DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic

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President Luis Abinader plans to travel to Spain and Andorra on Sunday, 18 April 2021. It will be his second trip abroad. His first was to Puerto Rico for the inaugural of Puerto Rican governor Pedro Pierluisi in January 2021.

President Abinader will participate in the 27th Iberoamerican Summit in Andorra on 20 and 21 April. The Dominican Republic is the scheduled host of the next Iberoamerican Summit. That meeting is set for late 2022. President Abinader will accept the next temporary secretary-general of the organization that gathers 18 Iberoamerican nations. Also attending in person are representatives of Guatemala and the host country, Andorra. The other nations will participate in online working sessions.

Jose Ignacio Paliza, Administrative Minister of the Presidency said that during the stopover in Spain, President Abinader will meet with the King of...

Upon being sworn in at the Senate on 15 April 2021 as the new president of the Chamber of Accounts, Janel Andrés Ramirez promised to deliver and transform the government auditing agency. “We thank God for the opportunity to assume such an important challenge of raising the image of such an important institution as the Chamber of Accounts,” he said. “To all of you and to the Dominican society in general, we assure you that we will carry out our work always respecting human dignity and basing our audit reports on sufficient and competent evidence,” he said. He acknowledged he is aware of the demands for transparency and honesty in government auditing.

He was sworn in together with Elsa María Castaños Ramírez, vice president; Tomasina Tolentino, secretary and members Mario Arturo Fernández Burgos and Elsa María Peña Peña.

“All of us will work as one body. We are...

The US Embassy announces that Rebecca Latorraca is at her job as director of the US Agency for International Development since 5 April 2021. Previously she was deputy mission director of USAID in Cairo, Egypt.

As director in the Dominican Republic, Rebecca Latorraca is responsible for the execution of the Country Development Cooperation Strategy with a budget of US$251 million for the next five years. The US Embassy says the objective is to promote a safer, more inclusive and prosperous Dominican Republic.

Director Latorraca has 29 years of experience in the foreign service. Before she arrived to her post in the Dominican Republic, she served as USAID Deputy Director in Cairo, Egypt from August 2016 to June 2020.

Before Cairo, Egypt, Latorraca was director of the Office of Planning and Learning, and coordinator of the Bureau of Economic Growth, Education, and...

President Luis Abinader issued Decree 231-21 that extends all the measures in place to combat Covid-19. The curfew schedule is unchanged through Sunday, 16 May.

The curfew schedule nationwide is Monday to Friday, from 9pm to 5am, and Saturdays and Sundays, from 7pm to 5am. There is a three-hour free circulation period to enable people to get home. Everyone needs to be in place Monday to Friday by midnight and by 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

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The Santo Domingo Metro Office (Opret) reports that works are advancing to double the platforms at elevated stations so that the six new cars can operate. The new cars are needed to eliminate the long lines of metro riders. The platforms are being extended from 60 to 120 meters, the required length for the six new car trains’ operation that will double the passenger transportation capacity of the Santo Domingo subway.

Rafael Santos Pérez, executive director of OPRET, says the expansion works are carried out when the Metro is closed, that is from 11pm to 5am.

The first of four prefabricated steel box girders, approximately 30 meters long, were installed at the Gregorio Luperón Station this Wednesday and Thursday. These will be placed at each elevated station and will serve as support for a reinforced concrete slab, and in turn, will allow passenger access to the extra train cars, once placed...

The Ministry of Environment reports it has sent to justice 475 people for committing environmental crimes. Most of the arrests have been made for illegal logging and extraction of materials from river basins and forest fires. Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera has said from day one he will enforce Environmental Law 64-00.

Other cases are violations of permits or expired permits, river pollution by dumping waste, illegal fishing, charcoal ovens, noise pollution, beach pollution, removal of the soil layer with heavy equipment, illegal commercialization of species, and solid waste pollution.

In addition to these infractions, the National Environmental Protection Service (SENPA), a dependency of the Ministry of Environment, reported another 30 cases for violation of Law 64-00 in different provinces of the country.

“As temporary administrators of Law 64-00, we will...

