DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic

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The public-private sector committee in charge of choosing the nation’s country brand announced on the evening of 13 May 2021 that the general public voted for the proposal made by graphic art student Isabella Fernández. Fernández won with 53% of the votes. The new graphic highlights the “do,” that is the extension assigned for Dominican internet pages

During the announcement, the Republic of the World slogan developed by the previous country brand team hired by the past government was not used. Instead the winning logo is linked to the theme – With Open Arms (Con los brazos abiertos).

Fernández received a grant of RD$3 million in equipment to develop graphic arts project and a scholarship to study art at a Florida arts school. The runner up received RD$1 million award to develop a graphic arts project and half a scholarship to study at a Florida arts school...

The Ministry of Education has made public its recent meeting with Metropolitan Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Monsignor Francisco Ozoria Acosta of the Roman Catholic Church. A press release from the Ministry announces that during the meeting, they discussed the crisis of values affecting the country and the commitment to promote moral recovery through education.

The Archbishop of Santo Domingo has been a staunch supporter against the passing of the three grounds for abortion and sex education in schools. On the other hand, Education Minister Roberto Fulcar has been criticized for putting all the eggs in the basket of distance learning and not preparing public schools for the return to in-person learning. While private schools were ready to implement Covid-19 protocols and return to safe learning in schools, Fulcar refused to authorized their opening...

Interior & Police Minister Jesus (Chu) Vásquez gave details of the rampant corruption found in operations and contracting carried out by the past government authorities at the Ministry of Interior & Police. Senators had called him to explain what the Ministry of Interior & Police is working on to tackle security issues and improve national security. Minister Vásquez has announced a reform of the Police is underway

Read more in Spanish:

The Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environment signed a landmark agreement today with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). The agreement unlocks payments of up to US$25 million for verified carbon emission reductions between now and 2025 through the Dominican Republic’s emissions reduction program.

“This agreement is a country achievement, a reason for celebration and progress in the fight against the challenges of climate change and is the result of four years of preparation of the Program for the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), which will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment with the direct involvement of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy,” explains Milagros De Camps, deputy minister for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Environment.

The Dominican Republc’s Emission Reductions...

President Luis Abinader was in Baní, Peravia, this Thursday, 13 May 2021, for the inauguration of the AES Bayasol solar photovoltaic power generation park. AES Dominicana invested US$60 million in its first 100% renewable operation in the country. The investment is on top of the US$1.8 billion the company has invested throughout its 24 years in the Dominican Republic.

AES Bayasol can produce up to 50 megawatts for the national electricity grid, enough to light 26,000 Dominican homes, explained Juan Ignacio Rubiolo, president for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean AES Corporation. He said the new energy production center is a “tailor-made solution, with more energy, cleaner and at a lower cost that brings efficiencies and the digitalization of all our processes.”

The company recently completed a combined cycle system in San Pedro de Macorís and...

The office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) in the Dominican Republic announced on Thursday, 13 May 2021 that it will stage a telethon on 13 June to secure funding for its programs in the DR. The telethon, “Together for Children,” is held to raise funds for programs that seek to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, improve the quality of education and promote the return to in-person learning for all students in a safe manner. Unicef also carries out programs to prevent violence against children, detect and treat acute child malnutrition, and reduce adolescent pregnancy and early unions of girls with adults in the Dominican Republic.

In a press release, the Unicef representative in the country, Rosa Elcarte pointed out that because of the pandemic, the agency has had to detour much of its funding to respond to the health emergency. She called...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #420 reports 822 new PCR cases for the Wednesday, 12 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 733.

As per Bulletin #420, with the deadline of 12 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 274,319 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,818 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 4,266.

The national 4-week positivity rate is 11.62%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 17.06%, up from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 38,562, up (+572) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The...

Hard Rock Café Santo Domingo announces the Friday, 14 May 2021 show of former Haitian President Michel Martelly (2011-2016). 60-year old Martelly is the creator of Kompa, a danceable genre. The show “Kompa Night” is part of the series of opening concerts at the Blue Mall night spot that recently reopened to the general public. This is a first time, Martelly will perform at a public place in the DR.

Known artistically as Sweet Micky, Martelly has several hit songs in Haiti, including Manvi Manjew, Decide ‘Ou, I Don’t Care, Pa Manyen Fanm Nan, Ou Fè Mwen Mal, Mon Colonel and Konfesyon.

Hard Rock Café says in a press release that Martelly’s musical transcendence allowed him to reach the presidency in his country in 2011. When he was elected President, however, as his passion is music, he never stopped performing, so when he left the presidency, he resumed his primary...

