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Daily News - 14 December 1998

Hipólito Mejía is most likely PRD presidential candidate
A Sigma Dos poll commissioned by the Listín Diario, the leading Dominican daily, shows Hipólito Mejía as the leading pre-candidate of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano. Mejía has consistently placed ahead in most polls that seek to determine who should be the PRD presidential pre-candidate for the 16 May 2000 presidential election. So far, most polls show that if the elections were held today, Mejía would be the man to beat. In the Spanish company poll, Mejía lead runner up Rafael Suberví 57.5% to 26.8%. Santo Domingo senator Milagros Ortíz Bosch is shown to be in third place of the poll with 6.8%. Party secretary general Hatuey Decamps is fourth with 5.6% and Santiago senator José R. Abinader is fifth with 0.7%.

Military police extraction of sand from rivers
President Leonel Fernández has assigned the task of policing the extraction of sand and construction materials from rivers and beaches of the DR to the Armed Forces. It has long been known that government contractors are responsible in great part for the annihilation of rivers around the country. The Listín Diario reports that intelligence units of the Armed Forces were assigned the duty of detaining trucks in the southwestern province of San Cristóbal suspect of illegal extraction of materials. Several ecological organizations have warned that the extractions must stop if rivers are to be saved. The military say that the main problem has been that there has been no supervision of the permissions granted for extraction and those authorized to remove construction materials have no limits as to where they extract nor the quantity of material extracted. Those with expired permits also continue to illegally extract materials as there has been no enforcement nor penalties to impede the practice.

UNESCO head honored in DR
Federico Mayor Zaragoza, director general of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization visited last week to be present at the inauguration of the new Santo Domingo UNESCO offices. The new offices are located at 105 Calle Luperón in the Colonial City. Mayor Zaragoza promised to begin a campaign to seek the funding necessary to complete the restoration of the Colonial City, considered one of the jewels of architectural heritage of the world by the organization. During his visit, he was decorated with the Order of Duarte, Sanchez y Mella, silver cross. Speaking at the National Palace, Mayor Zaragoza called for long term political vision to better distribute wealth among citizens.

Minister of Foreign Relations from Colombia visits
The Minister of Foreign Relations of Colombia, Guillermo Fernández Soto is expected in Santo Domingo today. He will meet with President Leonel Fernández at 5 pm at he National Palace. On his agenda is a working session at the Ministry of Foreign Relations. He will also participate in the presentation of a book on human rights published by the Dominican Ministry
of Foreign Relations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Human Rights Declaration of the United Nations.

US cooperates to extradite Dominican accused of murder
The US Department of Justice is sending two legal experts to help prepare the extradition case against former Dominican military Mariano Durán. Durán is accused of firing the bullets that killed journalist Orlando Martínez on 17 March 1975. The case, regarded as untouchable for more than 20 years, is now being heard in Dominican courts. Several then high-ranking military are being tried or questioned. Linda Watts, charge d' affairs of the US Embassy in the DR said, "We are interested in this case being carried out in a rapid, efficient and correct way." She said that the Dominican government has 60 days to present the documentation on the extradition of Mariano Durán, who is in jail by order of a US judge.

Equal treatment from US requested by DR
Dominican ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Vega has requested that the DR receive equal treatment as other Central American nations on occasion of damages suffered by Hurricane Mitch. Vega says that the DR was the nation most affected in the Caribbean by Hurricane Georges. Vega says that if the US government condones the bilateral debt of El Salvador and Guatemala, then the DR should receive equal treatment as its level of development is similar to that of El Salvador and Guatemala. Furthermore, the Dominican ambassador again requested that the US suspend the deporting of murderers and other prisoners to the DR. Dominican President Leonel Fernández and other Caribbean leaders have constantly complained that murderers and other prisoners deported by the United States
have brought more violence and rising crime to their countries. They are particularly angry because some of the Dominican-born convicts have lived most of their lives in the United States. The Dominican government is forced to free hundreds because the deported have never been convicted in the Dominican Republic. Hundreds bring back sophisticated crime methods and thousands of dollars to finance their activities. After the Dominicans complained, U.S. officials began advising them of details about inmates before their arrival to help local police keep track of released felons. The matter was brought to the attention of Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit to Santo Domingo earlier this month. She said, "We will continue to work with the Dominican government to minimize the impact of such deportations."

