Daily News - Friday, 06 December 2013 (Archived Daily News)
- President Medina mourns Mandela
- New pediatrics hospital at Ciudad de la Salud
- US$35 million for farmers in San Juan province
- Medina receives IACHR commission
- UNHCR urges fast action on Constitutional Court ruling
- What the IACHR needs to include
- Gold medalist would need to legalize his status
- Hipolito takes PRD politics to IACHR
- Accidents and awareness: key issues for Specials Needs Council
- Indotel recognizes decline in telecom service quality
- Labor code, education, taxation and energy sectors key to relaunching economy
- Brugal: Grand Exporter of the Year
- Felix Garcia warns DR has failing export policies
- EGE Haina donates to remove abandoned ship
- Santiago prosecutor suffers robbery
- Marijuana shipment seized in Barahona
- Ignacio Pinazo at the Museum of Modern Art
- First Individual Exhibition by Hulda Guzman
- Dominican Arts & Crafts Fair in Colonial City
- Baseball round up
Ignacio Pinazo at Museum of Modern Art
(Image courtesy of wikipedia.org)
President Medina mourns Mandela
President Danilo Medina has reacted to the news of the death of former South African president and activist Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95 in his home in Johannesburg yesterday, Thursday 5 December. The Dominican President paid tribute to the man who made a difference in the world. "We deeply regret the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Few men have inspired so many. Rest in peace. Eternal glory, Mandela," said Medina, via his Twitter account.
President Medina described Mandela as "an example of integrity, humility, civic values and love for his people, a great advocate for peace." He said that Mandela made of his life a permanent and in-depth exercise in tolerance.
New pediatrics hospital at Ciudad de la Salud
First Lady Candida Montilla and Minister of Public Health Freddy Hidalgo opened the new Dr. Hugo Mendoza Pediatric Hospital in the Ciudad de la Salud health center in the Villa Mella area in northern Santo Domingo yesterday, Thursday 5 December. The government reported spending more than RD$1 billion (US$37 million) on the hospital that has four floors and capacity for 166 beds, including 134 for hospitalization. The hospital has three in-patient areas: one for newborns, another for children from the ages of two months to five years and a third for children aged between 5 and 16. Pediatrician Noldis Naut Subervi is the first director of the hospital. Health Minister Hidalgo said the hospital would free up space in the city's other children's hospitals. It seeks to reduce maternal and child mortality. Doctors see patients at the hospital from 7am to 7pm.
Hidalgo said that more important than the equipment and technology at the hospital, is the personalized and human treatment that patients need to receive.
This is the third hospital to open at the Ciudad de la Salud Hospital Complex in Villa Mella. It was inaugurated by former President Leonel Fernandez last year, but has only just been opened to the general public.
US$35 million for farmers in San Juan province
The Inter-American Development Bank has announced a US$35 million loan to be used to strengthen competitiveness in San Juan de la Maguana province, a major farm producing area. The IDB says the funds are earmarked to strengthen the productive capacity, competitiveness and environmental and financial sustainability of the province, birthplace of President Danilo Medina.
The province's producers currently face obstacles that limit their ability to convert to new crops and develop market linkages. The IDB program aims to address these limitations by improving access for producers and entrepreneurs to credit services and markets, reducing transportation costs in the province's road network, and optimizing irrigation systems.
The IDB says the program includes measures to facilitate access to credit for producers on feasible terms as well as finance public investments. These investments, mainly in irrigation and roads, are expected to trigger boosts in productivity and improve market access. Program activities are designed to improve productivity and exports for producers participating in the program, as well as reduce transport time and costs and improve irrigation systems for users. The IDB loan is for a term of 18? years with a grace period of 12 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR. Local counterpart contribution totals US$3.3 million.
Medina receives IACHR commission
President Danilo Medina received the 13-member OAS Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) at the Presidential Palace yesterday, Thursday 5 December and listened to their presentation for an hour and a half. Minister of the Presidency Gustavo Montalvo, acting Minister of Foreign Relations Jose Manuel Trullols, and legal advisor to the President Cesar Pina Toribio were also present at the session.
The IACHR representatives were Jesus Orozco, Tracy Robinson, Rosa Maria Ortiz, Felipe Gonzalez, Dinah Shelton, Rose Marie Belle-Antoine, Emilio Alvarez Icaza, Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, Catalina Botero Navarro, Sofia Galvan, Maria Isabel Rivero and Daniel Cima. Following the visit, the commissioners said they would give a press conference today, Friday 6 December.
