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Daily News - Friday, 14 March 2014

President Medina meets Central American business leaders
President Danilo Medina met with a commission of the Business Federation of Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic (FEDEPRICAP) yesterday, Thursday 13 March. The Central American business delegates are visiting the country from 12 to 15 March at the invitation of the National Business Council (CONEP). FEDEPRICAP is a federation of some 150,000 regional companies in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

FEDPRICAP president Jose Santiago Molina, executive director Roberto Ardon and executive secretary Carlos Bran are heading the delegation. The other members were Eduardo Atala and Armando Urtrecho of the Honduras Business Council (COHEP), Alfredo Burgos and Aurelio Linero of the Panama Business Council (CONEP) and Jaime Molina and Shirley Saborio of the Costa Rica Union of Chambers and Business Associations (UCCAEP).

National Business Council (CONEP) president Manuel Diez, host of the regional organization in the country was also present at the meeting with the President, who was accompanied by Administrative Minister of the Presidency Jose Ramon Peralta.

Milton Ray Guevara: Stick to the Constitution
19 Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal are attending the 5th Ibero-American Conference for Constitutional Justice (CIJC) organized by the Constitutional Court in Santo Domingo. In the opening speech for the event, yesterday, Thursday 13 March, the president of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic Milton Ray Guevara said that the Constitution needed to be applied at all times.

"The Constitution does not exist to be applied sometimes and not others," he said.

He described the difference between what is written and what is done as "the great Ibero-American tragedy."

President Danilo Medina attended the event, along with 14 presidents of constitutional courts and judges from Ibero-American constitutional jurisdictions.

Medina quoted Juan Pablo Duarte: "The Constitution should be the general and supreme rule to which we need to accommodate all acts, both governed and governors."

The central theme of the conference is "Constitutional Standards and Juridical Prevalence."


Tourism Minister against 200% toll hike
Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia has spoken out against the planned increase in highway tolls. Garcia is a PLD pre-candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

"Public Works should find other options," said Garcia. He backed recent suggestions by President Medina that the increase in the tolls from RD$30 to RD$100 was not definite. The Ministry of Public works announced last week that tolls at the Las Americas, Duarte, 6 de Noviembre and Sanchez highways leading to and from Santo Domingo are set to increase before the end of March.


Environment Ministry acts to stop Laguna Salidillo devastation
Minister of Environment Bautista Rojas Gomez was in Monte Cristi on Wednesday, 12 March to visit the Laguna Salidillo, a wildlife habitat that is reportedly being devastated by harmful farming and fishing practices. Rojas ordered immediate measures to protect the important natural habitat. The Ministry seized wood that had been cut for charcoal-making ovens, especially by Haitians who cross the border illegally.

Laguna Salidillo, one of the country's main lagoons, is the largest and most important fresh water body in the Montecristi National Park. It is part of the Masacre river system with a surface of 5.29 square kilometers and average depth of 1.8 meters. The waters are a source for the Pepillo Salcedo area and farming.


Political patronage at the UASD
The new rector of the state university UASD, Ivan Grullon, says that 884 new employees were appointed during the last four months of his predecessor Mateo Aquino Febrillet's term as university rector. He said there are at least 2,000 more employees than are needed. In his inaugural speech yesterday, Thursday 13 March, Grullon said that the university finances are in an emergency state because of what he described as the outgoing rector's irresponsible budgetary management.


AES announces 114 more megawatts
AES Dominicana has announced the implementation of a project to convert Dominican Power Partners (DPP) to combined-cycle generation with a 114-megawatt increase.

This would bring total generation to 324 megawatts, up from the present 210 megawatts. The company is making a US$250 million investment, and the project will be completed by 2016, according to AES president Edwin de los Santos who made the announcement yesterday, Thursday 13 March.


Occidental Hotels in DR for sale
Occidental Hotels & Resorts is looking for a buyer for its Hotel El Embajador in Santo Domingo and the Royal Club Grand Punta Cana and Occidental Grand Punta Cana Resort in Punta Cana. As reported, Inditex (majority shareholder of Occidental and the investment bank Morgan Stanley) are overseeing the quest for a buyer. As reported in Diario Libre, this week Morgan Stanley announced the finalists for the purchase as Spanish hotel firms Iberostar and Barcelo, Hyatt and Marriot from the United States, and Mexico's Posadas. Morgan Stanley chose the investment fund CPG for the operation.

Reportur of Mexico says that AMResorts is also interested in the operation.


Forbes announces Dominican edition
Forbes has officially announced that its Dominican Republic edition will be available at newsstands in late March. The editions are being published in partnership with Media Business Generators (MBG). Forbes Media COO Mike Federle says that the issues are being launched because they see an opportunity to grow the Forbes Brand in Central and South America.