DR to host summit of Caribbean heads of state
The Dominican Republic will host the next summit of heads of state and government of the Association of Caribbean States. The meeting will be held in April 1999 with the attendance of chiefs of state from the region. The Ministry of Foreign Relations said that the hosting of the meeting here, a second time heads of state of the Caribbean gather since August 1998, is a recognition to the new policy of regional integration. The new policy seeks to develop and strengthen historical, economic and cultural ties among the Caribbean nations. Minister of Foreign Relations Eduardo Latorre also pointed out that the decision to meet in Santo Domingo is a recognition that the Dominican people are very good hosts.

Aeromar and Air Atlantic join forces
Ryan Polanco of Aeromar and Carlos Chevalier of Air Atlantic have decided to join forces to jointly operate the Miami-Santo Domingo and New York-Santo Domingo routes. The strategic alliance will help them reduce operational costs, continue their expansion to other routes, and offer lower cost airfares, as well as improved on service on board their 727-200 Boeing with capacity for 170 passengers. Together the airlines offer 11 flights a week from Santo Domingo to Miami and New York City.

Advancing on the construction of big power plant
The government will submit a loan agreement for more than US$154 million to Congress for the financing of the construction of the Itabo III, a power plant with capacity for generating 125 megawatts. The 15-year financing will be provided by the Banco Central Hispanoamericano de España. Construction of the power plant has been awarded to the Spanish consortium Babcock Wilcox, Mecánica de la Peña, Foster Wheeler Energy and Empresarios Agrupados Internacional. The power plant is slated to produce energy at a cost of US$0.02 per kilowatt. The lowest cost energy generated in the DR is that of the hydroelectric dams, estimated at US$0.01.

Fish entrusted with restoring city river
Thousands of young fish were released into the Ozama River in an effort to control contamination of the important river of Santo Domingo. The river that had suffered from heavy pollution was cleaned by Hurricane George's heavy rains. A private company, Camarones Dominicana, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, released 30,000 fish into the river. The president of Camarones Dominicanos Rafael Rodríguez Montilla explained that the fish have a high reproductive rate but that fishermen need to wait five months before capturing the first group of fish. He said that three million young fish are needed to effectively rescue the river.

Tragic ending to a night of partying
28-year old bank clerk Lourdes Mayeling Crispín Rosario was in the wrong place at the wrong time. At 2:30 am on Saturday, 12 December she was shot to death in a rare incident by a stray bullet fired by unknown bandits who reportedly had been denied access to the American Bar Fridays located at the intersection of Tiradentes and Gustavo Mejía Ricart, in affluent mid town Santo Domingo Naco neighborhood. She had arrived to the restaurant/bar only half an hour ago with her husband, 32-year old Ramón Robert Sánchez and a group of friends. It was the first time the two had visited TGI Friday's, which opened this summer. Crispín died immediately when the bullet perforated her head. The assailants fired at bar hitting Crispín who was sitting in the outside terrace area. The couple had been married for five years. She leaves behind a two year old daughter. Hoy newspaper reported that the aggressors bitterly complained when they were denied admission by the watchman who told them the place was full. But life goes on. TGI Friday published in today's Listín daily newspaper that they will be holding three mega parties this Christmas season.
These are:
Monday, 21 December, merengue stars Fernando Villalona, Kinito Méndez, Josie Esteban and La Patrulla 15 will be entertaining the crowds at 9 pm.
On Tuesday, 22 December party merengue stars Toño Rosario, Los Hermanos Rosario, Pochi Familia y su Coco Band will be the center of the attention as of 9 pm.
And on Wednesday, 23 December, merengue sensation Chichí Peralta y Son Familia, Sergio Vargas and Orquesta at 9 pm.
Admission to the merengue nights is RD$150 tickets.
For more information, call 540-8443.