Weatherman Jean Suriel says the Dominican Republic doesn’t have to worry about being impacted by volcano ash sediments in the air from the La Soufriere volcano that is erupting in St. Vincent, in the southern Caribbean. Reports are that most of the ash has been flown south towards Barbados, to its East. St. Vincent is more than 1,100 km from the Dominican Republic.

The Ministry of Environment issued a press note explaining that the level of sulfur dioxide in the air is not toxic for the Dominican Republic.

Moreover, weatherman Suriel says that while the DR is spared the ash of La Soufriere, Sahara dust from North Africa is on its way here.

The family is showing mild symptoms, but Covid-19 caught up with the leading news presenter. Lora is the daughter of TV journalist Huchi Lora, who coincidentally this Monday, 12 April 2021, had returned to in-person presenting the news on the El Dia morning news show. He has completed his two doses of the vaccine. Lora has two children.

Lora is the co-host of the popular “Esta Noche con Mariasela” evening TV show on Colorvision. She is also co-host with her cousin, Patricia Solano on the 1-2pm radio news talk show, “La Cuestion.”

Lora says her two children are asymptomatic and she has mild symptoms. Mariasela Alvarez, the presenter of “Esta Noche con Marisela” recently has recovered from a light bout of Covid-19. Another host of the show, Camila García was sent home to await the news whether she, too, had caught the virus.

Read more in...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #392 reports 379 new PCR cases for the Wednesday, 14 April 2021 deadline. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 617.

As per Bulletin #392 with the deadline of 14 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 259,639 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 1,892 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,503.

The 4-week positivity rate is 10.26%, up slightly from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.86%, up from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 38,621, up (+49) from the previous 24 hours. The active cases have been rising as of Bulletin #386. Nevertheless, the numbers have yet to make real the concerns that the...

On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, President Luis Abinader and Agriculture Minister Limber Cruz led the symbolic start of the first rice harvest 2021. The harvest is expected to yield eight million quintals in the spring and another six million in the fall.

Agriculture Minister pointed out that rice is the main food crop for Dominicans. The rice industry employs 250,000 to 300,000 people in the country.

“Knowing that the annual consumption is 13.2 million quintals per year and that this year we will produce between 13.5 and 14 million, then, so, on this glorious day, with the support of all sectors, we have the guarantee of stable prices and the supply that guarantees us food sovereignty,” said Cruz.

Italian Ambassador Andrea Canepari presented the book “The Italian Legacy in the Dominican Republic: History, Architecture, Culture, Economy and Society” in an event attended by Vice President Raquel Peña on 14 April 2021. Canepari highlighted the importance of the compilation for the new generations and for the continued efforts to strengthen the ties between both countries.

Vice President Raquel Peña thanked Italians for their contributions to the Dominican people and highlighted the deep-rootedness of Italian culture in the country and the contributions made by Italians to the nation’s political, economic and social development.

The book is published by Umberto Allemandi, one of the most prestigious Italian publishing houses in Europe. The publishing house has also participated in important and historic publications such as the...

The fight for the decriminalizing of abortion in the Dominican Republic and the incorporation into local legislation of the globally-accepted three grounds is reaching international media. NBC carries the report on local complaints that while in the opposition and during the campaign President Luis Abinader and the now ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) had backed the position, now when the party is the newmajority Congress, its legislators are siding with extreme pro-life activist positions.

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Haitian President Jovenel Moise announced he has appointed Claude Joseph as his new prime minister. His predecessor, Joseph Jouthe, resigned after only around a year in the position. Moise tweeted that the new appointment addresses the insecurity problems and enables continuing the discussions to reach a consensus for the political and institutional stability in Haiti. The media is focusing on the growing number of kidnappings. Likewise, the Dominican Republic has enhanced its border security.

The Dominican Republic is counting on putting together a team of past Major League Baseball players and Dominican Winter Baseball League players to make it to the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Jose Gomez, the Dominican team’s general manager, explains that two teams have been put together from which to choose the Dominican team. Training sessions were begun on Tuesday, 13 April 2021.

“We have an interesting team and many Dominicans who do not have a contract in the United States have responded to the call to be part of the team,” Jose Gomez, the Dominican team’s general manager.

The team will travel on 22 April to play practice games in Florida in prepare for the qualification rounds that start with a first game on 31 April against Puerto Rico.

