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"Dignity of women is trampled on"

During his during his trip to South America at a visit to Puerto Maldonado, a town in the Peruvian jungle, Pope Francis lamented the scum of sexual slavery as the fruit of machismo (masculinity cult), which tramples on the dignity of women.

At its first stop in this place, forgotten by the rest of the world, as its inhabitants said during a meeting with the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church warned against trafficking of people, which in truth was slave trade "for labor, sexual slavery and slavery for profit."

The local church has sounded the alarm because the arrival of gold hunters and the development of mines in the region have promoted

the sexual exploitation of girls and young women. "It hurts to realize that on this soil, which is under the protection of the Mother of God (the name of the province is Madre de Dios), so many women are undervalued, underestimated and exposed to countless acts of violence," the Pope said. "One should not further promote the role of machismo, which does not allow women to play an important role in our society."

Another accusation from Pope Francis was the "promise that certain works will put an end to poverty," such as gold mining. “Gold can turn into a false god demanding human sacrifice. "

The Pope continued, "The false gods of greed, of money and of power corrupt everything. They corrupt the person and the institutions and they also destroy the forests. "

In general, the Pope, who is Argentinean, recognized: "The Corruption: How much evil is this social virus inflicting on our Latin American countries and the democracies of this blessed continent. A phenomenon that infects everything, with the poor and Mother Earth as the most injured.” To fight this "social scourge", transparency between public entities, the private sector and civil society is needed. "And I do not exclude the ecclesiastical institutions," added the Holy Father.


21 January 2018 · Source: Listín Diario

Cholera in Haiti to be eradicated

The deadly epidemic Haiti has suffered since the summer of 2010 can be defeated this year, according to Unicef. Only 100 new cholera cases were reported each week in January. The lowest number since the outbreak of the plague that Nepalese troops from UN peacekeeping mission Minustah brought into the impoverished country in October 2010.

Marc Vincent, representative of Unicef in Haiti, said: "It is possible to defeat cholera this year. Now or never we have an opportunity that we should not miss.” He expected a prompt response from the

Haitian authorities to take advantage of this historic moment.

The catastrophic hygienic conditions, which had plagued the already poorest country on the American continent after the devastating earthquake of January 2010, helped to spread the epidemic at lightning speed. Half of the rural population does not have clean drinking water and only 25 percent of Haitians have access to a toilet.

Since the outbreak of cholera nearly 10,000 people have died of the disease and more than 800,000 have fallen ill with it. Also in the Dominican Republic there were isolated cholera herds, in which people died. The Dominican health authorities, however, kept the situation under control.

Although the United Nations acknowledged that their soldiers from Minustah are responsible for the introduction of cholera to Haiti, they reject financial compensation for the country.


20 January 2018 · Source: Listín Diario

Paradises for retirees

In a list of the magazine internationalliving.com of the countries, in which one can best retire, the Dominican Republic occupies the 22nd rank. The study included various factors such as purchase and investment, rentals, benefits, immigration, cost of living, health care, state of development and others.

The highest score reached the country at the aspect “rentals” with 90 points, with which it surpasses many other countries. The lowest rating with 59 points was in “visa and residency”.

Among the advantages of living in the Dominican Republic there is a

lush nature that produces delicious fruits that allow a colorful, varied and healthy diet at reasonable prices.

Added to that comes the lush beauty of the beaches, the diversity of trade and culture, the friendliness of the people and the favorable exchange rate of the national currency.

First place in the list is the Central American country of Costa Rica, which has been an important destination for US tourists for 30 years who are visiting it in large numbers, attracted by the tropical climate and scenic beauty. Furthermore convinces the low cost of living and first class medical care. In addition, foreigners can buy cheap real estate.

According to the study, what is most convincing in Costa Rica are the cheap rents. For 500 dollars people get a furnished house with two bedrooms. Property with sea view costs less than 200,000 dollars.

Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and Malaysia complete the first five countries where retirees can emigrate best.