The generalized opening may lead to a reverse in the control of Covid-19 in the Dominican Republic. The 4-week positivity rate has hovered around 11% for weeks. The number of deaths has also been low. Yet, active cases that had been declining, are now again on the rise.

An editorial in El Dia on 13 May 2021, makes the point. It reminds young people this is not a time for “teteo,” the popularized millennials’ term for people mingling. It says that Covid-19 hospitalization units that had been reduced in medical centers, have now had to be habilitated again.

“Understandably, the authorities have backed a more flexible lockdown as a way to kickstart the sectors affected by the pandemic, but there is no justification that the decision be taken advantage of by large numbers of persons to party,” writes the editorialist.

In the Dominican Republic, the vaccination campaign is open...

President Luis Abinader was a keynote speaker on Wednesday, 13 May 2021, at the opening of the First Virtual Forum on Port Law in the Dominican Republic. The event is organized by the Dominican Port Authority (Apordom) and the Association of Shipping Companies of the Dominican Republic (ANRD).

Abinader spoke of the importance of the port sector for the economic recovery the country is experiencing and of the opportunities it offers for a competitive economy. The President stressed that 90% of the global trade is transported by ships.

The President highlighted the country’s strategic geographic position and the efforts being made to turn the country into a regional logistics hub. Abinader spoke of the many port locations on all the coasts. He mentioned the ports of Santo Domingo, La Romana, Boca Chica, San Pedro de Macorís and Barahona on the south coast...

President Luis Abinader named Dr. Claudio Alberto Brito Gómez the new Deputy Minister for Collective Health at the Ministry of Public Health. He replaces Dr. Ivelisse Acosta, who had resigned. Brito Gómez was appointed by Decree 279-21 dated 27 April 2021. Diario Libre reports that Public Health Minister Daniel Rivera says that Dr. Acosta did not give reasons for her resignation.

At the time of his appointment to the post, Dr. Brito was the deputy minister in charge of the Pharmaceuticals, Food and Hygiene Products Agency (Digemaps) at the Ministry of Public Health. Before his appointment to the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Brito had lived most of his life in Puerto Plata. His biography indicates he owns the Farmacia Popular.

He is a graduate in medicine from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD). He has directed the Puerto Plata city public hospital...

Frente Amplio deputy Fidel Santana told the media that he could not fly to the United States after he was informed by the airline that the United States migration objected his entry. Santana says he is not aware of the reasons why his entry has been declined. Santana said he was traveling to the United States for a conference. Santana says he was told to visit the US Consulate to learn more about why he has been denied entry.

Santana has been considered for the position of ombudsman in the Dominican Republic. The ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) majority in the Chamber of Deputies included him in the shortlist of three sent to the Senate for the position of ombudsman. The Senate put the shortlist on hold alleging irregularities in the pre-selection made by the Chamber of Deputies.

The rules for ombudsman impede a practicing politician from holding the position. To aspire to the...

In a press release, the National Lottery reports that prosecutors of the Attorney General’s Office have met with general director Luis Michel Dicent to initiate the investigation into the 1 May drawing, where a fraud in the lottery is suspect. The National Lottery says that the staff that has regularly participated in the number drawings is suspended and is under investigation.

As reported, on 6 May, the National Lottery filed a formal complaint before the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), against the people who allegedly carried out frauds. The National Lottery release says at least 15 people are under investigation.

The lottery administration has said they are reviewing the videos of around 100 draws carried out from 2011 to 2021 in which the same staff that participated in the draw of 1 May was active.

Read more in...

The Migration Agency (DGM) is preparing to deport three members of the Hells Angels gang that lived in Puerto Plata, as reported in El Dia. The report says they circulated freely carrying firearms despite not being legal residents.

El Dia says the Hells Angels gang members are Alexandre Landry, Stphane Richard [Stephen Richards?] and Urele Joseph Real Broullette [Brouillette]. Richard has an arrest order for evading justice in Canada where he faces a case for extortion. As reported, Real Broullette is charged with conspiracy for murder in Canada. The names are likely to be mispelled.

In the case of Real Broullette there is an investigation open because he acquired the Dominican nationality. The Migration Agency says they are looking into annulling the nationalization.

The Canadian government describes Hells Angels as a highly dangerous...

The National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) seized 456 packages of suspected cocaine in a cattle ranch in Las Galeras, Samana. The property is located near Playa Rincón beach, near the entrance to Talanquera, reports the DNCD. One unnamed man was arrested.

The DNCD explains that the man was detained and a search of the property was made. 16 packages of drugs were found hidden in a cave on the property.