The DR will participate in the qualifying round of eight teams together with Puerto Rico, the United States and Nicaragua...

A report is circulating that indicates that the wages of 81 government officials are in violation to Dominican laws. These officers make more than the President and the Vice President of the Republic.

Sociologist Candido Mercedes presented the findings in the study “Advances in the Fulfillment of the General Law of Salaries of the Dominican State” carried out by the civic movement Participación Ciudadana.

The study reveals that 38.2% of these officials work in the Ministry of Public Works, while 30.9% work in the Attorney General’s Office and 13.6% in the Ministry of Education. Many of the officials make wages of RD$600,000 or more.

Members of the Dominican Republic Armada and agents of the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD), coordinated by the Attorney General Office, found 232 packages of cocaine, near Barbacoa Beach, in the municipality of Miches, province of El Seibo.

The authorities, following intelligence reports, carried out an operation on the Sabana Nisibon road near the beach, initiating a chase against several individuals. The individuals abandoned seven nylon sacks that were found to contain 232 packages with 240.08 kilograms of cocaine.

There were no arrests. The DNCD suspects that the individuals had hidden the stash of cocaine in the area to load on a boat for transfer to Puerto Rico.

Read more in Spanish:

A Court of Appeals judge authorized that former director of the Dominican Agrarian Institute, Leonardo Faña post bail for RD$500,000. He was sent to the Najayo Jail as preventive custody in a case of sexual assault against a former financial director at the IAD.

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Producer Rene Brea is advancing preparations for the Soberano Awards this coming June. The event will take place at the National Theater. The best performing artists for the year are chosen by a jury of entertainment business chroniclers. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. The Presidente beer brewery is the sponsor of the Sobernao Awards.

The artistic extravaganza is a time to catch up with what’s popular in the Dominican Republic. The event is to be televised on Colorvision, Channel 9, from the red carpet at 7pm to around 10pm in the evening.

Brea announced that the presenters this year will be Caroline Aquino and Clarissa Molina.

Gatherings at cockfighting rings are legal again, after being authorized. The sports betting events need to respect Covid-19 protocols. EFE reports that the Coliseo Gallístico de Santo Domingo reopened for the matches with the presence of 20% of capacity.

The reopening occurred after prosecutors in Montecristi had arrested a large group of gamblers at a cockfighting ring, including the former husband and sons of the provincial prosecutor.

Read more in Spanish:

Carlos Santana of the Kansas City Royals joined the top 30 Dominican sluggers in Major League Baseball. His ticket was the home run on 11 April 2021. He blasted the home run in the 9th inning to tie that game played against the Chicago White Sox. The Kansas City Royals would go on to win the game in extra innings.

Others with 800+ homeruns in MLB are:

1.Albert Pujols 2,1042.Alex Rodriguez 2,0863.Manny Ramírez 1,8314.David Ortiz 1,7685.Adrian Beltré 1,7076.Sammy Sosa 1,6677.Vladimir Guerrero 1,4968.Aramis Ramirez 1,4179.Robinson Canó 1,30210.Miguel Tejada 1,30211.Moises Alou 1,28712.Edwin Encarnacion 1,26113.Julio Franco 1,19414.Nelson Cruz 1,16215.Alfonso Soriano 1,15916.George Bell 1,00217.Cesar Cedeño 97618.Jose Bautista 97519.Hanley Ramirez 91720.Pedro Guerrero 89821.Rico Carty 89022.José Guillén 88723.Jhonny Peralta 87324.Raúl Mondesí 86025.Melky Cabrera...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #391 reports 623 new PCR cases for the Tuesday, 13 April 2021 deadline. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 617.

As per Bulletin #391 with the deadline of 13 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 259,260 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,954 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,503.

The 4-week positivity rate is 10.18%, down slightly from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 12.58%, down from the last day.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 38,572, up (+340) from the previous 24 hours. The active cases have been rising as of Bulletin #386. Nevertheless, the numbers have yet to make real the concerns that the...

The Senate voted to choose the new five members of the Chamber of Accounts for 2021-2025 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021. The government body is in charge of auditing government agencies.

Senators representing the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) voted in favor, but the votes from the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), the former ruling party, decided the new members of the Chamber of Accounts.