The commissioners have spent most of their time examining cases of people affected by the disposition, organized by local campaign groups such as reconoci.do, as reported in the press.
UNHCR urges fast action on Constitutional Court ruling
Despite the fact that UN representative in the DR, Lorenzo Jimenez de Luis has said that the decision of the Constitutional Court 168-13 is a closed issue, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued a press statement yesterday, Thursday 5 December urging the government "to rapidly take steps to restore the nationality of individuals affected by a ruling of the Constitutional Court, which deprives tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their nationality, rendering them stateless."
The government has established that around 24,000 people who had acquired Dominican nationality irregularly would need to apply for naturalization. In the meantime, those that qualify will be fast-tracked for residency.
What the IACHR needs to include
In his Diario Libre editorial comment today, Friday 6 December, Nelson Rodriguez writes that it is obvious that in its press conference the IACHR will not be able to say more than that it will analyze the testimonies it has received, because the American Convention limits it to only receiving complaints and verifying that the local jurisdiction procedures were followed. He says that the recriminatory words will come and thus the government should demand that three points must be included in the statement: "1. That the Dominican Republic is taking steps to define its migratory policy; 2) That President Danilo Medina has sought a humanitarian solution; and 3) That they did not see deportations, nor killings or persecutions. And amen."
Gold medalist would need to legalize his status
Johanny Jean Bartermi won gold for the Dominican Republic in 68 kilos in taekwondo in the Guadalajara Pan American Games in 2011, but under Constitutional Court ruling 168-13 he will have to go through the new fast-track procedures to regularize his status. As reported in Diario Libre, his parents came to the DR from Haiti around 40 years ago to work in sugar cane fields. They had 10 children. Over the years, his father obtained Dominican ID, but his mother didn't. As reported in Diario Libre he does not know how his father obtained his ID as a Dominican. He said he never had problem to get his birth certificate, ID or passport (he has several US visas), but one of his brothers had trouble obtaining his birth certificate.
The decision to set the registry right also affects Miguel Angel Jean Sano, considered one of the best baseball prospects for 2014, who will also need to regularize his status. Roberto Rosario, president of the JCE, has said that if he had applied for residency instead of Dominican citizenship he would not have had problems with securing work with the MLB.
The government is asking people who have obtained their Dominican documents irregularly to go through new fast-track procedures to regularize them.
Hipolito takes PRD politics to IACHR
Former President Hipolito Mejia, Luis Abinader and other PRD faction leaders have submitted a complaint to the OAS Inter-American Commission for Human Rights for supposed violations by the government. They say that the high courts are "controlled by the government party," and have found it impossible to get a fair hearing on the conflict that has divided the PRD. They said that they would start a series of legal actions in other international organizations to rescue party institutions and benefit democracy in the country. They have enlisted lawyers Jaime Aparicio and Bjorn Arp of Aparicio, Arp and Associates in Washington, D.C. in the case. Aparicio said they would show the international courts that the state does not protect the civil and political rights of former President Hipolito Mejia, Andres Bautista, Orlando Jorge Mera and Geanilda Vasquez who were expelled from the organization by the faction headed by party president Miguel Vargas.
They will begin legal processes before the Committee of Human Rights of the United Nations, the Council of Human Rights of the UN regarding the independence of judges.
Accidents and awareness: key issues for Specials Needs Council
The director of the National Council of People with Special Needs (Conadis), Magino Corporan says while genetics is the main cause of personal physical disabilities, an alarming number of people in the country are maimed in traffic accidents. "An imprudent driver is similar to a person out of control handling a firearm," he said at the Grupo Corripio press lunch yesterday, Thursday 5 December.
He said there is a lack of awareness among Dominicans on how to best deal with people with special needs. While designated parking areas are available, they are not respected. He said they have trouble using public transportation, and fellow passengers complain when a driver takes time to let disabled passengers on or off. In many families, he said, people with special needs are kept isolated. He mentioned Down syndrome, visual and autistic impairments. He said hospitals do not have interpreters for deaf-mute patients.
Rosalys Eduardo, in charge of labor inclusion, said that Law 5-13 orders government offices to set aside 5% of jobs for people with special needs, while in the private sector 2% is law, but this is not implemented.