18 January 2018 · Source: Listín Diario


Preparations in Higüey

Since the 12th of January, Higüey prepares for the celebrations of the Virgin of the Highest Grace. Next Sunday, the Día de la Altagracia, thousands of worshipers are expected at the cathedral in the city in the east of the Dominican Republic.

Under the motto "Mary, Mother of the Eucharist", the Catholic Church celebrates two masses daily, one in the morning and one in the evening, to honor the spiritual mother of the Catholic Dominicans at the culmination on Sunday.

On the holiday of the Virgin, the 21st of January, the first mass begins at 5 in the morning. The mass at 9 o'clock is celebrated by

Archbishop Freddy de Jesús Bretón Martínez. In the afternoon there will be a procession through the streets of Higüey, and at 6 pm the celebrations will conclude with another Eucharist under auxiliary Bishop Tomás Morel Diplán.


17 January 2018 · Source Diario Libre

Confession of a human trafficker

For years, there is a widespread concern in the Dominican press that there exists a plan to conquer the Dominican Republic by illegal Haitians through a "peaceful invasion". This fear has historical roots and dates back to the years 1822 to 1844, when this part of the island of Hispaniola - at that time there was not existing a Dominican Republic but a Spanish colony - was occupied by Haiti. After the Dominican independence, Haiti tried to reconquer its lost terrain

several times until 1865. This is still being seen as an aggression from the neighboring country and as an attempt to regain control of the Dominican Republic. Especially in critical times, this fear is fueled by the nationalists.

The fact that it is mainly corrupt Dominican businessmen and border guards who are responsible for this "invasion" from the impoverished neighboring country is often overlooked.

Currently, the Cesfront border patrol force is intercepting illegally entering Haitians at the border and sending them back to their country. Many of them are Haitians who have been working in the Dominican Republic and returned to their families for the Christmas celebrations and are now returning to their jobs. In the first two weeks of this year, 16,422 Haitians were sent back, according to Cesfront.

Now the daily “El Día” published the confession of a former sergeant to the Dominican army that he has smuggled thousands of illegal Haitians into the country over the past seven years and has made an excellent living. He said that on normal days it would easily be possible to bring several illegals across the border, but at the moment the situation is "hot" and it needs all day.

The 36-year-old is talking about this, as if it was a completely normal job. In Dajabón alone, there are 60 people dedicated to this business. "Today, every Haitian pays 5,000 pesos to take him to Santiago," the man says frankly. 10,000 pesos per day is not a problem, but on some days there is nothing. Members of the military are involved in this business, he assures.

In describing the border crossing, the former military said the groups that want to enter illegally contact a guide in Haiti, who brings them to certain points on the border where they are picked up by Dominicans. However, members of the border guard Cesfront say that the Dominicans themselves are currently crossing the border into Haiti to pick up the illegals there. Sometimes the illegals are then waiting in houses in the villages around Dajabón until their onward transport.

On the other side, Haitian officials are trying to stop their compatriots from illegally crossing the border, says the human strafficker.

The Dominican Immigration Department (Migración) currently comes with between three and five buses full of illegal Haitians to Dajabón every day, where they are sent back to their country. Many of them try again the next day.


15 January 2018 · Source: El Día

Donald and the "shitholes"

The American president is well known for his non-squeamish language. Now he once again caused international outrage because he is said to have called Haiti, El Salvador and several African states as "shitholes". This expression is said to have been used during a meeting on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to the “Washington Post” and a later confirmation from the “Los Angeles Times”, when he complained that he preferred immigrants from countries like Norway, and not from the shitholes in Africa, Haiti or El Salvador. Democratic senator Richard J. Durbin, who attended the meeting, reiterated that Trump had used these

words, which the president denied in a tweet after twelve hours. “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”

Predictably, protests came from all over the world. The African Union said in Addis Ababa that Trump's words were "hurtful" and "disturbing". United Nations High Commissioner Rupert Colville called Trump's words "scandalous and shameful" for the United States. They included the worst side of humanity, which confirm and promote racism and xenophobia confirm.