The senators representing the People’s Force (FP), the political party of former President Leonel Fernández, abstained. Dionis Sánchez, of the FP complained that the selection was the result of a political agreement between the PRM and the PLD.

The senatorial committee in charge of the selection broke with tradition of choosing the top Chamber of Deputies pick of the five shortlists of three and instead selected from the full 15 candidates sent by the...

The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD), now under new authorities, has confiscated 5,629.65 kgs, with 4,878 persons arrested (6% foreigners, 94% Dominicans). In addition, 2,378.8 kgs have been seized abroad with collaboration from the DNCD.

Read more in Spanish:

The Civil Aviation Board (JAC) cleared JetBlue to operate five flights per week on the Newark (EWR)-Puerto Plata (POP) route. This flight will be in addition to the United Airlines flight that operates three times a week on the same frequency.

The JAC also authorized Avianca flights from Medellín, Colombia (MDE) to Punta Cana (PUJ).

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Popular singer Manny Cruz is asking everyone to join in prayer for the recovery of his wife, Yeri Peguero. Peguero this week gave birth to their daughter Montserrat but is seriously ill with Covid-19. Milagros Sánchez, mother of Cruz, posted a video on her social network asking for people to pray for her daughter-in-law’s prompt recovery.

“Emmanuel (Manny) has been crying like a baby. We are all worried. The baby girl was born, thank God,” shared Manny’s mother. She added that they hope that the girl did not come with “any problems and that they can already do the treatment that Yeri needs to fight Covid”.

Sanchez asked people not to take Covid-19 lightly and to take care of themselves.

Manny Cruz and Yeri Peguero met in 2010 when participating in a musical. They got married in July 2015. Together they also have a son, Matteo.

Read more in...

Dominican baseball player Rafael Devers is on a homerun streak. The Red Sox third baseman blasted his fourth straight game homerun. The media focuses on how only two other Red Sox players have homered in four straight games before turning 25. The homers come after Devers had begun the 2021 Major League Baseball season in somewhat of a slump. The Red Sox notes that Devers is the 19th Red Sox player ever to homer in at least four consecutive games.

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The Ministry of Education announces it has received 537,432 electronic tablets it will distribute to public school students. The batch is 67% of a recent order of the electronic devices to back remote learning programs. Only a handful of schools are authorized to reopen to in-person learning and distance learning programs are the norm for the 2020-2021 school year. The school year ends 29 July 2021. Education Minister Roberto Fulcar says the Ministry has spent RD$5.55 billion for the purchase of the tablets.

The Ministry reports the breakdown of the tablets by brands is: Samsung Galaxy (309,960), Alcatel Aquaman (217,432), and Lenovo (10,040).

As reported, the education authorities have already distributed around 1.5 million laptops for teachers in the school year that began in November 2020.

Meanwhile, the World Bank issued a statement...

Dominican ambassador to Brazil, Patricia Villegas said that on 8 April 2021 the Brazilian Senate approved the Visa Elimination Agreement between Brazil and the Dominican Republic. The agreement had already passed in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies and both houses of the Dominican Congress.

The agreement was signed by both governments in 2018. It guarantees the principle of reciprocity and facilitates the travel of nationals of both countries for tourist and business purposes.

Before the pandemic, Brazil was a major source of tourists to the Dominican Republic.

On the same date, the Brazilian Senate also passed the air services agreement that had been signed in 2018 to facilitate air connectivity and the operation of passenger, cargo and courier services between both countries.

Once enacted by the Brazilian Executive Power, these agreements may enter...

In an interview published on 13 April 2021 in Diario Libre, the chief of the Police, Major General Edward Sánchez says for the first time there is the political will to carry out a “real reform” of the Police.

Sánchez told Diario Libre that if it were up to him, the reform would begin with “dignifying the career.” This is what the Abinader administration has been doing. New funds have been made available for better medical insurance, housing plans and better wages for the agents that make the least in the Police.

President Luis Abinader last week announced a large committee to help draft the new government’s plans for better police force.

An editorial in Diario Libre today presents the corrupt side that is the daily reality within the force, where the complicity with police bosses defines who does what and gets what.

