DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic

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The spread of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic continues under control, despite the confirmation that the Delta variant is in circulation. The authorities are monitoring the virus and its variants. The national 4-week positivity rate for the 22 September 2021 Epidemiological Bulletin #553 is at 6.39%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 7.10%, down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #553 reports 279 new cases for the Wednesday, 22 September 2021 deadline. The number of reported active Covid-cases detailed in the Covid-19 Bulletin #553 is 4,779, down (-155) from the previous day.

The 279 new cases for bulletin #553 compare to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed cases that is 268.

As per Bulletin #553, with the deadline of 22 September 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 356,321 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 3,927...

After more than two years on the case, the New York Police were able to dismantle a sophisticated car theft operation in the New York area, including Washington Heights. The operation cloned car keys and disabled the original keys.

Members of this organization then transported the vehicles to one of several lots located in the Bronx, where these were altered and the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) were changed to give the stolen cars a new identity.

The Police says the gang was so good at it that the hacking took but five minutes. The network also replaced license plates with fake paper copies before selling them through websites and Facebook, even exporting the vehicles to the Dominican Republic.

Read...

23 September 2021

On Friday, 24 September 2021, Dominicans honor Our Lady of Mercy (Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes). The Roman Catholic Church holiday is observed nationwide. Given that the holiday falls on a Friday, it will become a long weekend for many. Plan for traffic congestion for those exiting and returning to the main cities.

Devote Catholics celebrate the day making the pilgrimage to the Santo Cerro hilltop shrine in La Vega province.

Our Lady of Mercy is regarded as the patron saint of the Dominican people.

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At a time when the world has seen images this week that exemplify the despair of the Haitian people, President Luis Abinader used the platform of the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations to call for Haiti to become a global priority. He said the exploding situation in Haiti is becoming a regional threat beyond the borders of that country. The situation is at an extreme that thousands of Haitians attempt to cross into the United States through Texas, being repealed by men on horses.

Speaking during the 76th UN general debate, Abinader urged the international community to prioritize Haiti’s situation. “No unilateral action is sufficient to overcome the dramatic situation. It is imperative that the international community not abandon the Dominican Republic at a time when insecurity levels are leading that country to self-destruction,” said President...

Coinciding with the official visit of President Luis Abinader to the United States to attend the 76th UN General Assembly, the United States government announced President Joe Biden has nominated Georgia state representative Calvin Smyre to serve as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Smyre is the longest-serving legislator in Georgia. Smyre, 74, will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

The Atlantic Journal Constitution, the leading Georgia newspaper, described Smyre as “skilled at relationship-building.”

The AJC reports on the nomination: “The US has long enjoyed warm relations with the Dominican Republic. But the island nation’s leaders are encouraging Americans to play a more assertive role in neighboring Haiti, where the recent assassination of the president has triggered a growing humanitarian and political crisis.”

AJC adds that Smyre said he’s looking forward to the...

Presidents Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic, Laurentino (Nito) Cortizo of Panama and Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica signed a communiqué on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 expressing their deep concern over the crisis in Haiti, reports the Dominican Presidency.

The heads of state signed the document during a meeting on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly, ongoing in New York City, United States.

The leadership of Panama expressed concern about the crisis in Haiti and the growing impact it is having on the region, particularly the serious migratory consequences.

In a communiqué, the leaders instructed the foreign ministers, in alliance with strategic partners such as the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and friendly countries, to immediately structure concrete, comprehensive and sustainable solutions, within a framework of...

President Luis Abinader led the launch of the Country Brand strategy on 22 September 2021 in New York City. The initiative is to strengthen the positive perception and promote business and investment in the United States. The United States is the Dominican Republic’s leading trading partner. The New York/New Jersey area is also home to more than 1.5 Dominican ex-pats.

President Abinader, First Lady Raquel Arbaje, Tourism Minister David Collado; the president of the Country Brand Commission for the private sector, Ligia Bonetti and the director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro headed the presentation of the country brand at a hall of the Ziegfeld Ballroom, on 54th Street in Manhattan.

The presentation focused on the five pillars that make up the country brand — investment, exports, tourism, culture and citizenship. The leadership motivated the Dominican diaspora to...

Check for the new Superintendency of Banks (SB) seal before purchasing financial services in the Dominican Republic. Here people have suffered from theft and fraud by using services of unauthorized entities.

Financial intermediation entities and foreign exchange intermediaries are required to have the seal. The intention is to provide greater protection and safeguard to users of financial products in the Dominican Republic.

“This is a tool that will make it possible to easily identify the entities that have the endorsement and supervision of the SB, to considerably reduce the risks associated with the acquisition of financial products and services without the guarantees of the legal framework of the Dominican Republic,” states the Presidency in making the announcement.

The entities that are registered with the SB must have the physical and digital...

A bill that would ban the consumption of alcohol in vehicles has passed in the Senate. The bill was submitted by senator Santiago Jose Zorilla (PRM-El Seibo) and passed on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 in the Senate. The bill seeks to regulate the sale, supply and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The bill establishes many conditions that will be difficult to apply and others that could serve as loopholes.