A night to be remembered at Chavón
No one who attended the mega concert at Altos de Chavón Saturday evening was disappointed. The concert was an usual return to stage of Juan Luís Guerra after four years of absence, and the appearance in one night of stars of the quality of Gloria Estefan and Shakira, Carlos Ponce, Carlos Vives, Jon Secada, Angela Carrasco. José Antonio Molina, the Dominican Republic's most outstanding music conductor, opened the evening with two pieces performed by the National Symphony Orchestra reinforced with the Miami Sound Machine band. Sammy Sosa, the National League's record-breaking home runner and MVP, introduced Juan Luis Guerra and his "4-40" group that sang "Guabaverry," (which is a tribute to San Pedro de Macorís, one of the most damaged areas by Hurricane Georges), "A pedir su mano", "La Bilirrubina" and "Ojalá que llueva café" with a variation in the lyrics to honor La Romana that also suffered devastation by Hurricane Georges... "Pa que en La Romana no se
sufra tanto. Ojalá que llueva café en el campo". Guerra closed with the performance of "Mi PC," a new track from his new CD that will be launched formally on Wednesday at the Hotel Santo Domingo. The new CD, even prior to its formal launching, is tops in the Latin Hits chart of Billboard magazine.
Colombian Carlos Vives was next with his songs, "De ahí vengo yo," "La tierra del olvido" and "Tengo Fe." Angela Carrasco followed with her hits: "Lo quiero a morir," "María del Mar, "Si tú eres mi hombre y yo tu mujer." Puerto Rican Carlos Ponce then interpreted: "Rezo," "Decir adios" and "Quisiera volver."
One of the surprises of the evening was the on stage performance of new merengue sensation Chichí Peralta, with Emilio Estefan and Joseíto Mateo performing "El negrito del batey," and "Palo Bonito," with Joseíto Mateo, a legend of Dominican merengue, singing. The dance was so inspiring, Sammy Sosa danced with his wife Sonia.
The crowds went wild when Colombian youth star Shakira took to the stage and performed: "Ciega , sordomuda, "Tú," "Estoy aquí." Until the next performer, Jon Secada, sang his all time favorite, "Otro día más sin verte," he didn't get the public to his side. Gloria Estefan was last performing "Mi tierra," to a standing crowd. Next she performed, "Los años que me quedan", and "Llegan nuevos tiempos" which she dedicated to her cook Miriam Peña, a Dominican. Gloria Estefan closed the evening with the performance of "Por amor," in duo with Jon Secada. All previous performers joined in for the end of the song and stayed to together perform, "Reach," the song she sang for the 1996 Atlantic Olympics.

Baseball action
Weekday games are held at 8 pm, weekend games are at 4 pm. This week's baseball games are as follows:

Monday, 14 December

Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Escogido in Santo Domingo.
Licey vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís.

Tuesday, 15 December

Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Escogido in Santo Domingo.
Tigres del Licey vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago.

Wednesday, 16 December

Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo
Leones del Escogido vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

Thursday, 17 December

Tigres del Licey vs. Escogido in Santo Domingo
Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís.

Friday, 18 December

Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo
Escogido vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís

Saturday, 19 December

Leones del Escogido vs. Tigres del Licey in Santo Domingo
Aguilas Cibaeñas vs. Gigantes del Nordeste in San Francisco de Macorís

Sunday, 20 December

Gigantes del Nordeste vs. Licey Tigers in Santo Domingo
Leones del Escogido vs. Aguilas Cibaeñas in Santiago

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