Likewise, in her Monday, 12 April 2021 investigative...

The deadline for the tender the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (Indotel) has called to choose the 5G supplier to the Dominican Republic is in May 2021.

In 2020, the Dominican Republic became the first Caribbean country to practically blacklist Huawei’s 5G technology in response to siding with the United States in the technological competition between the US and China.

Now, Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy has opened new doors to China that sent a first million doses of Sinovac vaccines, enabling the Dominican Republic to advance on vaccinating population segments most at risk (medical works and those 70+). A second batch of around 1 million vaccines has been announced, but reports are that China has not issued the export permit, yet.

Despite the blacklist in 2020, China is now carrying out intense lobbying efforts. Recently, China’s government invited a team from...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #390 reports 598 new PCR cases for the Monday, 12 April 2021 deadline. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 576.

As per Bulletin #390 with the deadline of 12 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 258,637 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 3,949 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,350.

The 4-week positivity rate is 10.23%, slightly up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 15.14%, down from the last day.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 38,232, up (+365) from the previous 24 hours. The active cases have been rising as of Bulletin #386. Nevertheless, the numbers have yet to make real the concerns that the...

The People’s Republic of China’s government donated to the Dominican Republic a modern Zoomlion sugar cane harvester. The harvester will be used at the Porvenir sugar mill of the State Sugar Council (CEA) in San Pedro de Macorís.

Agriculture Minister Limber Cruz received the donation from China ambassador Zhang Run and the deputy governor of Hunan province, Sui Zhongcheng. He was accompanied by former President Hipólito Mejía and by the director of the CEA, César Cedeño. Also present was Dominican ambassador to China, Briunny Garabito.

The country received the combined harvester as part of a cooperation agreement to strengthen bilateral trade in agricultural products.

The machine has a rated power of 230 HP, with a production efficiency of 15 tons/hour. It has a market price of US$310,000.

With this equipment, costs are lowered...

The Ministry of Public Health the National Health Service (SNS) and the National Health Insurance (SeNaSa) and other health sector institutions launched a project to detect cervical, breast and prostate cancer from the Presidential Palace on Monday 12 April 2021. First Lady Raquel Arbaje is backing the initiative.

Dr. Mario Lama, director of the National Health Service, explained during the presentation that the initiative includes a promotional campaign on the importance of detecting cancer early to offer timely diagnosis and treatment in the 10 designated pubic hospitals in five provinces. These are: the Luis Morillo King hospital in La Vega, President Estrella Ureña, in Santiago; Jaime Mota, in Barahona; General de Alta Especialidad HGENSA and Maternidad Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia, in Higüey; Materno Reynaldo Almánzar and Santo Socorro, in Santo...

The National Drug Control Agency reports seizing 447 packages suspect to contain cocaine at the Multimodal Caucedo Port. The freight container that contained the substance would have been shipped to Europe. El Dia reports that in the past 12 days, the DNCD has reported the confiscation of 1,670 kilos of drugs.

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The Brazilian Senate ratified on 8 April 2021 the air services agreement (ASA) signed with the Dominican Republic. The ASA now needs to be signed by the Presidency for it to be enacted.

The Brazilian Senate ratified the agreement (PDL 77/2020) signed in Brasilia on 14 May 2018. The ASA improves the legal framework regarding air transport services between Brazil and the Dominican Republic. It applies to users of transport for passengers, cargo and mail. Brazilian senator Esperidião Amin says that the agreement will increase the economy, trade and tourism between the two countries.

“This context will increase the bilateral economy, trade and tourism for the benefit of both countries. In this context, it is worth remembering that Punta Cana is a destination increasingly sought after by Brazilians,” noted the Brazilian senator in the press release.

The...

Cigar Aficionado reports there is a boom in premium cigar imports to the United States. This is good news for the Dominican Republic, a major cigar exporter. As reported, in January 2021, the Cigar Association of America said nearly 21 million handmade, premium cigars were shipped to the United States, up 55% over January 2020.

The growth was the largest for the Dominican Republic. As reported, January’s Dominican cigar exports to the US more than doubled over the same month in 2020, soaring from 2.4 million premium cigars to 5.9 million.