The bill establishes that businesses that sell alcoholic beverages cannot be less than 100 meters from hospitals, schools, churches, parks and other places identified as “sensitive places.”

The bill also establishes that alcohol selling businesses must be located in places that do not obstruct public roads and at a distance of 150 meters from each other.

According to the bill, closed bottles can be transported in the trunk of a vehicle. The bill also allows...

After more than two years on the case, the New York Police were able to dismantle a sophisticated car theft operation in the New York area, including Washington Heights. The operation cloned car keys and disabled the original keys. That way they were able to gain entry to the vehicles and change the vehicle’s programming.

Members of this organization then transported the vehicles to one of several lots located in the Bronx, where these were altered and the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) were changed to give the stolen cars a new identity.

The Police says the gang was so good at it that the hacking too but five minutes. The network also replaced license plates with fake paper copies before selling them through websites and Facebook, even exporting the vehicles to the Dominican Republic.

On 23 September 2021, merengue star Wilfrido Vargas will emcee a tribute to Johnny Ventura at the Latin Billboard Awards. A Dominican singer and orchestra leader Vargas has had a very successful 50-year career in music. He was the king of the Miami Carnival in 2021.

“To say merengue is to say Johnny Ventura and to say his name is to say Dominican Republic,” said Wilfrido Vargas in a statement released on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 to announce the special role he will have at the Billboard Awards gala.

Merenguero Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano, whose stage name was Johnny Ventura and was also nicknamed “Caballo Mayor”, died last July at the age of 81 after a 60 year career in music.

Ventura was an extraordinarily talented merengue singer, composer and arranger. He was also a great dancer and entertainer. He successfully hosted several...

23 September 2021

Dominican Francis Dahyam Cabral won the T4 World Cup 2021. The event was held at Whiteriver Karting, Ireland from 17 to 19 September 2021. Cabral competed against 90 elite best 4-stroke pilots from 19 countries.He competed in the 165 kilos category.

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The spread of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic continues under control, despite the confirmation that the Delta variant is in circulation. The authorities are monitoring the virus and its variants. The national 4-week positivity rate for the 21 September 2021 Epidemiological Bulletin #552 is at 6.46%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 7.81%, down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #552 reports 321 new cases for the Tuesday, 21 September 2021 deadline. The number of reported active Covid-cases detailed in the Covid-19 Bulletin #552 is 4,934, down (-2) from the previous day.

The 321 new cases for bulletin #552 compare to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed cases that is 267.

As per Bulletin #552, with the deadline of 21 September 2021, the Ministry of...

President Luis Abinader was present for the first day of the high-level general debate on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 of the 76th UN General Assembly. The debates are taking place through 27 September. President Abinader is scheduled to speak 12th during the Wednesday, 22 September session.

President Luis Abinader is attending the UN General Assembly accompanied by Foreign Relations Minister Roberto Alvarez; Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ignacio Paliza, and Dominican ambassador to the United Nations, Jose Blanco.

The 76th Assembly began with remarks by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Brazilian President Jaír Bolsonaro and US President Joe Biden.

The Presidency reported that on Tuesday, 21 September, Abinader met his counterparts from Guatemala, Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei. The DR recently made a donation of Covid-19 vaccines to Guatemala. And...

Altagracia Salazar, the long-time muckraking journalist, expressed her concern the bill that is under discussion in the Chamber of Deputies is predominantly the one presented by senator Felix Bautista (FP-San Juan de la Maguana), Jose del Castillo (PLD-Barahona) and Aris Ivan Lorenzo (PLD-Elias Piña). The original Felix Bautista bill calls for the forfeitures to be for future seizures and that the bill not be retroactive.

The Senate-Chamber of Deputies committee studying the bill is presided by lawyer Pedro Catrain (PRM-Samana).

Chamber of Deputies president Alfredo Pacheco (PRM-National District) has said the bill would soon be passed. He said the three bills submitted on the matter have been merged. Salazar expressed her concern that the bill could be drafted in “useless” style such as were the Political Parties Law and Electoral Regime Law. These...

Dominican ambassador to the United States, Sonia Guzman told Katherine Hernandez, special reporter for CDN/El Caribe in New York to cover President Luis Abinader’s visit, that there are advances in talks on DR-CAFTA free trade agreement. Ambassador Sonia Guzman was minister of Industry and Commerce from 2002-2004 and key negotiator of the DR CAFTA for the Dominican government.

Her position now is that the country keep the same conditions. She said the Dominican Republic is negotiating so that the tariff on rice and bean imports is not dismantled.

“In DR-CAFTA the United States committed to dismantle agricultural subsidies in those 25 years and that has not happened. On the contrary, they have had difficult circumstances and we have had more, since we are a developing country,” she told CDN/El Caribe reporter.

The free trade agreement signed in August 2004...

First Lady Raquel Arbaje was at the NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 to sign a partnership regarding health care of Dominican government employees and their families while in New York City. The partnership will provide healthcare to employees of the Dominican government while they are working or traveling in New York City.

The initiative will include primary care, emergency care, behavioral health, and referrals to surgical procedures and specialty services throughout the city’s public health care system. Metropolitan Hospital will provide a particular focus on pediatric care.