The DNCD suspects the drugs would have been shipped to Puerto Rico.

The packages were sent to the National Institute of Forensic Sciences (INACIF) to verify their content.

The new authorities at the DNCD have seized 15.8 tons of illicit substances, 90% of which is cocaine. This total does not include the recent suspected cocaine cargo in Samana.

Read more in...

Education Minister Roberto Furcal announced that all schools and universities around the country are authorized to open as of 25 May 2021 under a semi in-person learning modality. The Ministry is only authorizing the opening of in-person learning for pre-schools, elementary schools (to sixth grade), and the final grade of vocational high school education. This is in addition to adult learning.

Private schools have said they have been ready to restart in person learning for many months now and have only been waiting for Ministry of Education clearance.

Education Ministry Furcal said the pilot program of returning to in-person learning in around 60 municipalities nationwide had had positive results.

“We want to share with you the fact, the joy, the success, that in just these last few months we have already completed the refurbishment of more than 2,100 public schools...

Five of the six accused in the Operation Coral military-police-religious corruption case were sent on the early morning of 12 May 2021 to the Najayo men and women jails. The six are accused of facilitating the detouring of more than RD$3 billion in public funds and of asset laundering, regarding primarily the Presidential Specialized Security Corps (Cusep) and the Touristic Specialized Security Corps (Cestur).

On Monday, 10 May 2021, Judge Kenya Romero had ordered Major General Adán Cáceres Silvestre, police colonel Rafael Núñez de Aza and Navy sergeant Alejandro José Montero Cruz men and Tanner Antonio Flete Guzmán to serve jail at the Najayo Correction and Rehabilitation Center – Men’s. Likewise, pastor Rossy Guzmán, mother of Tanner Antonio Flete Guzmán, was sent to Najayo Correction and Rehabilitation Center – Women’s.

A sixth person implicated in...

April 2021 became the first month this year in which more than 50% of the air traffic of 2019, the pre-pandemic year, is back. “The Dominican Republic has shown an extraordinary recovery in April in the flow of passengers. This is demonstrated by the number of air operations we have today,” explained this Wednesday, 12 May 2021, the Civil Aviation Board (JAC) president, José E. Marte Piantini, when he released the statistics of the number of people transported to and from the country.

In April 2021, 738,163 passengers were transported (353,125 on inbound flights and 385,038 on outbound flights). This is more than 50% of the passengers transported in the same month of 2019, when 1.3 million passengers were mobilized. Compared to March 2021, the April numbers are up 17% or 107,222 more passengers. Marte Piantini says April is a new record for traffic after the aviation shut down in March 2020...

The Ministry of Tourism says that as of April 2021, 1,044,159 tourists had visited. April was a record month in visitations. The numbers are good especially since South American and European destinations still have not restored flights, and the US State Department is recommending not to travel abroad yet.

Tourism Minister David Collado said there was a 7% increase in non-resident visitors in April. The total was 327,074 that compares to 313,000 arrivals in March 2021. Of these 283,547 were foreigners. Traditionally, April is a month with less travel than March.

“The Dominican Republic is an example in the management of the pandemic,” said the minister. He said that hotel occupancy has recovered to more than 47%, and that around 70,000 hotel rooms are open again, for around 80% of the total room inventory of the country.

Read more in...

The National Police arrested on Wednesday, 12 May 2021 the alleged “serial rapist” who has terrorized women living in the communities of Bayona, Las Palmas and Las Caobas in the municipality of Santo Domingo West. The Police suspect 34-year old Raul Castro Jiménez. The case is difficult because the rapist wore a long-sleeved black sweater with a hood and a mask to avoid being recognized. He also wore gloves to avoid leaving his fingerprints.

The women who the rapist attacked lived alone or with small children, and resided on second or third floors.

Read more in Spanish:

As life returns to the new normal in the Dominican Republic, Alex Bueno announces a Mother’s Day concert for Wednesday, 26 May 2021 at 7pm. “Alex Bueno Bohemio” is an exclusively ballads concert. He will sing his best hits, such as “Esa pared”, “Ojitos negros”, “Quiéreme”, “Hipócrita”, “Ese hombre soy yo” y “Amor de pobre”, among others.

Alex Bueno recently sang a duo with Romeo Santos. The song, “Nuestro amor,” is nominated for the best artistic collaboration of the year in the Soberano Awards.

Tickets are for sale at uepatickets.com, CCN, Supermercados Nacional and Jumbo, and at the Hard Rock Café Santo Domingo box office. Hard Rock Café is located in Blue Mall on Av. Gustavo Mejía Ricart and Av. Winston Churchill streets.