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Several large employers in the Punta Cana area have signed an agreement with the country’s leading vocational training center, the governmental Infotep, to improve the workforce’s skills in the eastern area of the country. The plan is to boost the productivity and competitiveness of the region’s tourism sector.

Rafael Santos Badía, general director of the National Institute for Technical-Professional Training (Infotep); Frank Rainieri, president of the Puntacana Group Foundation; Manuel Ernesto Veloz, president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism Projects of the East (Asoleste) and of the La Altagracia Tourism Cluster signed a five-year collaboration agreement.

The agreement will have a positive impact on the inhabitants of the Veron-Punta Cana Municipal Tourism District and its communities Juanillo, Punta Cana, Bavaro, Macao, Uvero Alto, Cabeza de...

Carlos Guillermo Flaquer / La Voz del PRM

The National Export Free Zone Council (CNZFE) approved 18 new companies in various locations around the country. The new industries would create 3,651 direct jobs.

Carlos Guillermo Flaquer, deputy minister of Free Zones and Special Regimes at the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MICM) said that US$69.6 million would be invested in the start-up of the new industries. He estimated these would create 3,651 direct jobs and generate around US$86.5 million a year in hard currency.

CNZFE executive director Daniel Liranzo said the new industries include call centers, fruit and vegetable processing, cigar manufacturing and elaboration, and box packaging.

The companies will be located in Santiago, Hato Mayor, Distrito Nacional, Hermanas Mirabal, La Vega, La Romana and Peravia.

During the same session of the CNZFE...

The president of the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM), Jose Ignacio Paliza says that President Luis Abinader is concentrating all his attention on running the country, not on politics. Paliza, who is also the Presidency administrative minister, said that the top priorities are overcoming the pandemic and generating new jobs.

As reported in N Digital, Paliza made the statements responding to statements by Superior Education Minister Franklin García Fermín that the PRM statutes would be modified to enable Abinader’s reelection. At present, the PRM statutes do not allow a second consecutive term, as is permitted by the Dominican Constitution.

The Administrative Minister of the Presidency was also asked about his opinion on the announcement of six PLD presidential pre-candidates for the 2024 elections. As reported in N Digital, Paliza said that that political...

The Procurement Agency recommends that those responsible for irregular contracting at the Social Policy Coordination Cabinet be penalized. The announcement comes after the Procurement Agency (DGCP) has presented the findings of its investigations into the Social Policy Coordination Cabinet contracting of 54 artists for RD$55.6 million over the Christmas holidays. The strange detail is that the money was an advance payment. The payments benefited several well-off artists and caused an uproar in the media. The DGCP investigated and now presents its conclusions. The DGCP recommends administrative sanctions be imposed on the officials responsible for the contracting.

In the final considerations of Resolution RIC-74-2021, dated 7 April 2021, the governing body of the National System of Public Procurement and Contracting (SNCCP) requested the director of the GCPS, Francisco...

Everyone coincides it was a case of mistaken identity. Police director Edward Sanchez has admitted the patrol acted in violation of all protocols of the Police. Yet where there is no coinciding is in the statements made by each of the patrol members.

Journalists Edith Febles and Alicia Ortega report that the patrol agents contradict themselves in the versions they told police investigators on killing 37-year old Joel Diaz and 32-year old Eliza Muñoz on Tuesday, 30 March 2021 when these were parked in a Kia vehicle in a police road stop in Villa Altagracia.

The Police says the killings were a case of mistaken identity and violation of all police protocols. The Police director Edward Sánchez has said the police were on the trail of a robbery of a pasola (small motorcycle) and that it was a case of mistaken identity.

While both Diaz and his wife Muñoz died of...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #389 reports 341 new PCR cases for the Sunday, 11 April 2021 deadline. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 514.

As per Bulletin #389 with the deadline of 11 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 258,039 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 3,613 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,232.

The 4-week positivity rate is 10.11%, slightly up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 19.49%, significantly up from the last day.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 37,867, up (+9) from the previous 24 hours. The active cases are now rising as of the 11 April bulletin. Nevertheless, the numbers have yet to make real the...

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) calls for the United States to increase its engagement in the Caribbean region to avoid China emerging as the preferred partner in the region. The CSIS has published a 10-page report motivating to reimagine the US approach to the Caribbean region. The focus is on the promising opportunities and diverse focal points for engagement of the 17 countries that are part of the Caribbean Basin Initiative.