“The health of the Dominican people, whether at home or abroad, has been a top priority for me and for all of our government,” said First Lady of the Dominican Republic Raquel Arbaje. “We look forward to a close collaboration with NYC...

Coinciding with the 76th UN Assembly General in New York, four past presidents of Latin America are meeting in the same city for a two-day event to debate the future of the region. The Global Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean will take place 23 and 24 September 2021 in New York.

The former presidents will share six panels to discuss key regional issues in person or through virtual platforms.

The other former presidents that have confirmed are Ricardo Lagos of Chile, Ernesto Samper of Colombia and Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica.

Also participating is secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro and the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena.

The event is a brainstorm of former President Fernandez. It is organized by the Fundación Global Democracia y...

World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September 2021 brought with it the eye-opening news that there are 90,000 Dominicans who suffer from the neurodegenerative disease. Having a relative who is losing memory and cognitive abilities is becoming more common.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, degenerative brain condition that gradually affects memory and thinking skills and the ability to do even the most basic tasks and ability to move.

For the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day, the Mental Health Department of the Ministry of Public together with the Dominican Alzheimer’s Association participated in a talk on the disease to raise awareness among the entire population.

The Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Public Health reports that at least 8% of the population over 60 years of age in the country lives with dementia, equivalent to some 90,000 cases. According to...

Dr. Waldo Ariel Suero, president of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD), favors that the Dominican government authorize children 5 to 11 years to be vaccinated. Dr Suero says that it is unlikely that physical distancing will be able to be respected when in many public schools the classrooms are of 45 children. Public schools nationwide resumed in-person learning on 20 September 2021. Private schools started earlier.

The Dominican Republic early on approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 years old. The Dominican Republic was also first to approve the use of the Pfizer booster for those who had received two jabs of Sinovac or AstraZeneca vaccine.

In Chile, the Catholic University is carrying out a study with 4,000 children aged 3 to 17 to study the effects of the Sinovac vaccine on them.

The Dominican government has sufficient Sinovac or Pfizer vaccine...

With the backing of the Interamerican Press Association (IAPA), Dominican media have joined other regional voices to avoid the demise of journalism in these days of Google News, Facebook, influencers and social media. 18 international and Americas media associations call for “a fair and reasonable remuneration for publishing journalistic content on digital platforms.” The media complain of abusive practices in the digital advertising market.

The statement “Media of the Americas Call for the Defense of the Values of Professional Journalism in the Digital Ecosystem” is signed by 18 international and national associations. These institutions comprise more than 40,000 media from Canada, United States, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.

The document stresses, “The sustainability of journalism is at risk.” Although...

World Athletics ranked the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino tops in the world in the 400m track event. Next are legendary track stars Shaunae Miller-Uibo of Bahamas, Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jamaica), Quanera Hayes (USA) and Allyson Felix.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Paulino won silver in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Allyson Felix won the bronze.

Athletes score points for the World Athletics global ranking system based on a combination of result and place depending on the level of the competition in which the result is achieved. The ranking is then based on their average score over a certain number of competitions in a defined period of time. The world rankings are updated weekly.

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The National District and the provinces of La Vega, Monseñor Nouel, Monte Plata, San Cristobal, Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, Hato Mayor, Samana and María Trinidad Sanchez are feeling the impact of passing Tropical Depression Peter. Scattered showers and some thunderstorm showers are happening as the storm moves north in the Atlantic. The national weather service (Onamet) has several provinces under alert for possible flooding

Nevertheless, what most concerns the local weather forecasters is an active tropical wave that is developing off Africa. Invest 98L is moving west and could become a tropical storm as it nears the Caribbean. This will not be known for another four days.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) says environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form by Thursday, 23 or...

The spread of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic continues under control, despite the confirmation that the Delta variant is in circulation. The authorities are monitoring the virus and its variants. The national 4-week positivity rate for the 20 September 2021 Epidemiological Bulletin #551 is at 6.62%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 8.43%, down from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #551 reports 343 new cases for the Monday, 20 September 2021 deadline. The number of reported active Covid-cases detailed in the Covid-19 Bulletin #551 is 4,936, up considerably (235) from the previous day.

The 343 new cases for bulletin #551 compare to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed cases that is 262. Total cases in the National District were 67, considerably up from the...

AWCP41 caribbean dominican republic north coast wind surfing on cabarete beach

Tourism Minister David Collado was in Puerto Plata on 19 September 2021 for the official launching of Cabarete in Puerto Plata as the capital of wind and surf.

The minister guaranteed government support to youth and water sports and the promotion of Cabarate as a water sports destination at the world level.

Cabarete Mayor Freddy Cruz read the Municipal Resolution 08-21 that launches the Wind and Surf City.

“We are going to work together, to support all the tournaments that are going to be held in this municipality and we will make a calendar of actions to work together,” Collado assured those in attending.

Collado defined Cabarete as a “wild, beautiful, free, independent and bohemian destination.” He said government and private sector would work together to encourage this type of tourism.

He said the...

21 September 2021

The organizers of the Masters of the Ocean announced the winners of the “Four water sports, one champion,” event that took place 14-18 September 2021 in Puerto Plata.

