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Daily News - 15 July 1999

RD$150 million to modernize the Police force
Police Chief Major General Pedro de Jesus Candelier said that the government expects to start soon a project to structurally reform the National Police. The project, "Modernización, Reforma y Efectividad de la Policía Nacional" requires a RD$150 million investment on behalf of the state. The project seeks to turn the Police into a modern and professional law and order force. The reduction of a recent crime surge is seen as a national priority. The project would include major structure reforms and the Police would operate with modern technology to fight crime. It also contemplates a purge of the force. Attorney General Mariano German Mejia yesterday urged the Police and the Armed Forces to exercise more control over recruits and to purge known undesirables from the ranks. He said that the Armed Forces and the National Police have within their ranks persons of questionable conduct that abuse their uniforms, arms and identification cards, committing delinquent acts.

Video shows three supposed assailants were arrested alive
A video taken by a journalism student disputes the Police report that four assailants were killed in an exchange of shots with the police while resisting arrest. According to versions, only one of the assailants resisted arrest and was shot. In the shootout, the supposed bandits killed an Air Force officer and a Police agent.
The video shows that the other three were arrested and packed handcuffed and alive into the back of a pick-up. The men knew they were being filmed and attempted to hide their faces. The Police nevertheless later reported they had died in the original shootout.
The images were passed on Channel 3 of Televiaducto in Moca.
According to reports, the four supposed assailants tried to assault the home of Elena Cabrera de Abreu. When she saw they were armed, she was able to trick them and lock herself in her house. She notified the Police and neighbors who set out to catch the foursome.
A police investigation has been called into the matter.

New ambassador in Colombia
Manuel Emilio del Monte Urraca is the new Dominican ambassador in Colombia. He replaces Miguel Alejandro Fersobe Pichardo. He presented his credentials to President Andres Pastrana yesterday.

Extraction of sand from rivers banned
President Leonel Fernandez banned the extracting of sand from four rivers in the National District, Bayaguana to save these from extinction. The rivers are Haina, Isabela, Higuero and Ozama. The Listin Diario also reports that studies showed that fishes have died in the Haina river due to toxic wastes of industries in the area.

DR loses basketball game after leading by 11 points
Brazil defeated the Dominican Republic in the first game of the Pre-Olympic Games being held in San Juan, Puerto Rico to choose the representatives of the Americas in the Sydney, Australia Olympics. The DR lost to Brazil 70-64. The game began an hour late, at 11:15 pm. The Dominican team had won the first half 33-29. The DR at one time was 11 points in the lead.
Two slots are available for the Americas in the Sydney Olympic Games, and the US dream team is expected to win one. The DR, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Brazil hope to win the other.
The games will be transmitted locally by Channel 4, and can also be seen on cable TV or by satellite.
The participating countries are Cuba, Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, US (Group A) and Venezuela, Dominicana, Panama, Puerto Rico and Brazil (Group B).
The four teams with best win loss record pass on to a second round.
Games still to go are as follows:
First Round:
15 July
3 pm Canada vs. Cuba
5:30 pm Venezuela vs. Brazil
8 pm Uruguay vs US
10:15 pm DR vs. Panama
16 July 14, 1999 3 pm Panama vs. Venezuela
5:30 pm US vs. Panama
8 pm Brazil vs. Puerto Rico
10:15 pm Cuba vs. Argentina
17 July
3 pm Canada vs. Uruguay
5:30 pm Argentina vs. US
8 pm Puerto Rico vs. Panama
10:15 pm Venezuela vs. DR
18 July
3 pm Uruguay vs. Argentina
5:30 pm US vs. Cuba
8 pm DR vs. Puerto Rico
10:15 pm Panama vs. Brazil
19 July/22 July
First four of each group
24 July
Best of four
25 July

A night of "son"
If you are in Santo Domingo on Friday, do not miss the opening night of the II Festival Caribeño del Son, Festison. To be held at the auditorium of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the event brings together some of the best of the "son", the Caribbean beat Cuba is best known for. Leading performers from Cuba and the DR will be participating, including Cuba's best, Cruz Isaac.
The event is organized by Raul Perez Pena.

Santo Domingo Film Festival
The First International Film Festival continues in Santo Domingo with films showing at the Lumiere and Palacio del Cine theaters. The festival continues through 18 July. The festival is organized by the Presidential Council for Culture, the Municipal Culture Board, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Several cultural branches of foreign embassies in the DR are also contributing to the festival. Films from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, France, Honduras, Peru and Puerto Rico are being shown.

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