The Haitian ambassador in the US, Paul Altidor, rejected the allegations. The statements are a provocation based on stereotypes. He recalled the Haitians who fought side by side with Americans in the War of Independence (1775-1783) and the contributions that emigrated Haitians make to American society today.

Trump later tried to appease. He had never made a disparaging remarks against Haitians, but Haiti was obviously a poor country with many problems. However, Trump had already made headlines in December when he said all Haitians had AIDS.

And there were also reactions from Norway, from where only about 1,000 people emigrate to the US every year. Why should a Norwegian migrate to the US, where life expectancy is four years less? Why should a Norwegian risk his child being shot dead? The Norwegian children had a better education and will not have to start their professional life with a mountain of debts after graduating. In addition, everybody had a health insurance in Norway.


12 January 2018 · Various sources


Infant mortality has increased

The 35 organizations affiliated to the Alliance for the Right to Health (Alianza por el Derecho a la Salud - Adesa) lamented that in the Dominican Republic there died 2,835 infants and 188 pregnant women in 2017, or those who have just given birth , due to "hospital deficiencies and government negligence." These figures indicate a nine percent increase in infant mortality and eleven percent during birth compared to the previous year. This places the Dominican Republic in the second worst place for infant and maternal mortality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Two years ago it still was the fourth last place.

At a press conference, a spokesperson for the organization said, "It's serious, painful and unacceptable in a society that can not boast enough that its economy is growing at a rate of five percent annually."

"According to data from the Ministry of Health, a total of 2,835 babies died in 2017, 270 more than in 2016, when the deaths of 2,565 babies were reported, 80 percent of them were younger than 28 days. Every month, 236 infants died, which means 7.8 dead babies were reported every day. "

In 2016, 168 mothers died during and after birth, compared to 188 in 2017. The cause of death were hypertensive disorders (pre-eclampsia) in 39.34 percent, septicemia or infection (27.87), haemorrhagic shock (17.21) and abortion (3.28 Percent) as well as other reasons (12.3 percent).

The structural causes for deaths in mothers and infants include malnutrition, poverty, low government investment in health, deterioration in hospital services, lack of primary care in slums and rural areas, lack of equipment and supplies, and poor quality of medical care.

Hospitals lack staff and equipment, medicines and basic services such as oxygen equipment, beds for babies and litters, tomographs, sewing threads and intensive care units, the organizations complain.

All of this "as the result of a privatized model of health in which corruption, disorder, political racketeering and greed for profit precede the right to health."

At the same time, many children's hospitals and public maternity hospitals have been rebuilt without any planning, such as Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia maternity ward in the capital and Arturo Grullón Children's Hospital in Santiago, where most children and women died in 2017.

The photograph shown was confirmed as genuine by the Ministry of Health in 2014. It was a one-year-old photo from the Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Children's Hospital. But these conditions no longer exist, assured the Ministry.


10 January 2018 · Source: Z101


Not in the mood to go to school

It is like a law of nature that can not be influenced or changed: on the first two days of school after the holidays, only some of the students come to class. All calls of the minister of education to the parents and the announcements on radio and television, please send your children to class on the first day, go unnoticed. The “Revolución educativa” (Educational Revolution), proclaimed by President Danilo Medina, does not change anything that people would comprehend that education is important for the future of their kids.

During a tour of the daily newspaper "Listín Diario" visiting the schools of the capital Santo Domingo, there was the usual sad picture after the Christmas holidays on January 8: a hesitant return of the students to their school. According to the school directors, this

was also due to the nationwide rain of last weekend.

Meanwhile, in contrast to the earlier years, teachers and directors at the schools had appeared in full on the first day of school, but the highest percentage of returned students in the capital at the visited school was 54 percent.

In the school Virgen del Carmen, sector La Ciénaga, on the first day came 112 of 520 students (21.53 percent), which, according to director María Martínez, was due to the rain. "Normally, after the holidays most of them come."