The winners of the first three places were:Carambola Surf House (Manuel Selman, surf; Papito Santana, SUP; Joselito del Rosario, kite and Audrey Meyers, Windsurf).El Cocotazo Café (Nicolas de la Cruz, surf; Tracy Shay, SUP; Jose Luis C,iriaco Kite; Tony García, windsurf).Dominican Republic (Marta Barrios, surf; Dauri Reinoso, SUP; Luciano Gonzalez, kite; Franklin Mieses, windsurf).

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The Central Bank reports the arrival of 2,938,205 tourists for the January-August 2021 period. This is up 79.2% compared to last year. Of the total, 70.4% are non-resident foreigners and 29.6% are non-resident Dominicans.

In August 2021, 476,575 tourists arrived, of which 75.1% are non-resident foreigners. The arrivals in August 2021 compare to 497 thousand that arrived in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, reflecting the strong recovery of the Dominican tourism sector.

The Central Bank reports on the gradual recovery of visitor arrivals. In January 2021, the stats for the month were but 34.3% of January 2019 stats. By May 2021, stats were 74.1% and for August are 95.8% of the 2019 monthly total.

70% of Dominican tourists come from North America, primarily the United States. 55.4% of all tourists arrived via the Punta Cana International Airport in...

The recent upsurge of seaweeds in the Caribbean has pushed reporters in the travel area to check for sargassum-free beaches for Dominican domestic travelers seeking to go beyond Punta Cana resorts where large seaweed barriers have been installed. Luckily there are a fair number. Diario Libre reports on four.

Since last Saturday, 18 September 2021, was World Clean Beach Day, the Diario Libre published the report on the beaches. Mentioned are El Valle in the Samana Peninsula. There is a small fresh water outlet where you can rinse off the salt and beach restaurants are on site.

Next on the list is the famous San Rafael Beach down in Barahona. Famous for its convenient location right off the main road, there is also a fresh water pool right next to the beach. San Rafael is a certain stop for travelers to the Deep South. One of the big pluses at the site is the gastronomy, with fresh...

Local media is reporting that the National Institute of Transit and Land Transportation (Intrant) is giving motorcyclists until 20 October 2021 to get their papers in order. The measure covers motorcyclists that used the vehicles for personal transportation to motoconcho (motorcycle taxis), deliveries and couriers.

The government agency has allowed motorcyclists to pay a single RD$625 fee and bring “any” papers they have on the motorcycle and their ID (cedula) or residence permit.

The government hopes to register hundreds of thousands of motorcycles that are in circulation. Hundreds of unregistered motorcyclists are involved in traffic accidents, theft and other crimes.

Rafael Arias says that those who do not get their papers in order, through this or the regular procedures, will face the penalties in Traffic Law 63-17.

Interior and Police Minister...

During the Council of Ministers held from New York City, President Luis Abinader announced several new services to Dominicans in New York over the next three months. A premium Senasa government health insurance, a branch of the Dominican government bank, BanReservas and a branch of the state UASD university are in the works. The Customs Agency will also open in New York to make importing easier.

President Abinader said that the Dominican government will purchase a building to install the consulate and other offices. He said the cost is similar to what the government is now paying for rent.

An estimated 1.5 million Dominicans live in the New York/New Jersey area.

47-year old Enrique Figueroa, a resident in New York, was arrested after threatening on social media to kill President Luis Abinader who is in New York to attend the 76th UN General Assembly. Abinader is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, 22 September at the UN.

ABC News journalist was first to tweet: “A man arrested in NYC threatened to kill a world leader attending the UN General Assembly. Enrique Figueroa was charged with threatening a foreign official and making interstate threats against Luis Abinader, president of the Dominican Republic, a source told ABC News.”

Figueroa had been active with threats against Dominicans in the past, including against the Green March protestors in New York City in 2018.

Figueroa was arrested on Sunday evening. NBC reports that a FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested and charged him in a criminal complaint Monday, 20 September...

Media reports record attendance at public schools nationwide for day one in school. Around 2.8 million students are enrolled in public schools nationwide. In-person learning resumed on 20 September 2021 in all schools nationwide. Previously, most private schools had already reopened for face-to-face classes. Schools in the Dominican Republic had been closed since March 2020. In some schools up to 90% of students attended.

Reports are that the Colegio Calasanz in the National District, that had opened weeks ago, announced it was moving to a hybrid mode, with in-person learning and remote learning after several students and teachers reported falling sick with Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the director of the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s hospital, infectologist Clemente Terrero says 14 children are hospitalized for dengue, a seasonal disease that is spread by the...

The Superintendence of Electricity announced that as of October 2021 there will be increases in power tariffs nationwide. Resolution 075-2021 announces new rates and says that these will be revised every three months.

More than 90% of electricity users are expected to be impacted with the higher rates. The resolution affects consumers that receive the service from EdeSur, EdeEste and EdeNorte power utilities.

The government says it will be gradually revoking the subsidy on the rates that has been in effect for years. As reported in Diario Libre, there will be increases in the rates of those who consume less than 300 kw per hour and a decline in tariffs for those who consume more than 700 kw.

Local media is reporting that the National Institute of Transit and Land Transportation (Intrant) is giving motorcyclists until 20 October 2021 to get their papers in order. The measure covers all users of motorcycles from private use to motoconcho (motorcycle taxis), deliveries and couriers.