The report looks into achievements through the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and the US-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA). The United States is the Caribbean’s largest trading partner and, in turn, the Caribbean is the United States’ sixth-largest trading partner, with US$35.3 billion flowing between them each year. The Dominican Republic is the only CBI country to have a bilateral free trade...

Dominicans around the world celebrated the 90th birthday of Rafael Solano on Saturday, 10 April 2021, enjoying his compositions written over the past seven decades immortalized in a documentary on his life made available on YouTube for free.

Documental Solano is by film producer Juan Basanta and his daughter, journalist Patricia Solano. It tells the artistic life of maestro Rafael Solano is a tribute to the singer-songwriter known for “Por Amor,” the most iconic Dominican song. The documentary was released in November 2018 but by making it free on YouTube, Dominicans shared it and rendered tribute to the outstanding Dominican musician.

The film is an audiovisual account of the Puerto Plata piano player and composer’s artistic career through the entire generation of artists that emerged in the late 1950s and sung his compositions.

The documentary was co-directed by Solano’s...

The executive vice president of the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores), Andres Marranzini forecasts good times for the tourism industry are coming. When interviewed for D’Agenda on Telesistema, Channel 11, Marranzini forecast around 4 million arrivals for this year. He expects the number of air arrivals to be more than what has originally been forecast by the Central Bank for 2022.

Marranzini says there will not be a low season in the next 18 months as people resume traveling with a vengeance after months of lockdown. He forecast 2022 will be one single high season year as people resume traveling.

“The governor of the Central Bank spoke of close to four and a half or four million visitors this year, which was the estimate that institution had made,” he remarked. He added: “It is not unreasonable to think of a number like that seeing that, in...

The Ministry of Public Health has only approved the reopening of 20% of public schools in the 48 municipalities where public schools are cleared to reopen.

The Dominican Association of Teachers (ADP) reports that most of the public schools are not prepared to reopen for need of repairs or that the school teachers have not received the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Ministry of Education had announced that schools in districts where the positivity rate of Covid-19 was 5% or less and that were ready could reopen as of 6 April for some in-person learning with the authorization of parents and the green light of the Ministry of Public Health.

The vice-president of the union, Juan Núñez, said that the ADP teachers would only return to give classes where the physical structures had been prepared for the return to classes.

“We put as a condition that...

The Police has recovered almost RD$4 million of an auto-robbery by a cash truck transporter and accomplices. The Police have not said how much cash was in the truck.

Five arrests have been made in the case, and one returned the cash. The Police is on the trail of three others.

The Cibao Central Agency of the National Police reported it had recovered RD$3,937,650 in cash, of the money stolen from the armored truck. The Police say Luis Admi Rosario Guzmán, who was the driver of the Daihatsu truck is wanted, together with two others. Rosario is accused of planning the theft. The securities truck was abandoned in the La Terraza sector of Santiago.

El Caribe reports that Rosario Guzmán and two other fugitives allegedly took some suitcases out of the truck and transported them in the white Hyundai Sonata car that was left abandoned on the main street of Montellano...

The Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) is will soon amend its statutes to remove the clause that bans presidential reelection. The removal of the clause is necessary for President Luis Abinader to opt for a second term in office.

After a meeting of the PRM top executives on Sunday, 11 April 2021, party leader Franklin García Fermín said that the PRM would accommodate its bylaws to what the Constitution allows, two consecutive terms. García Fermín is minister of Superior Education in the Abinader administration. 

Garcia Fermin, made the comments before a meeting with the political leadership of the PRM, where President Luis Abinader gave a talk entitled “A Look Towards the Future.”

As reported in N Digital, the PRM meeting was to activate the statutory committee that is chaired by Eddy Olivares, a former member of the Central Electoral Board (JCE)...

The Minister of Public Health Daniel Rivera announced that the government will only subsidize one PCR test per insured person per year as of this year. Other PCR tests will require the interested party to pay the insurer the full cost of the test. The test costs around RD$4,000 in local labs.

The announcement comes after a flurry of tests were made recently after a severe cold circulated, making people think they could have caught Covid-19.