A rooftop event at the Torre Corporativo in Santo Domingo with the presence of CEO of Forbes LATAM Max Linares, Forbes president of LATAM Mariano Menendez, and Vice president of LATAM Marco Landucci and vice president of Americas Edward De Valle II was held to launch the magazine.

"Since its inception, Forbes has been an authoritative source of news and cutting edge information on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles," said Xavier Pires, editor-in-chief for Forbes Dominican Republic. Previously, Pires was executive editor for Hola! magazine in the Dominican Republic.

The new Dominican Republic and Central America editions will feature content from the local editorial teams, as well as international stories. Once launched, each edition will also have a local website.

Media Business Generators (MBG) publishes Forbes Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras and Dominican Republic.

Forever 21 to open at Agora Mall
Trendy, low-priced young women's retail chain Forever 21 is set to open at Agora Mall, the popular Dominican shopping mall located at the intersection of Santo Domingo's Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy avenues. The store is especially popular with teenage girls and women under the age of 25. A report in Diario Libre points out that the sign is already up in its site in the mall.


Friday protest against Puerto Plata power barge
People in Puerto Plata will be marching today, Friday 14 March, in protest at plans to install a power generation barge in the Puerto Plata bay. Jose Polanco of the Puerto Plata Pro-Port Committee says that they will march from Avenida Presidente Caamano opposite the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Park. The group is demanding an end to deaths due to pollution from the toxic smoke from the power plant generation. He said that Puerto Plata is a tourist town where investments are being made to renovate its historic downtown and build an amphitheater at La Puntilla. He said the installation of the power barge is in contradiction with these actions, as it would pollute the very same area.

The Ministry of Environment has called for a stop to the installation of the barge and will be holding public hearings on the situation in Puerto Plata. The provincial director of the Ministry of Environment in Puerto Plata, Carlos Finke says that a commission of specialists from the Ministry will be hearing citizens' concerns at the Provincial Governor's Office today, Friday, 14 March. The Compania de Electricidad de Puerto Plata (CEPP) plans to install the plant.


Boca Chica Carnival
Boca Chica is preparing its Carnival for 22 and 23 March. Mayor Daniel Ozuna is heading the organizing committee. He said that Neptune and Papaupa de la Matica are two characters that everyone is sure to enjoy. The carnival is known as the Carnival of the Sea, Boca Chica 2014, with a focus on the beach and the sea, according to its general coordinator, folklorist Roldan Marmol. He said that 20 of the more than 50 parading groups are coming from other coastal destinations, including Rio San Juan, Puerto Plata, Barahona, Bani, Samana and La Romana. The carnival king will be local fisherman Luis Adriano Salas, and the organizers are also dedicating the event to baseball player Junior Noboa.


Women's Sports Festival at the Olympic Center
Some 1,384 women athletes from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are competing in 19 sports at the Women's Sports Festival that is taking place at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center in Santo Domingo as of today, Friday 14 March. The event, organized by the Ministry of Sports, includes an exhibition of products made by small business and there will be talks on women's issues.


Jorge Pineda at Museo de Arte Moderno
Described as the most exceptional exhibition so far this year at the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) in Plaza de la Cultura, Jorge Pineda's "After all, tomorrow is another day", featuring 20 of his works is being held in coordination with the MAM and the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM). The exhibit opened Thursday, 6 March and will continue through 3 May. The exhibit includes paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations. MAM director Maria Elena Ditren said that Pineda has achieved a balance between ethics and esthetics in his works. Pineda has also exhibited in Madrid, Valencia, Gijon, Lima and New York. His works are in collections at the MUSAC, DA2 (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Salamanca), IVAM (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno), Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Casa de Americas, Osaka Museum of Contemporary Art, Centro Leon and the MAM.

The exhibit was first shown at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (7 Feb n 1 May 2013).

Pineda will be speaking to audiences at the Museum of Modern Art auditorium this evening, Friday, 14 March at 7pm. Tomorrow, Saturday, 15 March Pineda will lead a guided tour of the exhibition at 10am. The exhibition is open to the general public through 3 May, from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm. The Museum is on Av. Pedro Henriquez Urena, Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo.



Teatro por un Tubo at Teatro Guloya
Short comedy and dramatic pieces by leading performers, in which the public can enjoy drama in several halls, are being staged at Teatro Guloya in Santo Domingo's Colonial City. Tickets are RD$300, shows are on Friday at 8:30pm, Saturday 8:30pm, and Sunday, 7:30pm.

For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar

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