The government agency has allowed motorists to pay a single RD$625 fee and bring “any” papers they have on the motorcycle and their ID (cedula) or residence permit. The government hopes to register hundreds of thousands of motorcycles that are in circulation. Hundreds of unregistered motorcyclists are involved in traffic accidents, theft and other crimes.

Rafael Arias says that those who do not get their papers in order, through this or the regular procedures, will face the penalties in Traffic Law 63-17.

Interior and Police Minister Jesús (Chú) Vásquez said during the press conference called to announce the extension of the motorcycle registration period that in his first days in...

Santiago judge Iris Borges postponed the arraignment and preventive custody hearing for first cases in the Operation Falcon drug trafficking and money laundering scheme for a third time. The hearing was for around 23 people that are under arrest while others are under investigation in the case. The new hearing is set for Wednesday, 29 September 2021 at 10am.

The date for the hearing in the case against three members of the Chamber of Deputies that are charged by the state prosecution is yet to be set by the Supreme Court of Justice.

The case was postponed this time when the defense argued that the case should be in heard in the National District and not in Santiago. The case is being heard in Santiago because the Public Prosecutor’s Office determined that the headquarters of the criminal network was in that city.

Previously, the hearing had been postponed because...

Juan José de la Cruz-Morales, of the Miches area in the east, accused in the drug trafficking and money laundering case Operation Falcón, is the first to be extradited to Puerto Rico to face seven criminal charges in the US justice. He was known as the “Cacique del Este”. A special airplane landed at San Isidro Air Base to transport the accused.

Juan José de la Cruz Morales alias Wandy is said to be a lieutenant of the drug trafficking network led by Erick Randhiel Mosquea Polanco. Mosquea Polanco is at large.

“This successful extradition of De La Cruz Morales is a reflection of years of collaboration and cooperation by the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners who are committed to fighting transnational criminal organizations,” said United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, W. Stephen Muldrow. Puerto Rico-based prosecutors had been on the trail of de la Cruz Morales since 2017.

De La Cruz Morales was arrested during Operation Falcon, led by...

The spread of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic continues under control, despite the confirmation that the Delta variant is in circulation. The authorities are monitoring the virus and its variants. The national 4-week positivity rate for the 19 September 2021 Epidemiological Bulletin #550 is at 6.37%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 9.90%, up from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #550 reports 228 new cases for the Sunday, 19 September 2021 deadline. The number of reported active Covid-cases detailed in the Covid-19 Bulletin #550 is 4,701, considerably down (-95) from the previous day.

The 228 new cases for bulletin #550 compare to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed cases that is 262. Total cases in the National District were 67, considerably up from the...

President Luis Abinader is in the New York area for a series of encounters with the Dominican diaspora and to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, 22 September 2021. He returns on Thursday, 23 September. An estimated 1.5 million Dominicans live in the New York area. New York is regarded as the second largest Dominican city and its voters could decide any Dominican presidential election.

On Sunday, 19 September, President Abinader pitched the first ball at the Mets vs. Phillies game at the Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 3-2.

President Abinader also participated in an event organized by the Dominicans Abroad Institute (Index), a government entity, during which 37 Dominican expats were recognized. Speaking during the activity, the President committed to combat impunity and corruption in government. He said public...

Public schools reopen on Monday, 20 September to in-person learning all around the country. In the protocol for the reopening, the Ministry of Education has set a distance of 1.5 meter between each desk and prevalence to well-ventilated classrooms. Classrooms that use air-conditioning, must naturally ventilate the rooms several times a day, and daily sanitizing of the classrooms is required before and after each session.

The Ministry of Education has organized a symbolic back-to-school event to take place at the General Antonio Duvergé School, in the Honduras sector of the capital city.

More than 2.8 million public school students are enrolled in kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools. In 2020, the school year was limited to remote learning. Private schools had started earlier.

Actually, Education Minister Roberto Furcal was against children returning...

The director of the largest pediatrics public hospital, the Dr. Robert Reid Cabral in Santo Domingo, and the president of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) are open to vaccinating children 6 to 11 years. The Delta variant now in circulation in the Dominican Republic has been known to affect younger children more than the other strains.

The government has authorized that all schools open for in-person learning as of 20 September 2021. The Society of Pediatrics urges all children 12+ complete their vaccination schemes in time for the reopening of schools. In the Dominican Republic, the government has made available Pfizer vaccines for the inoculating of the children. Children may also get the Sinovac vaccine if this is the one available in their community.

The government in July began a mass program to inoculate children 12 years and older with Pfizer vaccines. The...

20 September 2021

Over the past three weeks, the Dominican government has added a billion pesos to the fiscal debt after it has been subsidizing the high cost of imported fuels. LPG, regular and premium gasoline and diesel prices should all have increased as the world consumes more and more hydrocarbons. Some prices for fuels would have gone up over RD$20 pesos a gallon, if it were not for the government intervention.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce says that the government is subsidizing fuel prices with RD$409 million from 18 to 24 September 2021.