Participation at the Domingo Savio school in Los Guandules was at 31.74 percent – 233 of  734 students. Director Graciela Hernández called for more control of the Ministry of Education on the parents.

In the parish technical high school Domingo Savio, also Los Guandules, came 246 of 448 pupils (54,91 per cent), which had to be sent home three hours before school ended, because at noon the student's meal was not delivered. Deisy Rodríguez, director of this all-day school, said that last year the National Institute for Student Welfare (Instituto Nacional de Bienestar Estudiantil - Inabie) did not pay the supplier of student meals.

The other schools visited showed similar numbers: School República de Haití in Ensanche Luperón: 145 students out of 585 (24.78 percent), while at the School República Dominicana in Villa Juana there came 726 out of 1,423 students (51 percent).


9 January  2018 · Source: Listín Diario


Haitian women come to give birth

After the feelings run high in the country for several months over the fact that many pregnant Haitian women are coming to the Dominican Republic to give birth here, the first baby of the new year in the Dominican Republic at the Maternity Lorenzo in Los Mina in Santo Domingo was the son of a Haitian mother (photo).

The daily newspaper "Listín Diario" published distorting numbers, after which 55 percent of those giving birth at the hospitals Virgen de la Altagracia and San Lorenzo in Los Mina in 2017 were Haitians and

 minors. But the numbers look different when itemized: 27.5 percent of the births were by minors (302 of them under 15 years old) and 24.8 percent were by Haitian women.

The number of mothers who died at birth thus is also used to create phobia: 30 percent of them are Haitians, according to Health Minister Altagracia Guzmán Marcelino. That is because in their country they never went to a doctor for a check-up during pregnancy, which often results in complicated labor.

Due to the poor situation in Haiti's health system, human traffickers organize birth trips to neighboring country, where the pregnant women expect better treatment. The claim that Haitian women only come that their children get Dominican documents is nonsense. Which is not possible by law.


4 January 2018 · Source: Listín Diario


Abandoned dead

When someone dies in the Dominican Republic, the family, neighbors and friends grieve profusely and compassionately. The dying is visited and consoled by his relatives until his death. Usually. But there are also cases in which a patient is dying lonely and abandoned, and in the end there is no one even asking for the body to bury it.

How can this happen in a country where the family is so important? Often, the dead are childless people, people whose families live abroad, and accident victims or patients who are hospitalized for a

long time before their death, and whose families are too poor to be able to pay for the costs of the hospital.

Clarence Veras, responsible for Public Relations at the University Hospital Darío Contreras, says that this is a difficult situation for the hospitals. On average, the number of patients who died in the hospital in 2017 and no one wanted to pick them up was five or six patients per month, between 60 and 72 per year. Then the hospital has to pay for the funeral expenses, which are around 5,000 pesos.

Veras says these are patients brought by someone or via the emergency system 9-1-1, many without documents. Most of the relatives are located, but often refuse to take care of the sick person. Mostly for financial reasons. "There are families coming, seeing the dead and saying, take care about him. We don't have any money."

Depending on the hospital, the abandoned dead remains in the morgue for between three and fifteen days in the hope that someone will come to pick him up to bury him. When no one comes, the dead person is usually buried anonymously. Before that, his data are taken and he is photographed and given a number in case someone comes to claim the corpse.

It is especially sad with babies. According to the Maternity and Children's Hospital San Lorenzo in Los Mina district of Santo Domingo, 322 babies died, 159 before and during birth, 163 after birth. Of those dead babies, 80 percent - 256 - were not picked up by anyone to bury them. The baby's body is then kept for ten days in a cold room in the hope that the mother or her family will come to claim it. Thereafter, the babies without name are buried in the cemetery Cristo Salvador by the hospital.

"It's a drama," says Clarence Veras about the patients left alone the last days of their life.


3 January 2018 · Source: acento


Democracy a "wrong model"?