Read more in Spanish:

Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Daniel Radcliffe are scheduled to start the filming of “The Lost City of D,” the action-filled romantic comedy. The rolling will take place in northeastern Samana. The action comedy follows on the footsteps of “The Shotgun Wedding”, starring Jennifer Lopez, that recently was filmed in Puerto Plata.

“The Lost City of D” plot is about a reclusive romance novelist on a book tour when her cover model gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure.

The film is directed by Aaron Nee and Adam Nee and is scheduled to be released in April 2022.El Caribe reports this is a US$74 million production.

It’s the same all around the world. There are more white vehicles in the Dominican Republic than those of any other color, as reported in El Dinero.

White vehicles keep the vehicle cooler, for one. Other reasons is the ease of maintenance. If you have a golden car, with the years the color will fade. And if you have to fix a section of the car, matching it with the new color may become a nightmare.

Furthermore, experts say that white car paint makes things look larger than its opposite, black, that creates a slimming effect. So, if you have a small car, it will appear to be a big car.

On the other hand, the interiors of the white cars will usually come in black, gray or tan. The lighter interiors will show actual dirt much more.

After white, in the Dominican Republic people prefer gray and then, blue. Red, black, green, gold and brown and silver follow...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #419 reports 688 new PCR cases for the Tuesday, 11 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 705.

As per Bulletin #419, with the deadline of 11 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 273,497 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,194 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 4,118.

The national 4-week positivity rate is 11.42%, up from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 16.40%, up from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 37,562, up (+628) from the previous 24 hours. This is the largest increase in active cases in weeks.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as...

The Dominican Association of Show Business Chroniclers (Acroarte) announces that the Soberano Awards, the Oscars for the Dominican entertainment industry, will take place on Tuesday, 15 June 2021.Color Visión, Channel 9 will air the awards ceremony from the National Theater under Covid-19 protocols.

The show is produced by René Brea and the Caribbean Media World, with the sponsorship of the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, the Presidente beer brewery. The hosts are Caroline Aquino and Clarissa Molina.

For the first time, all categories are open to popular vote through the Premios Soberano website premiossoberano.com.do.

Read more in Spanish:

The Superintendence of Pensions says 1,740,814 people are registered as contributors to the pension funds. The number increased by 88,590 in April. The total of the fund is RD$864.05 billion. Since the start of the system, 4,375,812 have been affiliated.

The Pension Fund administration says the funds have a yield of 11.19% in April, up from 10.26% in January.

Read more in Spanish:

The Ministry of Defense named General Minoru Matsunaga to direct the Specialized Touristic Security Corps (Cestur). The long-time director of Cestur, Juan Carlos Torres Robiou is under investigation for corruption in office, as part of the Coral Operation. The former technology director of Cestur, army mayor Raul Girón Jiménez had criticized the appointment of deputy director Colonel Roberto Acevedo Tejada as interim director of Cestur.

Matsunaga has more than 36 years in the ranks of the National Police. He has served as Central Intelligence Director (Dintel) and has been a member of the National Police Web Media Management Committee more recently.

He is a graduate of the 2 de Marzo Police Academy, has a degree in law and has taken countless courses in the country and abroad.

He is the son of legendary judo teacher Mamoru Matsunaga, who designed the...

An outbreak of Covid-19 has affected five National Congress legislators. Senator Alexis Victoria Yeb (Maria Trinidad Sanchez-PRM) and four deputies, José (Bertico) Santana (Santo Domingo-PRM), Gilberto Antonio Balbuena Arias (Santo Domingo-PRSC), Victor Manuel Fadul Lantigua (Santiago-PLD), and José Francisco López Chávez (Valverde-PRD) have tested positive since last week.

Recently, TV host Jatna Tavarez and her daughter report catching Covid-19. And abroad, it was known that Padres baseball star, Fernando Tatis Jr also has Covid.

Read more in Spanish:

The DR will host the Felix Sanchez Invitational on 12 June. The athletics event is a qualifier for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Competing in the event will be brothers Luguelin Santos (former silver medallist in the London 2012 Olympic Games) and his brother Juander Santos. Also Milagros Duran, Yancarlos Martinez, Alexander Ogando and Lidio Feliz. There will be competitions in 100, 200, 400 meters, 400 hurdles, and relays of 4×100 and 4×400 mixed relay, high jump and triple jump.

Felix Sanchez won gold for the DR in the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games in 400 hurdles. The Felix Sanchez Invitational has been held in the DR since 2005, but this is the first year the event is an Olympic Qualifier.