Read more in Spanish:

Community groups in the barrios that ring the Isabela River to the north of the National District are proposing investments that would enable local and international tourists to take a safe dip in the waters of the Isabela River and the pure water springs that feed the river that surrounds the capital city.

A local foundation called Fundasurza is promoting the idea. Its members propose to clean up the refuse, mostly plastic, in the areas. They are stressing the need for the community to take an active part in protecting this resource.

A spokesman for the foundation is asking President Abinader to complete the construction of an ecological roadway that begins at the Avenida del Puerto down on the Ozama, and would end at the Mirador del Norte Park in Santo Domingo North municipality.

Read more in...

Photo: Noticias SIN

The Dominican government wants all government employees to belong to the National Health Service (SeNaSa). This is one of the major topics that has been brought up during the current and on-going talks at the National Dialogue in Santo Domingo. Of course, this would greatly upset the local HMOs (called Health Risk Administrators—ARS in Spanish) which are private and very profitable entities.

This step is just one of the 12 proposals regarding social security that are to be considered at the Dialogue. Among the changes sought by the government is that the veto power to actions by the National Social Security Council can only be made by the government. Another step is to create a database of all workers that will include health information and guarantee access to high cost medications. This last step is highly sought after, as the cost of medicine in the...

20 September 2021

The National Council of Free Zones (CNZFE) announced a billion peso investment to be made by several new companies that are setting up shop in the Dominican Republic. These new export industries will add 1,200 formal jobs and generate around US$16 million a year in revenues.

According to the press release, the new free zone plants will process and pack fruits, vegetables, and even some shellfish. Recycling, pharmaceutical, apparel and traditional cigar manufacturing are also in the mix. Santo Domingo, Santiago and La Vega are some of the new sites for the new free zone industries.

Read more in Spanish:

The Ministry of Environment reported on Friday, 19 September 2021 on the rescuing of dozens of exotic animals that were being mistreated in the Punta Cana vacation area. The animals were used to earn money for their owners who sold a photo of these with tourists on Uvero Alto beach in northern Punta Cana, La Altagracia province.

The Ministry of Environment said that the creatures were abused and kept in inappropriate conditions in violation of Environment Law 64-00 and Biodiversity Law 333-15.

The Vice Ministry of Protected Areas acted after several months of investigating the situation of the exotic creatures. The Ministry of Environment Department of Regulation and Control of Wildlife acted in coordination with the National Environmental Protection Service (Senpa), the Attorney General for the Environment and the Tourist Police (Politur)...

The Mercantile Court in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has rejected an appeal by the Dominican Republic that asked for the country to be included among the creditors of the Odebrecht company. The Brazilian construction company has said that it will withhold its payment of the debt on the US$184 million that it had promised to pay the DR back in 2017, as the bribery scandal broke out across much of Latin America.

Odebrecht has admitted to providing US$92 million to Dominican businessman Luis Rondon to secure a series of highly overpriced contracts for infrastructure development.

Of the payments due on the US$184 million, Odebrecht has only made two, in 2017 and 2018. When the company was undergoing its restructuring—it is now called Novonor—it stopped payments. Dominican efforts to obtain the remaining US$124 million have been unsuccessful, and this decision is certainly not helpful.

After...

The forecast for most of the Dominican Republic is intense summer heat made worse by clouds of Sahara Dust. A passing trough will bring showers and possible thundershowers in areas of the northeast, southeast and the Central Mountain Range, reports the National Meteorological Office (Onamet).

Onamet is monitoring Tropical Storm Peter that is expected to pass north of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. The storm is moving west/northwest and is expected to move away from the Caribbean.

Weather authorities are monitoring the storms that are developing off Africa to see how they may impact the island. Reports are that Tropical Storm Peter is unlikely to affect the Dominican Republic as it has a northern direction, but that it could bring rain and high surf. It is forecast to pass well north of Puerto Plata on Wednesday, 22 September.

Another phenomenon...

The Reinas del Caribe, the senior women’s volleyball team of the Dominican Republic, swept away any hope of Mexico in three consecutive sets and grabbed its fifth gold medal in the Women’s Pan American Volleyball Cup history. The Dominican team defeated Mexico 25-15, 25-21, 25-14 during the final on Sunday, 19 September 2021. Mexico had become the surprise team of the tournament when it defeated the United States in the semifinals. Team USA was the defending champion, and had previously won the Pan Am Cup 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions.

In the 19th edition, the Dominican Republic won gold, Mexico silver, USA won bronze. Canada came in 4th followed by Cuba and Puerto Rico. The Dominican team won each of the 21 sets it played. The Dominicans joined the 2005 Cuban team as the only ones in history to have finished undefeated in a cup without losing a single set...

The spread of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic continues under control, despite the confirmation that the Delta variant is in circulation. The authorities are monitoring the virus and its variants. Nevertheless, the national 4-week positivity rate for the 18 September 2021 Epidemiological Bulletin #549 continues relatively low at 6.43%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 8.15%, up from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #549 reports 137 new cases for the Saturday, 18 September 2021 deadline. The number of reported active Covid-cases detailed in the Covid-19 Bulletin #549 is 4,796, considerably down (-187) from the previous day.

The 137 new cases for bulletin #549 compare to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed cases that is 263. Total cases in the National District are 17...

