RSSArchive for October, 2009

New law empowers city councils to collect taxes

Santo Domingo. – The National Assembly yesterday approved the levying of taxes by the city councils, as long as they “don’t coincide with national taxes, inter-municipal commerce or exports, nor with the Constitution and the laws.”

In also established that the National District, the municipalities and the municipal districts are the base of the local and political administrative system and are judicial entities with public right responsible for their activities.

They’ll also benefit from their own patrimony and normative, administrative and budgetary autonomy and the power over ground use, determined expressly by the law and subject to the power of control of the State and the social control of the citizenship in the terms established by the Constitution.

Although the Assembly is close to ending the debates on the Constitutional Reform, few lawmakers attended yesterday’s session as the failure to reach quorum several times finally forced a postponement until 3 p.m. today.


Cops Arrest in Puerto Plata Missionary Accused of Molesting Boys

PUERTO PLATA – A Canadian missionary accused of sexually abusing dozens of young boys in neighboring Haiti was arrested in the northern Dominican province of Puerto Plata, authorities said Wednesday.

Joao Jose Correira Duarte, who goes by John Duarte, was captured on Tuesday in a hotel where he was staying as a tourist, the DNCD counternarcotics agency said in a communique.

He is accused of sexually abusing dozens of boys by taking advantage of his status as a religious minister.

Duarte is facing at least a dozen charges of raping boys between the ages of 12 and 17, according to the communique put out by the DNCD, which participated in the man’s arrest along with immigration officials.

Authorities said Duarte had sexual relations with a group of Haitian youngsters while he was a guest in hotels in Port-au-Prince.

They added that the Canadian had lived in the Haitian capital since 1995 “working as a missionary and serving as the administrator of an orphanage for boys.”

Duarte had sexual relations with the minors in exchange for economic favors, including buying them clothing and paying for the housing of some of his victims’ relatives.

The alleged pedophile will be deported in the coming hours to Canada, where he is facing rape charges. EFE

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