Follow the event on Instagram at felixsancheacademy

The Ministry of Education has concentrated billions of resources on distance learning and little to get the public schools in condition for reopening of in-person learning. As private schools pressure for the government to authorize their reopening, the media has been looking into the condtions of the public schools and finding they were left as they were in March 2020.

Journalist Altagracia Salazar criticizes on her Sin Maquillaje talk show on 11 May 2021, that the Ministry did not put aside the pesos for the customary annual maintenance of the schools and instead invested billions in air time in TV stations. Salazar says that the bureaucracy of the public education is eating up all the budget. With most public schools closed, hundreds of thousands of employees are receiving pay for little if any work. Education receives 4% of the GDP of the National Budget.

The...

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

The first Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has yet to arrive, but meanwhile, the Senate on 11 May 2021 amended the contract with the pharmaceutical and will buy two million more vaccine doses. The agreement stipulates an additional payment to Pfizer for US$24,001,380. In January 2021, Congress had authorized the purchase of eight million for US$95,998,500. This brings the total of the contracted Pfizer vaccines to US$119,999,880 for the ten million doses.

The Presidency had submitted the amendments to the Senate.

There is no known date for the arrival of the Pfizer vaccines. Meanwhile, most Dominicans have been vaccinated with the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine from China.

Read more in...

A former Dominican diplomat based in France, who was named in 2007 and left the post in 2011, wants to know who or if another person had been collecting his wages. As reported, lawyer and communicator Jose Martinez Brito found out that he was still named to the position when he was dismissed by Decree 228-21 issued recently. Martínez Brito says that while he may have been on the payroll of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, he did not receive pay for the stretch between 2011-2021.

“I will request a certification to verify if the funds were disbursed month after month in the name of a third party. I am not on the payroll now. Anyway, President Luis Abinader did the right thing by disassociating me if I still appeared appointed. That takes a weight off my shoulders,” he said.

“I have just seen Decree 228-21, which repeals Decree 129-07 by which I was appointed 2nd...

Several major stores have habilitated Covid-19 vaccination areas. While vaccination at around 1,000 sites nationwide is open from 7am to 4pm, people can get vaccinated in the evening at these special centers in the capital city.

The centers in the National District that are staying open late from Monday to Friday are:La Bodega, south of the Supermercado Nacional of Av. 27 de Febrero. 8am to 8pm.Jumbo at Agora Mall on Av. Abraham Lincoln. 8am to 8pm.La Sirena on Av. Winston Churchill, from 8am to 9pm.Plaza Lama at Av. 27 de Febrero, 8am to 9pm.

There are also vaccination sites at Agora Mall and Carrefour superstore.

In addition, there are vaccination centers located at universities, schools, social clubs, even at the Punta Cana International Airport.

Read more in...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #418 reports 701 new PCR cases for the Monday, 10 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 679.

As per Bulletin #418, with the deadline of 10 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 272,809 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 4,912 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,991.

The national 4-week positivity rate is 11.25%, down from the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.27%, up from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 36,934, up (+329) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The...

According to the IMF’s April World Economic Outlook, the conditions of the Dominican external sector will continue to improve since the expectations are for the US economy to grow 6.4% in 2021. Given the close relationship between both countries, the DR is also expected to continue to recover from the health and economic crisis.

A press release from the Central Bank explains that the positive outlook for the US is showing in the increase in remittances sent to the Dominican Republic by the Dominican diaspora. The upward trend in remittances from abroad continued in April 2021. Remittances were US$910.8 million. Cumulatively, during the first four months of the year, remittances have totaled US$3.46 billion, US$1.36 billion more than the same period in 2020, for a 64.9% year-over-year growth rate.

The Central Bank says that the recovery of the US economy and the American...

Major General Adán Cáceres Silvestre on 10 May 2021 became the first of his military rank to be sent to jail. There have been discussions over whether he should have been sent to the El Polvorín military jail in Villa Mella. Yet judge Kenya Romero ordered the arrested in the Operation Coral corruption case be sent to the ordinary Najayo Jail. The exception is army mayor Raul Alejandro Girón Jimenez who was ordered to serve domiciliary arrest at a location that was to be kept private by the prosecutors.

El Dia reports that as of 10 May, the Ministry of Defense had not announced the suspension of Major General Adán Cáceres despite Armed Forces Law 139-13 establishing the automatic suspension of officers that are under criminal investigation. Cáceres has the same high rank of the director-general of the Police.

Since 2004, Cáceres had been designated to the security of...