The spread of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic continues under control, despite the confirmation that the Delta variant is in circulation. The authorities are monitoring the virus and its variants. Nevertheless, the national 4-week positivity rate for the 16 September 2021 Epidemiological Bulletin #547 continues relatively low at 6.75%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 7.63%, up from the day before.

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #547 reports 273 new cases for the Thursday, 16 September 2021 deadline. The number of reported active Covid-cases detailed in the Covid-19 Bulletin #547 is 4,983, up (+21) from the previous day.

The 273 new cases for bulletin #547 compare to the 7-day nationwide average for confirmed cases that is 279. Total cases in the National District are 19...

President Luis Abinader is scheduled to travel to New York City on Saturday, 18 September for a five-day visit. In New York he is scheduled to meet with the Dominican community and then speak at the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, 22 September. An estimated 1.5 million Dominicans live in the New York area.

On Sunday, 19 September, President Abinader will pitch the first ball at the Mets vs. Phillies game at the Citi Field. On 20 September, President Abinader will participate in the World Leaders Forum at Columbia University. He will also attend the opening of the “1961: Year of Freedom” exhibition at City College of New York.

The Presidency reports that Abinader will travel with Foreign Relations Minister Roberto Alvarez, Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ignacio Paliza. The Dominican mission to the United Nations is head by Ambassador Jose Blanco.

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In recent weeks, small outbreaks of Covid-19 have been occurring in provinces where the disease had dropped significantly. Provinces where 1 or 2 cases had been reported per day are now reporting 20 cases. Now the Ministry of Public Health gives the explanation. The Delta variant has been here at least since July 2021.

The Ministry of Public Health confirmed on 16 September 2021 that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is circulating in the Dominican Republic. The government sent samples to Fiocruz laboratory in Brazil that confirmed the variant. The disease is known to have affected five persons and of these four persons had not been vaccinated, Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera said on 16 September 2021. He urged people to complete their vaccinations.

Delta is the most contagious variant, with symptoms often more similar to influenza and more likely to affect young...

The Abinader administration has made available millions of pesos for the completion of works related to the Santo Cristo de los Milagros Sanctuary in Monte Plata. The religious site has capacity for 2,000 persons and had been inaugurated by former President Danilo Medina on 10 August 2020, days before the change of administration but was missing access roads and other works that are being funded by the new authorities. Abinader visited the shrine last Friday, 10 September 2021.

Now, Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ignacio Paliza announces another RD$8.26 million for the improvements of another Roman Catholic emblematic church. The government is funding improvements for the parishioner office at the Santo Cerro historic site in La Vega in time for the 24 September 2021 Our Lady of Mercy (Dia de las Mercedes) celebrations, an official holiday. The virgin...

Only 528 of almost 11,000 education graduates and public school teachers who took the written assessments for teacher positions in public schools for the 2021-2022 school year have passed the tests. This is 4.8% of the total that took the cognitive tests and the specific knowledge tests to pass the written test phase of the assessment. The second phase is a personal interview.

Another 60,000 teachers and aspirants to principal for pre-school, elementary, high school have pending taking the tests.

The Ministry of Education needs to fill 19,181 positions in time for the start of in-person learning set to start 20 September 2021.

The assessment was suspended on Thursday because of technological problems, lack of organization and the massive failing of the first who took the tests.

There were also complaints that the tests were shared on social media.

The Committee of...

The secretary general of the city government of the National District, transport expert Hugo Beras announced that cargo trucks will soon be banned from circulating in the capital city from 6am to 8pm. The measure affects 3,000-4,000 cargo trucks that at present are circulating in the city, adding to the traffic jams. Many of these trucks are not depositing cargo in the city, but rather just crossing through on the way to destinations in the east, north or south.

Diario Libre says its sources indicate the plan is also that the freight trucks will be exempt from tolls to motivate that they use the Santo Domingo beltway instead. The beltway was built to decongestion city traffic.

The actions would be part of a pilot plan that is drafted by transport experts of the city government, the Ministry of Public Works, the National Land Transport Institute (Intrant)...

The Supreme Court of Justice appointed Napoleon Estevez to be the special instruction judge for legislators under investigation regarding the Operation Falcon, a case looking into the actions of a major money laundering and international drug trafficking network that had been operating freely for more than 10 years in the Dominican Republic. Estevez had already been assigned to hear the case against deputy Rosa Amalia Pilarte (PRM-La Vega), suspect of having ties to drug trafficking. Her husband Miguel Arturo López Florencio (Miky) is arraigned on money laundering charges related to drug trafficking in Miami, Florida.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office had requested the appointment to continue investigations regarding deputies Nelson Marmolejo Gil (PRM-Santiago), Faustina Guerrero Cabrera (PRM-El Seibo) and Héctor Darío Féliz Féliz (PRD-Pedernales).

The SCJ received...

John F. Kanig, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Caribbean Field Division, visited as part of collaboration with Dominican drug control authorities. The DEA is working closely in the cocaine trafficking and money laundering investigation – Operation Falcon. Kanig is the regional director for the US drug control agency.

