal province, and is EGE Haina’s sixth renewable energy plant and the largest in the Caribbean.

268,200 solar panels were installed on a surface of 220 hectares. One hectare is equal to 10,000 square meters (m2).

In his remarks, President Abinader highlighted the contribution that this type of investment makes to the sustainable development of the country’s economy...

The National Council of Export Free Zones (CNZFE) approved 12 new companies and the expansion of two existing companies. US$28 million will be injected in the economy to create more than 1,600 jobs. The new enterprises are scattered all over the country, from Mao to Barahona, Puerto Plata to Santo Domingo. They will produce footware, medical devices, apparel and operate call centers.

Industry and Commerce Minister Victor (Ito) Bisonó noted that 59 new companies have installed themselves here since the start of the Abinader administration in August 2020. This has meant an investment of over US$100 million and the creating of over 8,000 jobs.

Read more in Spanish:

Business is business, and the twice-weekly binational market is surely proof of that. The government ordered the shut down of the main building, a huge rabbit warren of stalls and cubicles, after new variants have caused a spike of Covid-19 cases in Haiti and now in Dajabón, the border city on the Dominican side.

While some media said the bi-national market was open, that was not true. Other media said that it was open but with protocols in place. But that was only partially true. According to Diario Libre, what really happened was that the merchants from both sides of the border set up shop like in the old days, along the side streets and sidewalks of Dajabón.

Both Customs and Migration agencies got to work early, since the bridge over the Masacre River was full of people. And hundreds crossed over to buy and sell. Every imaginable foodstuff was available, especially cooking...

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its path of death and destruction, nearly every sector of the Dominican economy is experiencing price hikes. The nation’s builders are especially vulnerable, and their costs have truly skyrocketed. The bag of cement that used to cost a hundred pesos, is now quoted at US$10 the bag. As is well documented in the press, the cost of wood has gone up 250%, ocean freight charges have increased by 600%, and electricity and plumbing supplies are up 40%.

Re-bar has hit US$800 a ton, and apparently, nobody is quoting prices in Dominican pesos anymore. Combined with a steady increase in the price of land, the situation looms quite dark for the purchase of new-built properties.

The bright spot might be the increase in remittances from the United States, thanks to the Biden administration’s three stimulus checks.

Read more...

The Attorney General Office announced the arrest of ten persons over the weekend, including Luis Maisichell Dicent, the suspended director of the National Lottery, the government lottery. The arrests were carried out as part of Operation 13 on Saturday by the public prosecution agency and the administrative anti-corruption agency (Pepca) officials.

Operation 13 seeks to identify those responsible for the fraud detected at the National Lottery on 1 May 2021. The arrests took place in the National District and the provinces of Monseñor Nouel (Bonao) and Santo Domingo.

In addition to Luis Maisichell Dicent, others arrested were: William Lisandro Rosario Ortiz, Valentina Rosario Cruz, Jonathan Brea, Carlos Berigüete, Miguel Mejía, Felipe Santiago Toribio, Rafael Mesa, Eladio Batista Valerio and Edison Manuel Perdomo Peralta.

The arrested are at the Palacio de la...

Autovia del Este / Alexandra Montás / Pinterest

Driving on the defensive is a must in the Dominican Republic. The country is ranked tops on the list of highest traffic fatalities per 100,000 population. Late last week, there was a tragic accident on the Autovia del Este near San Pedro de Macoris, a reminder of the need to exercise preventive driving. The net result was three fatalities and three injured. A small car had an encounter with one of those “road trains”, a semi-truck with two 40-foot trailers.

There are over a million motorcycles and about 1.3 million cars in this country. Lax enforcement of the licensing process also puts very questionable people behind the wheel. All drivers should remember that this is a real situation, and not something made up to scare potential drivers from overseas. Drive safely.

Read more in...

The recent, and ongoing, rains have taken around 25 municipal water systems out of service. According to the Center for Emergency Operations (COE), nearly 300,000 persons were left without potable water. Several provinces were under a Yellow Alert with landslides reported and flooding rivers and streams reported. Provinces such as Monte Plata, Greater Santo Domingo, La Vega, Monsignor Nouel, and San Jose de Ocoa were under the alert.