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The Central Bank reports that remittances this year are keeping the upward numbers. A new record of US$994.9 million was set for March 2021. This is 91.3% more than in March 2020, or US$474.8 million more.Remittances were US$792.8 million in January, US$761 million in February and US$994.9 million in March. Remittances for the first quarter of 2021 are 50% more than in 2020. This is outstanding because airports were not closed until the second half of March 2020.

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Servio Tulio Castaños / El Caribe

Back in 2016, the Congress and former President Danilo Medina enacted the Organic Law of the National Police. However, the law did not contain the required regulations. Leading jurist and the executive vice-president of the Institutionalism and Justice Foundation (Finjus), Servio Tulio Castaños Guzmán, was appointed by President Luis Abinader to chair a work group to assist in the reform of the National Police.

According to Castaños Guzmán, the obstacles to reform are rooted in the institution itself, which has refused to implement 21 regulations that are needed to bring about change. The statement by Castaños Guzman is blistering: “We approved a law in 2016 that has not been able to be implemented, and there has been no way to implement it because there has been no way that the Superior Police Council will approve the regulations, enact them...

A 53-year old Venezuelan physician, Dr. Francisco Marty, died when taking a selfie at Aguas Blancas, the country’s highest water fall. He ventured to the tip of the waterfall for the precious shot that cost him his life. The physician was doing ecotourism. He resided in the United States.

The Aguas Blancas waterfall is one of the main attractions for visitors to Constanza Valley.

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Award-winning essayist, novelist, poet, archeologist, anthropologist, university professor and diplomat, Mario Veloz Maggiolo died on Saturday, 10 April 2021. He was 85 and died of health complications attributed to Covid-19.

He was one of the first Dominicans to graduate in archeology from the University of Madrid. He also received a PhD in history of the Americas, with a specialty in pre-historic days from that university. He would go on to be the director of the Museum of Dominican Man.

He won numerous national and international awards, including the National Literature Award, the Golden Caonabo and the Academy of Sciences. As an archeologist, he conducted several investigations on the Dominican Republic’s and other Antillean countries’ pre-Columbian cultures. As an antropologist, he published several important research papers on different cultural manifestations.

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The Dominican Republic is suffering a cyclical round of deaths from adulterated alcoholic beverages. Referred to as “cleren” by the press, this bootleg liquor is laced with methanol and causes death in many cases. So far, and the count is not 100% certain, there have been 47 cases of death by intoxication of around 109 cases of people that have been hospitalized. Several more could die as dozens are hospitalized. Reports are half of those that have died have been women.

This time around, the authorities have destroyed clandestine stills in Barahona, Monte Plata, Navarrete and Greater Santo Domingo, but others keep cropping up.

This time around, several of the deaths are attributed to the frozen drink called “Mondays” that is sold openly in many beach areas and has absolutely no identification information as to contents, place of production or sanitation code for sale to...

The Permanent Attention Court of Villa Altagracia handed down one year of preventive imprisonment to measure coercion against the police agents accused of killing 37-year old Joel Diaz and 36-year old Elisa Muñoz.

Judge Sugeldi Rosario Mena declared complex the case. Privates Anthony Castro Pérez and Juan Samuel Ogando Solís, the corporal Ángel de los Santos and the sergeant Domingo Perdomo Reyes were sent to the El Pinalito Correction and Rehabilitation Center in La Vega. Lieutenant Victorino Reyes Navarro and Corporal Norquis Rodriguez Jimenez were sent to the Special Operations Prison.

After the hearing, Fatima Sanchez, chief prosecutor of Villa Altagracia, said the case’s investigation has just begun. She says they cannot rule out other suspects. Others insisted at the courthouse that Colonel Cesar Mariñez, who at the time was the commander of the...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #388 reports 512 new PCR cases for the Saturday, 10 April 2021 deadline. The cases compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 486.

As per Bulletin #388 with the deadline of 10 April 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 257,698 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 3,613 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,231.

The 4-week positivity rate is 10.04%, slightly up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.17%, significantly down from the last day. A severe cold has been affecting people attributed to the chilly weather, which has driven the demand for PCR tests.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 37,858, up (+77) from the previous 24...

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