Last Wednesday, 8 September 2021, more than 80 raids were carried out in coordination with local crime prosecution agents and the DEA to disarticulate the criminal network that moved thousands of kilos of cocaine from Colombia to the Dominican Republic. From here, the narcotics were shipped to Puerto Rico, the United States and Europe.

As reported, on 15 September 2021, Kanig and other agents met with the president of the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) Vice Admiral Jose Cabrera Ulloa to discuss international...

The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) confirms the arrest of Juan Carlos Mosquea Eduardo, brother of Erick Randhiel Mosquea Polanco, head of a major cocaine trafficking and money laundering network that operated in Santiago and eastern provinces and who is a fugitive in the Operation Falcon case. Juan Carlos Mosquea is described as the operations director of the network. He was arrested in Puerto Plata on 16 September 2021.

The arraignment request establishes that Juan Carlos Mosquea was a frontman for his brother and the manager of his brother’s enterprises, as reported in Listin Diario.

Diario Libre reports that in the raids held Thursday evening, 16 September 2021, in Puerto Plata city, Waldo Musa, nephew of a several terms former mayor of Puerto Plata, Walter Musa, was also arrested.

The arrest takes place after a photo had...

The Attorney General Office announced the director of the money laundering and terrorism financing division Luis Gonzalez has been fired. He had been suspended. Ramona Nova was appointed director of the important division of the Attorney General Office. Nova was the chief prosecutor in San Pedro de Macoris

The Superior Council of the Public Ministry acted with the removal of Gonzalez after findings of audits carried out of the department by the Inspector General of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Juan Medina. Luis Gonzalez was appointed to the position during the term of Jean Alain Rodriguez as head of the Attorney General Office.

The move coincides with Operation Falcon, one of the most extensive cocaine and money laundering operations of the Attorney General Office in its history.

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The defense of former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez denied ties of their defendant to Ana Margarita Collado Marte, arrested for her ties with Erick Randhiel Mosquea Polanco, said to be the head of the Operation Falcon cocaine trafficking operation. The defense said that Collado Marte is but another of 9,000 employees at the Attorney General Office. Collado Marte is under investigation for her ties to Mosquea Polanco. The defense protested the circulating on social media of a photo where it is said that Rodriguez appears with Mosquea and Collado. The defense said the photo was of a meeting in favor of the community at the Musa home in Puerto Plata. Musa is a former several-time mayor of Puerto Plata.

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An exhibit of the experiences of Venezuelan immigrants in the Dominican Republic is at the halls of Agora Mall, in front of Forever 21. “Caminos de Aprendizaje” tells the story of 13 Venezuelan teachers that migrated here. The exhibition has the backing of the International Migration Organization and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The UN agency highlights that thousands of Dominicans had migrated to Venezuela seeking refuge from the Trujillo regime

Venezuelan photographers Francesco Spotorno and Juan Carlos Gonzalez share their experiences in the Dominican Republic.

An estimated 100,000 Venezuelans have migrated here in recent years, fleeing the political, social and economic unrest in Venezuela. This summer the Dominican government authorized a window for illegal Venezuelans to become temporary legal residents despite not being able to...

The US Embassy donated eight Jeep J8 vehicles, valued at US$513,536, to the Ministry of Defense. The vehicles will be used to combat trafficking and organized crime.

The US Embassy reports that the donation is in addition to more than US$25 million in assistance provided by the US Department of Defense to the country in the last five years and is part of the cooperation between the Armed Forces and the US Army Southern Command to complement the joint efforts carried out through military exercises on land, air and sea.

Visiting US congressmen Albio Sires, Mark Green and Adriano Espaillat were present for the delivery of the equipment to the Ministry of Defense headquarters on 16 September 2021. Also present was charge d’affairs of the US Embassy, Robert Thomas.

Speaking at the event, Thomas said that the US has donated vessels for coastal patrol...

Dominican Alain Jose Gomez Luna was sentenced to four months of preventive imprisonment after fleeing to Russia to escape prosecution for a financial crime in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Embassy in Russia is assisting the Public Prosecutor’s Office financial crimes division in the prosecution of the crime.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office, represented by the head of the financial crimes division, Karina Concepción Medina, has requested the extradition of Gómez Luna. Gomez Luna is sought to stand for charges of fraud, forgery and use of false commercial documents, association of criminals to commit forgery, money laundering and association to commit money laundering.

In the Dominican Republic, several people have accused Gome Luna and associates of fraud between 23 August 2010 and 31 January 2020, amounting to around RD$283,867,226.02.

The Public Prosecutor’s...

The Dominican Republic defeated Canada 3-0 (25-11, 25-15- 25-20) on Thursday, 16 September 2021. The Dominican Republic and team USA have won all their matches in the Pan American Volleyball Cup. The two teams will play on Friday, 17 September at 7pm.

Then Mexico, Canada, DR and USA will play the semi-finals on Saturday, 18 September. The finals are set for Sunday, 19 September at 5pm.

The Norceca tournament is taking place 11-20 September 2021 at the Ricardo Arias Volleyball Pavilion in the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center. The Pan Am Cup is a qualifier for the Pan American Games to be held in Chile in 2023. The participating teams are Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States.

DR vs Canada: Reinas del Caribe DR vs Canada ...

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