However, there were plenty of other areas under a Green Alert, such the Lower Yuna Basin, Santiago, Hato Mayor, San Pedro de Macoris, San Juan de la Maguana, Sánchez Ramirez (Cotuí) and even Elías Piña out on the Haitian border. Heavy rains were reported for Samana province in the northeast.

As the country enters the first months of the hurricane season, everyone is advised to watch for the COE warnings and follow weather...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #451 reports 803 new PCR cases for the Saturday, 12 June 2021 deadline. There is a spike of Covid-19 cases attributed to the entry of the more transmissible variants of the original coronavirus and the increased mixing of young people. As has been happening since the start of the pandemic, Greater Santo Domingo concentrates the most new registered cases. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 1,081, down from the previous day.

As per Bulletin #451, with the deadline of 12 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 308,650 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,748 first-time PCR tests. This number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 5,394, down from the previous day.

The national 4-week...

Pfizer vaccines are finally available in the Dominican Republic. Jabs can be had in Santo Domingo and Santiago. A batch of 228,150 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines arrived to Las Americas International Airport on Friday, 11 June 2021. Vice President Raquel Peña, Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ignacio Paliza and Superintendent of Health and Labor Risks, Jesus Feris Iglesias were at the airport to receive the shipment that arrived on a DHL flight. Also present was US Embassy charge d’affaires, Robert Thomas, and the US counselor for public affairs, Alexander Titolo.

Vice President Raquel Peña, the Abinader administration Health Cabinet coordinator, announced on Friday that the first doses of the vaccine would be available on Saturday, 12 June and Sunday, 13 June at major inoculation sites in Santo Domingo and Santiago, the country’s two main cities.

The...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #449 reports 1,129 new PCR cases for the Thursday, 10 June 2021 deadline. There is a spike of Covid-19 cases attributed to the entry of the more transmissible variants of the original coronavirus and the increased mixing of young people. As has been happening since the start of the pandemic, Greater Santo Domingo concentrates the most new registered cases. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 1,183, down from the previous day.

As per Bulletin #449, with the deadline of 10 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 306,698 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 5,202 first-time PCR tests. This number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 5,461, up from the previous day.

The national 4-week...

The Presidency announces that the Ministry of Hacienda has carried out a liability management transaction in the local market that will reduce the debt service of RD$74.9 billion for the period 2022-2027. The transaction also reduces the cost of financing by 66.2 basis points and increases the average maturity of the local peso bond portfolio from 7.83 to 8.92 years. The nominal value withdrawn was RD$92,427 million and comprises the repurchase of eleven local currency securities issued by the Ministry of Hacienda.

To carry out the transaction the Ministry of Hacienda had the participation of international investors that accessed the local market through global deposit notes (GDN), obtaining participation of more than RD$15 billion in repurchase offers. The country took advantage of the low-interest rates to secure better market conditions, reducing the refinancing risk...

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) approved a US$100 million loan (IADB-DR-L1141) for the rehabilitation and development of Puerto Manzanillo, the northwestern-most port closest to the United States, the main market for Dominican trade. The program’s objective is to improve the facilities of the port of Manzanillo, contributing to the competitiveness and insertion of regional and international trade routes of the productive sector in the north of the country.

Cibao industries spokespersons had urged the development of the port that would enable lower cost and faster shipping to the eastern coast of the United States. At present, 93% of the tonnage of exports and imports is transported from ports located in the country’s south even when most farm production and half of the country’s free zone manufacturing capacity is located in the northern part of...

Twelve institutions signed a cooperation agreement on 10 June 2021 to promote Santo Domingo as a “Creative City of Music”, a designation granted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in October 2019.

Culture Minister Carmen Heredia presided over signing the agreement at the Ramón Oviedo Gallery at the Ministry of Culture headquarters. Also signing were officials of the Presidency General Strategic and Special Projects Agency (Propeep), the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Dominican National Commission before the Unesco, the Dominican Municipal League (LMD) and city councils of Greater Santo Domingo.