Pastor Rossy Guzmán Sánchez, accused in the Coral case, would celebrate evangelical services every Monday in the esplanade of the Presidential Security Corps (Cusep) at the Presidential Palace. Listín Diario reports that these were obligatory for the around 1,000 persons who were summoned, including off-duty military and police. Military and police who refused to attend were punished with up to 10 days in the military or police prison as ordered by Major General Adán Cáceres, who served as head of the Cusep from 2012 to 2020

The pastor Rossy Guzmán and Cáceres were sent to the Najayo Jail on 10 May 2021 to await the deliberations of the Operation Coral case in court. The prosecutors have 18 months to prepare the government corruption case. The head of the presidential security and the pastor are accused of irregular extraction of public funds and asset...

Environment Minister Orlando Jorge Mera says that the Dominican Republic seeks a dialogue with Haiti and called for the adherence to the treaty signed in 1929 whereby both countries agreed that neither can detour the waters of the river if this affects the other country. Sources in Haiti say that the construction of an irrigation canal to detour the waters of the Masacre River has the backing of the Haitian government.

Jorge Mera spoke when interviewed by Guillermo Gómez for “Aeromundo.”

The Masacre River is born in the Pico del Gallo mountain of Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic. It flows into Haiti and then ends in the Bay of Manzanillo in Montecristi on the northwest of the country. Several lagoons are formed that are part of the Montecristi National Park.

Jorge Mera says that from his start at the Ministry of Environment in August 2020, he has been...

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) announced that as of Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 12 more civil registry offices nationwide are incorporated in the “Project for the Elimination of the Legalization of Civil Status Records (ETLA).” The project began to be implemented on 5 April 2021.

The new offices are:16th District in Los Alcarrizos3rd District of the National District1st and 2nd District of Moca1st and 2nd District of La Vega

Also the civil registry offices in Cabral, Hato Mayor, Villa González, Jánico, San José de las Matas and Altamira.

A total of 27 civil registry offices are now incorporated into the program.

Rhina Alessandra Diaz Tejada, interim director of the Civil Registry, said that the criteria for incorporating an office to the project is a hybrid between offices that have the larger number of certificates issued at a national level and also those that have the...

The judge of the Permanent Attention Office of the National District, Kenya Romero ordered that the accused in the Operation Coral corruption case serve 18 months preventive jail in the Najayo Men’s and Najayo Women’s jails. The accused are accused of heading a religious-military network that incurred in fraud to the state treasury and asset laundering.

According to the judge’s ruling, Major General Adan Cáceres Silvestre, police colonel Rafael Núñez de Aza, police corporal Tanner Antonio Flete Guzmán, and Navy sergeant Alejandro José Montero Cruz, must serve their sentences in the Najayo Men’s Correction and Rehabilitation Center (CCR Najayo). Evangelical pastor Rossy Guzman Sanchez is sent to jail at the Najayo Women’s jail. In the past, military and police had served detention orders at specialized military and police facilities.

Meanwhile, army mayor...

Lawyers Anderson Vargas Franco, Antonio Figueroa Pontier and Jhonny Peña Peña deposited on 10 May 2021 to the justice and human rights committees of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, communications urging the legislators draft a law for extinction of domain law in favor of the state in the Dominican Republic. Where implemented around the world, the law orders the loss of rights that a person has, in connection with patrimonial assets whose legitimate origin cannot be proven, particularly those that are instrument, object or product of illicit acts. The law would enable the state to recover numerous assets in possession of corrupt government officials and drug traffickers.

“From the proclamation of the 26 January 2010 Constitution, the Dominican state introduced the legal recourse of the extinction of domain, however, more than 11 years after that...

The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #417 reports 560 new PCR cases for the Sunday, 9 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compare to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 634.

As per Bulletin #417, with the deadline of 9 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 272,108 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 6,514 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,699.

The national 4-week positivity rate is 11.38%, similar to the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 8.60%, significantly down from the day before.

The number of reported active Covid-cases increased to 36,605, up (+375) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received...

Several Dominican Public School Teachers Association (ADP) members are keeping their position against the reopening of the nation’s public school system. Public school teachers are paid the same with schools open or not

So far, the Ministry of Education has opened schools in about 60 municipalities where the positivity rate for Covid-19 is less than 5%.

A former president of the ADP, Eduardo Hidalgo, told reporters that he felt that the reopening would be “imprudent” since it would expose teachers, parents and students to the virus. Hidalgo noted that there were thousands of teachers and administrators that have yet to be vaccinated. For weeks, the National Vaccination Plan has been vaccinating teachers nationwide. As of 10 May 2021, the vaccination plan enters Phase III calling for all documented persons of 18+ to be vaccinated at any of the thousands of...