Conadis, with a budget of RD$67 million, has 82 employees, of whom 50 have special needs.
During the interview, the case of a 24-year old deaf-mute PUCMM architecture graduate student was presented as a success story. He said that while moving ahead was tough, he had the support of his parents, siblings and others and when he experienced discrimination, he ignored it.
Conadis recognized that while some municipal authorities are installing ramps for wheelchair users, the Ministry of Public Works has failed to make similar provisions for all public works.
Indotel recognizes decline in telecom service quality
The Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (INDOTEL) has acknowledged that the quality of telecommunications services in the Dominican Republic has declined by 37%, as established in a study ordered by Indotel, as reported in Hoy. Gedeon Santos, president of Indotel, was speaking in the presence of the leading telecom company directors yesterday, Thursday 5 December. He observed that the rapid growth in the sector has resulted in a substantial reduction in the quality of services currently on offer. The Dominican telecom market is mainly served by America Movil's Claro, now the Tricom-Orange (merger in process) and Viva (mobile services).
Labor code, education, taxation and energy sectors key to relaunching economy
National Business Council (CONEP) president Manuel Diez Cabral says that the growth rate declined in the country in 2013. He expressed hope that in 2014 changes to the Labor Code, and pacts on education and taxation, as well as the electricity sector can be reached. Cabral stressed that all this is essential for re-launching the economy, as reported in El Nuevo Diario.
Brugal: Grand Exporter of the Year
Brugal Rum has been named the Grand Exporter of the Year. This honor coincides with the rum company celebrating 125 years of its foundation. Brugal is the Caribbean's leading rum exporter. Company president Augusto Ramirez said that the secret of its global success is in the quality of the product. The award was part of the 27th Excellence in Exports Awards presented by the Dominican Association of exporters yesterday, Thursday 5 December. Other companies winning awards were Dominican Tropical Fruits (Excellence in Farm Product Exports), Seaboard Dominicana (Services to the Exporting Sector), Cortes Hermanos (Excellence in Industrial Exports) and Cardinal Health (Excellence in Free Zone Exports). Recognitions for management excellence were awarded to Policarpio Medrano of CEI-RD and AIRD president Ligia Bonetti. Adoexpo president Kai Schoenhals, Jean Alain Rodriguez, executive director of the Center for Export and Investment (EI-RD) and Cesar Dargam Espaillat, deputy minister of Foreign Relations for commercial affairs made the keynote speeches.
Felix Garcia warns DR has failing export policies
In his keynote address on the occasion of having been recognized as Agrobusiness Exporter of the Year by the Agribusiness Council (JAD) yesterday, Thursday 5 December, businessman Felix Garcia made the point that the Dominican Republic has not made the most of DR-CAFTA especially when compared to the success stories in Central America. He pointed out that when the treaty started in 2004, the US exported US$4.35 billion to the Dominican Republic and by 2012 its exports had increased to US$7.69 billion. Central American countries that exported the same as the DR to the US doubled their exports, but the DR's exports to the US have declined by US$200 million. The DR also lags in inter-regional trade. Garcia mentioned, for instance, that the DR exported US$37 million to Costa Rica, but Costa Rica exported US$300 million to the DR in 2012.
"That is, Central America has taken better advantage of DR-CAFTA than the DR. We have done something wrong, and we are doing something wrong!" he declared, calling for a farm sector revolution.
He mentioned support measures in place in Central America that are nonexistent in the DR where the risk of the farm exporter falls heavily on the local business owner.
EGE Haina donates to remove abandoned ship
The Ministry of Environment received a US$140,000 donation from the EGE-Haina electricity company on Thursday, 5 December to be used in the decontamination of a tanker that was abandoned in shallow waters off Beata Island in Pedernales some 10 years ago. Marcelo Aicardi made the donation to Minister of Environment Bautista Rojas Gomez. The funds will be used to remove the oil on board to prevent it from affecting the surrounding pristine waters. Empresa Idemar, which specializes in this type of work, will be responsible for the rescue operation. Konstantinos is a Honduras flag bearing ship that covered the route Jamaica-Santo Domingo and ran aground in 2003 on the shallow sands off Beata Island that is part of the Jaragua National Park.