Thousands of evangelists gathered at Santo Domingo's Olympic Stadium on January 1, as every year, to beat the "Batalla de la Fe," the 54th Battle of the Faith. This time, the preaching of Pastor Ezequiel Molina, organizer of the event, was under the theme "Wrong Model".

The leader of the Dominican evangelists castigated in his sermon the "damn corruption" that can not be eradicated in the model of democracy, which was born defective. Nevertheless, corruption must

be fought. The legal system must be strengthened to combat crime. Today there is a liberal justice system, which benefits the criminals. And if a criminal comes to court, he will not be convicted, because the judge is under pressure and he can not decide freely. "And what are the criminals doing? They mock society, the police, and anyone who they feel like. Anyone who puts a hand to a criminal has an international problem.” The blame lies with the United Nations and its organizations. That is "our" justice in the 21st century.

According to Pastor Molina, the democratic elections are just a business where votes and posts are sold and bought. Mostly, the one who has the most money wins. He also vehemently opposed the re-election of the president. Every politician has a magic stick that will solve the problems of the poor. But once he's elected, things look different.

But even in families there are "false models" in which the fundamental and original roles give way to alleged gender equality, which is leading to a heavier burden and suffering of women and an increase in the murder of women.

Criticism of homosexuals of course could not be missed. Soon there will be no ultrasound examinations, because the sex of the child no longer goes after nature, but according to what it feels like.

The pastor called on the young people to defend the national flag and its coat of arms and not to listen to the false patriots who deny the heritage and want to modify the coat of arms with its inscription "God, Fatherland and Freedom". If that's achieved, it will be the end of the Dominican Republic, the pastor fulminated.


2 January 2018 · Sources: Listín Dario, Diario Libre, El Día


Challenges of 2018

Because of the persistently high level of crime, Dominican citizens feel insecure. Despite reassurances from the official side, the concern for personal safety is paramount.

The security expert Elpidio Báez, a member of the ruling party PLD, says the numbers of murders are practically the same as in the previous year 2016. But the criminal acts had risen by six percent. In truth, this number is higher, Báez said, because many citizens are no longer reporting crimes, "because they are convinced that reporting an assault, a robbery, or sexual assault is a lost time because the authorities are not adequately prosecuting it."

Last year, 1,198 people were murdered from January to September. 982 of them in public places, 135 at home. Despite massive campaigns, the murders of the female partner or ex-partner were officially registered in 76 cases, which, however, it seems to be much higher reading the daily reports in the media. But even so, this shameful number is 15 percent higher than the year before.

The number of robberies of firearms, the victims are mostly policemen, one of the ways how criminals supply themselves with weapons, increased by 14 percent from 2016 to 2017. In total, this way the criminals captured 555 firearms last year.

According to Elpidio Báez, one of the great challenges that is facing the state in 2018 is the strengthening of the police and the military. "The police must be technically upgraded and working conditions must be improved and the salaries of the policement have to be increased, so that the police can regain the confidence this institution should have."

The judicial system is also facing major challenges, as poorly prepared protocols allow the defendants, often involved in crimes, to get free without difficulty.

The overcrowded prisons, according to the security expert, lead to a very high recidivism rate. For example, the La Victoria prison was designed for fewer than a thousand prisoners, but today it has more than 8,000. In 2018, this prison will have to be closed and the prisoners must be integrated into the new prison model, Báez demands.

The amount of drugs confiscated last year is worrying, says Báez. A strategy must be found to prevent the country from becoming a market for illegal business. According to the National Drug Control Authority (DNCD), the authorities have confiscated 11,091 kilos of cocaine and marijuana by September, throwing everything into one basket as usual. Inaccurate also the information about crack, heroin and hashish, which are 35,819 kilos for 2017, in the figures for 2016, however, it is grams. But it is a fact that there are many confiscations of cocaine in extreme quantities. So on the last day of 2017 more than 1,500 packages of cocaine were found on a ship. A package usually contains one kilo of this drug.

In order to change this scenario, the deputy believes that more political will is needed to achieve more than before.


1 January 2018 · Quelle: Diario Libre

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