In Dominican cultural life, music is at the
center. Most Dominicans like to dance, preferably to the
music styles merengue and bachata. Musician Juan Luis
Guerra is internationally renowned.
The Dominican-American group Aventura created a
unique bachata style by incorporating influences from
hip-hop, R&B and reggaeton. The group was dissolved in
Latest population statistics of Dominican Republic, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Dominican-American writer Junot Díaz is hailed as a
literary talent. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for
his short, wonderful life, Oscar Wao's
book. The writer Julia Álvarez is also a
Dominican-American. Her best-known book is Perhaps
In the Butterflies' Time, which
has also been translated into Swedish and filmed with,
among others, Salma Hayek and Marc Anthony.
Previous writers include Manuel del Cabral
(1907–1999), Pedro Mir (1913–2000), who is regarded as
the national poet, and Juan Bosch (1909–2001), who was
also a leading politician (see Political system and
Baseball is an important part of cultural life.
Already in 1912 the first national tournament was held
in the country. Many young Dominicans dream of becoming
rich and famous as baseball pros in the United States.
Some succeed: the best known is Sammy Sosa who broke
through with the Texas Rangers in 1989.
Medina mediates for Venezuela
In Santo Domingo, President Danilo Medina hosts a
third mediation attempt between government and
opposition representatives in the crisis-hit neighboring
Venezuela (meetings have previously taken place on
September 13 and December 2). The parties say they have
come much closer together but a fourth meeting may be
needed, in this case in January 2018.
Doctors go on strike
The doctors go on strike since the government
promised wage increases have not been achieved. More
than 5,000 doctors participate and announce new and more
powerful actions if nothing happens.
Real wage increase in the free zones
The salaries of employees in the free zones are
increased by 15 percent, since the unions and employers
have for the first time in several decades managed to
agree on a major increase. From the turn of the year,
wages will be increased by another 5.33 percent.
Prosecution for corruption
The Justice Minister is prosecuting 14 people who
were part of a corruption network, in which the
Brazilian company Odebrecht allegedly paid bribes to
high-ranking government officials in the Dominican
Republic as a thank-you for profitable government
contracts. The charges come only nearly six months after
the US Department of Justice formally accused Odebrecht
of paying US $ 92 million in bribes to the country in
2001 - 2014 as part of a regional bribery scheme.
Protest marches against construction giant
Environmental organizations are launching a series of
demonstrations against a controversial coal power
project in Punta Catalina, demanding that the
mutually-accused Brazilian construction company
Odebrecht be driven out of the Dominican Republic. One
organization, Marcha verde (Green March), has already
previously criticized the government for liaising with
Odebrecht, which is at the center of a huge corruption
havoc with tentacles in large parts of Latin America.
The National Committee for the Fight against Climate
Change (CNLCC) is also conducting protest marches.
Two journalists murdered during broadcast
Two journalists are shot to death during an ongoing
radio broadcast, which one of them also lovingly
broadcast via Facebook. A woman is shot. Three men are
arrested after the incident outside Santo Domingo.
Medina is sworn in again
President Danilo Medina will formally take up his
second term in office. Among the participants in the
ceremony are the left-wing Presidents Nicolás Maduro
from Venezuela, Evo Morales from Bolivia and Rafael
Correa from Ecuador.
New election victory for Medina and PLD
15th of May
In the presidential election, Danilo Medina already
wins the first round, with 62 percent of the vote
against 35 percent of the main opponent Luis Abinader, a
candidate for the PRM. Medina's party PLD also retains
its majority in both chambers. The PLD receives 106
seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 26 in the Senate.
PRM receives 42/2, PRSC 18/1, PRD 16/1 and other parties
remaining 8/1. The turnout is 70 percent.
King of drugs is arrested in Spain
Spanish police say that Jesús Pascual Cabrera Ruiz
was arrested in Rioja where he was staying under false
Costa Rican identity. Cabrera Ruiz, which tops the list
of wanted individuals in the Dominican Republic, is
suspected of extensive drug trafficking and money
Frenchman extradited from Egypt
4th of March
A French aviation safety expert arrested in Cairo is
being released at the request of Dominican authorities.
He is accused of helping the two French pilots in the
so-called Air Cocaine case (see October 2015)
flee the Dominican Republic. The pilots have been
arrested in France following an international arrest
warrant, but French authorities have made it clear that
they will not be extradited. The flight safety expert,
Christophe Naudin, is sentenced in October 2017 to five
years in prison.