Santiago prosecutor suffers robbery
Natasha Wilber, a Santiago prosecutor, was boarding her vehicle to go to work at the National Police Cibao Central Department in Santiago, in the La Trinitaria neighborhood yesterday, Thursday 5 December, when she was robbed at gunpoint by two thieves on a motorcycle. She is assigned to the Police Homicides department. They stole her belongings and fled. She then visited the Santiago Prosecutors office to report the incident.
Marijuana shipment seized in Barahona
The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) arrested a man who was transporting 28 packages of what is suspected to be marijuana inside a vehicle traveling from Barahona to Azua in the southwest yesterday, Thursday 5 December. The DNCD says that the arrested man was 35 years old transported the cargo in two suitcases in a Toyota Camry, plate A406644. Miguel Medina, speaking for DNCD, said that the individual was asked to stop by military personnel of the Ministry of Public Works highway security but he did not obey the request and tried to flee. The DNCD and G-2 were called and stopped the vehicle when it reached Las Minas, in Vicente Noble, Barahona. The man was taken to the 5th Brigade of the National Army, where the vehicle was checked in the presence of assistant prosecutor Jorgelin Montero Batista. The authorities found one suitcase in the trunk and another in the back seat.
Ignacio Pinazo at the Museum of Modern Art
An exhibition of this famous Spanish painter whose work is also on display in Madrid's El Prado Museum is now open at the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo. Pinazo is known as one of the best Spanish impressionist painters. The exhibition is sponsored by the Embassy of Spain, the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), the Casa Museo Pinazo and the Museum of Modern Art. Some 61 works - 51 oils and 10 sketches from the IVAM and the Casa Museo Pinazo collections - show the evolution of his influential career that spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition will be open through February.
The Long Night of Museums this coming Saturday, 7 December when the museum will be open until late is a good opportunity to see this important exhibit.
First Individual Exhibition by Hulda Guzman
Don't miss this extraordinary exhibition by young contemporary artist Hulda Guzman.
"In Joy" is on display at the Galeria Ramos Mederos at Calle Arzobispo Nouel No. 5 corner Hostos, Colonial City, Santo Domingo. 12 December 2013. Born in Santo Domingo in 1984, Hulda studied with Melanie Reims at the Altos de Chavon School of Design, graduated in fine arts and illustration from Altos de Chavon, Parsons School of Design in New York, and the National School of Fine Arts in Mexico in mural painting and photography. She won the Painting Award in the 2009 Biennial of National Visual Arts at the Museum of Modern Art and was a finalist in the 23rd Eduardo Leon Jimenes Art Contest in Santiago in 2010.
Dominican Arts & Crafts Fair in Colonial City
The XII Feria Nacional de Artesanias Dominicanas 2013, this year dedicated to the artisans of Barahona opens on Thursday, 12 December at the Fortaleza Ozama (Calle Las Damas) in the Colonial City in Santo Domingo. It will remain open until Sunday, 15 December. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President and the Ministry of Culture. Tel 809 221-4141 Ext 238 and 809 565-2952.
Baseball round up
The Leones del Escogido have kept their first place position, followed closely by the Aguilas Cibaenas. For the important fourth place qualifying position, the Gigantes, Toros and Estrellas continue to battle in the field. The teams have until 22 December to be one of the four that will move to the round robin tournament that will decide the playoffs in January. Yesterday, Thursday 5 December, the Aguilas defeated the Gigantes del Cibao (3-2) in a tenth inning thanks to a hit by Joaquin Arias with full bases in the game played at the Cibao ballpark in Santiago.
In La Romana, the Toros del Este bested the Estrellas Orientales 4-3 at the Francisco Micheli ballpark.
|ESCOGIDO||24 - 14||.632||--|
|AGUILAS||23 - 14||.622||0.5|
|LICEY||22 - 16||.579||2.0|
|GIGANTES||17 - 21||.447||7.0|
|TOROS||14 - 23||.378||9.5|
|ESTRELLAS||13 - 25||.342||11.0|
* The Aguilas Cibaenas will play the Leones del Escogido at 7:30pm at the Quisqueya ballpark in Santo Domingo.
* The Toros del Este will play the Gigantes del Cibao at the Julian Javier ballpark in San Francisco de Macoris at 7:30pm.
* The Estrellas Orientales will play the Tigres del Licey at the Tetelo Vargas ballpark in San Pedro de Macoris at 8pm.
For more on upcoming events, see www.dr1.com/calendar
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