Designated Unesco Cities of Music share similar characteristics. These are:· recognized centers of musical creation and activity· experience in hosting musical festivals and events at a national or international level·...

Punta Cana is getting a direct air connection from central Texas starting this November 2021. American Airlines has included the country in the new flights programmed from Austin’s International Airport (AUS) in Texas. On Thursday, 10 June 2021, the airline announced four new international destinations from Austin, including the Punta Cana connection. The new routes are to meet increased customer demand. Other international routes will connect Austin to destinations in Mexico and Costa Rica.

The Punta Cana to Austin flight will begin 2 November and will have a frequency of four times a week. The flights will depart Austin on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

This is the first direct connection from the Dominican Republic to Austin. Austin is regarded as one of the United States’ fastest-growing metropolitan areas, with scores of companies relocating or adding...

On Thursday, 10 June 2021, Jorge Rafael Hernández Almonte was charged with terrorism and aggravate violence. The public prosecutor’s office was ordered to serve three months of preventive imprisonment in a Santiago jail as he awaits his trial. Hernández Almonte is accused of having given a false warning of a bomb at the Cibao International Airport on 28 May 2021, allegedly to prevent his girlfriend from boarding a plane at the terminal. The call caused a delay in flight operations.

The prosecutors said that when making the call, Hernández Almonte assured that a woman was about to board a plane bound for New York City, United States, with an explosive device in her luggage. The called triggered the established security protocols and the delay of flights until the situation was normalized.

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The Ministry of Public Works announced the beginning of feasibility studies for three roads to facilitate travel to the new tourism developments in the Miches beach area of El Seibo province in the east. He announced a 102 km road would link the Autovía del Este with the towns of Vicentilla and La Cuchilla and the municipality of Miches.

Miches is an up-and-coming beach resort area. The Autovía del Este is the continuation of Las Americas Expressway that links the capital city of Santo Domingo with the beach destinations of Juan Dolio in San Pedro de Macorís and La Romana and Punta Cana to the east.

Public Works Minister Deligne Ascención said the road means savings in fuel and time and will facilitate a greater influx of tourists to the new Miches beaches area.

Road Infrastructure Vice Minister Nelson Colón is entrusted with the feasibility studies to...

Fecha 30/09/2020

Foto ©Mery Ann Escolastico

After months of debates, the Senate committee proposed Pablo Ulloa for ombudsman and the Senate voted yes on Thursday, 10 June 2021. The votes of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) joined those of the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) to enable the electio given that no party had enough votes to single-handedly impose a candidate. Ulloa was the best-evaluated candidate of those presented by the Chamber of Deputies.

Ulloa was the only of the three candidates that was not a high-ranking party member before presenting his candidacy for the ombudsman position. Ulloa defeated Fidel Santana, who had been the president for the Frente Amplio political party and was a supporter of the presidential aspirations of Luis Abinader. Another contender, Henry Meran, for years had acted as spokesperson for former President Leonel Fernandez. The...

Victor Pacheco / Tu República

The Dominican Airlines Association (ADLA) named Victor M. Pacheco its new executive director. In a press release, ADLA highlights the naming of Pacheco is a clear message of the reaffirmed commitment to the development of the national aviation sector. “We are confident that with his experience in the areas of financial services and aviation, Victor will play a stellar role in achieving the definitive takeoff of the national airline industry,” said Omar Chahin Lama, president of ADLA. He succeeds Alex Santana.

Pacheco said: “I assume the executive direction of our association with great enthusiasm and with all the desire to be a suitable vehicle to harmonize the interests of all stakeholders that converge in the aviation sector in the country. We are ready to work closely with the authorities that regulate the industry to promote a common...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #448 reports 1,141 new PCR cases for the Wednesday, 9 June 2021 deadline. There is a spike of Covid-19 cases attributed to the entry of the more transmissible Brazilian and UK variants of the original Chinese coronavirus and the increased mixing of young people. As has been happening since the start of the pandemic, Greater Santo Domingo concentrates the most new registered cases. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 1,207, down from the previous day.

As per Bulletin #448, with the deadline of 9 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 305,569 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 5,608 first-time PCR tests. This number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 5,427, down from the previous day...

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