The Ministry of Defense issued a public statement on Friday, 7 May 2021 indicating:“We consider that what is being questioned these days is provoked by information on alarming criminal activities that, if proven in the justice system, DO NOT involve the military institutions nor the generality of the women and men that compose them.

“Military institutions are not exempt from the general problems that affect society, but their members are mainly men and women motivated by their dedication to the patriotic mission assigned to them by the Constitution of the Republic. They are people with a vocation of service, dedication and sacrifice, proud of the history of the Armed Forces and the opportunity they offer to serve the country.”

The statement came after one of the accused, the former technology director for the Tourism Specialized Security Corps (Cestur) gave...

As of Monday, 10 May 2021, the National Vaccination Plan opens for those 18 years or older. The Ministry of Public Health announced the early start of Phase III covering those of the age group of 18-49. The category would have started in August 2021, but the arrival of a batch of two million vaccines from China has enabled the government to get ahead in vaccinations.

Vaccinations are free, at more than 500 vaccination sites around the country, including 57 in Greater Santo Domingo.

The country purchased the two million Sinovac/Coronavac vaccines China at the cost of US$1.2 million.

So far, there have been zero reported reactions from the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine. Although the efficiency of the attenuated virus vaccine is said to be less (so far) than that of Pfizer or Moderna, local physicians say it does protect against really serious cases of the virus.

President...

With most everyone in the Dominican Republic vaccinated with the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine, locals are naturally interested in the global recognition of the vaccine. The Dominican Republic has received 4,268,000 Sinovac/Coronavac vaccines and another 50,000 of Chinese-manufacturer Sinopharm. It has also received 141,200 vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine (91,200 of Oxford-AstraZeneca and 50,000 of India Serum Institute AstraZeneca).

The good news is that last week the European Medicines Agency (EMA) began the rolling review of China’s Sinovac (Covid-19) Coronavac vaccine. The EMA is the European Union’s top drug regulator. The approval is necessary for the potential use of the vaccine in the European Union.

This means by summer, the Sinovac/Coronavac vaccine could be approved by the European Union. So far, only vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson...

Punta Cana was the setting for the Tourism Ministers of the Americas Meeting from 6 to 9 May 2021 with the World Tourism Organization secretary-general. President Luis Abinader gave the welcome address. Abinader is the chair of his government’s Tourism Cabinet.

President Abinader told the audience that “unity, determination, focus and a combined vision of the future of regional tourism is the way to face the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic has forced on the industry”.

The Punta Cana meeting was organized by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and it brought together ministers of tourism of the Americas to discuss the future of tourism in the Americas. Frank Rainieri, the president of the Punta Cana Group, who hosted the meeting, told reporters that the recovery was moving along faster than was expected, at a faster pace than in Europe or the United States. Most of the ministers...

Air Canada has just announced the renewal of flights to the Dominican Republic starting on 26 June 2021. This is just in time for the peak of summertime travel.

Spokespeople for the airline congratulated the Dominican government authorities for the tourism industry’s performance and the reactivating of the major tourist areas. The airline is especially interested in resuming its flights to Puerto Plata, Samana and Punta Cana.

The Canadian announcement comes when the US State Department is advising US citizens not to travel to most countries around the world, including the Dominican Republic. Germany, on the contrary, is encouraging its citizens to vacation in the Dominican Republic.

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Over the weekend, Dominican ambassador in Russia, Hans Danenberg shared a tweet by Russian astronaut, Oleg Novitsky in which he posts a photograph of the Dominican Republic taken from the International Space Station (ISS). The astronaut called the country a “paradise on Earth” in his tweet. It is not known if the astronaut has visited or was speaking from observations made by Russian tourists who have visited and marveled at the good weather, beaches and wonderful people.

“I looked out the window, and saw the most visited country in the Caribbean – the Dominican Republic. This paradise on Earth impresses the guests for its fantastically beautiful views and nature, which amazes so much that one wants to become a part of it,” wrote Novitsky in Twitter.

President Luis Abinader was quick to comment, saying that he appreciated the kind words from the astronaut...

The creations of emerging Dominican graphic artists Alejandro Soto and Isabella Fernández are the finalists in the contest for the nation’s country brand. The young talents were backed by leading Dominican country brand authorities to create the logos.

The general public is now asked to vote for the country brand by Sending A for Alejandro Soto and B for Isabella Fernandez to Whatspp 809-440-9159 or SMS to 9669. The vote is free.

In the Sunday, 9 May 2021 late evening show where the two finalists were announced, the jurors slanted in favor of the country silhouette logo by Alejandro Soto for its uniqueness, highly identifiable with the country and graphically friendly conditions.

None of the six finalists had included the full name of the country in their original conceptions, but for the final country brand presentation, all of the logos featured the full name of Dominican Republic.

In the presentation of the logos for the vote, the organizers of the contest did not...

In many major metropolitan areas, members of the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) are on a walkout against the Mapfre HMO in their quest to receive better pay from the local health administrators. The Dominican Association of Health Risks Administrators (ADARS) has rejected the strike call by the CMD, and they called upon the group to remember that the patient’s health comes first. The ADARS said that they were willing to collaborate with the National Social Security Council (CNSS) to solve the issues.

On the one hand, the Dominican HMOs have recently increased rates by as much as 66% in some cases, but doctors continue to receive the same pay. The CMD has called for the work boycott against ARS Mapfre Salud, a major player in the health insurance field. Mapfre says it will reimburse its affiliates for doctor consultations. Mapfre did not give details on how much would...

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) plenary approved on Thursday, 6 May 2021, the final investigation report regarding the vote of Dominicans abroad for the 2020 presidential election.

The report investigated the voter registration and voter organizing offices for the JCE in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Reading, Washington, Orlando and Miami, corresponding to District 1 abroad in the United States.

The Investigation Committee was integrated by the president of the JCE, Román Jáquez Liranzo, and JCE members Rafael Armando Vallejo Santelises and Samir Chami Isa.

The plenary of the Central Electoral Board (JCE) ordered the firing of the director of the Expat Voter Office, Gilberto Cruz Herasme and other officials for irregularities in the handling of US$4 million disbursed during the past presidential elections abroad in 2020.

In addition to Cruz Herasme, administrative...

Angels at Orioles 5/11/19

The Los Angeles Angels general manager and club president John Carpino called future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols into a meeting late last week. They informed him that they were designating him for assignment. The Pujols’ era with the Los Angeles Angels lasted 10 years. Now 41 years old, it seemed unlikely that Pujols would play this year. Not to worry, he is still owed over US$30 million of his US$240 million contract, no matter what.

Pages have been written and will be written about the truly magnificent career of Albert Pujols. He is fifth all-time in home runs, second in RBIs, 14th in hits (3,253). He has won the National League MVP awards, two Gold Gloves, and six Silver Slugger awards, and was invited to play in 10 All-Star Games.

His first decade with the St. Louis Cardinals (.331/.426/624), 408 homers and 1,230 RBIs can be argued to be the...

The first Aro y Pedal bicycle store, located on 27 de Febrero Avenue, in the Don Bosco sector, was completely consumed by a strong fire, causing losses in the millions of pesos. No casualties were reported. To put out the fire, the fire department used more than 15 units and about 80 men. The store is located near the Centro Médico Otorrinolaringología.

“I have never experienced this situation; this is the first time this has happened to me. May God help us with all this,” said store owner Juan Luis Rodríguez, who for many years was also president of the Dominican Cycling Federation (Fedoci).

Social media reported how many of the neighbors helped remove the bicycles in time so these would not be consumed by the fire.

The fire occurs at a time when bicycle sales are on the increase.

The company has several branches in different parts of the country and...

The general public that had followed the plight of beloved singer Manny Cruz and his wife dancer Yeri Peguero delighted in the photos of their baby Montserrat, the couple recently shared with their fans on social media.

Yeri Peguero had caught Covid-19 when in her final weeks of pregnancy. Baby Montserrat was born prematurely, but mom entered into intensive care and Cruz called for prayers from all Dominicans to help her recover soon.

Fortunately, Peguero has recovered significantly and the family celebrates sharing the photos of lovely Montserrat.

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The Ministry of Public Health’s Epidemiology Department Coronavirus Bulletin #416 reports 948 new PCR cases for the Saturday, 8 May 2021 deadline. The cases reported compares to the 7-day nationwide average for PCR confirmed cases that is 587.

As per Bulletin #416, with the deadline of 8 May 2021, the Ministry of Public Health has registered 271,548 confirmed cases since the first case on 1 March 2020. Labs carried out 6,736 first PCR tests. The number of PCR tests compares with the 14-day average now at 3,446.

The nationwide 4-week positivity rate is 11.49%, similar to the previous day. The 24-hour positivity for the day is 14.07%, down from the previous day.

The number of reported active Covid-cases dropped to 36,371, down (-375) from the previous 24 hours.

The nation is immersed in a nationwide vaccination drive as batches of vaccines are received from abroad. The...

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