1492 Dec 24-1492 Dec 25, The
Santa Maria under Columbus ran aground on a reef off Espanola on
Christmas eve, and sank the next day. With the remains of the Santa
Maria, Columbus built a fort and called it La Navidad.
1493 Jan 4, Columbus departed
La Navidad, Hispaniola, and sailed eastward along the coast. He left
behind 38 men, all of whom were later killed in disputes with the
(ON, 8/09, p.2)
1493 Jan 6, Columbus
encountered the Pinta along the north coast of Hispaniola.
(ON, 8/09, p.2)
1493 Jan 16, Columbus aboard
the Nina departed Hispaniola along with the Pinta to return to
(ON, 8/09, p.2)
1493 Nov 3, Christopher
Columbus discovered the Caribbee Isles (Dominica) during his second
expedition. He and his crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on
the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned
within 5 years due in part to poor relations with the Taino Indians.
This area was part of the chiefdom of Higuey.
1493 Nov 22, Christopher
Columbus arrived at Hispaniola on his 2nd voyage.
1493 Nov 28, Christopher
Columbus arrived La Navidad, Hispaniola. He found the fort burned
and his men from the 1st voyage dead. According to the account of
Guacanagari, the local chief who had befriended Columbus on the
first voyage, the men at Navidad had fallen to arguing among
themselves over women and gold.
1493 Dec 8, Christopher
Columbus and his crew of 1,500 built the town of La Isabela on the
northern coast of the Dominican Republic. It was abandoned within 5
years due in part to poor relations with the Taino Indians. This
area was part of the chiefdom of Higuey.
1494 Jan 6, The 1st Roman
Catholic Mass in the New World marked the official establishment of
(AM, 7/97, p.58)
1494 Jan, In the Dominican
Republic there was a failed rebellion against Columbus. The revolt
was organized by Bernal de Pisa, the royal accountant, who was
unhappy with the poor return of gold. Pisa was jailed and several
others were hanged.
(AM, 7/97, p.57,59)
1494 Apr 24, Columbus departed
Isabela, Hispaniola, with 3 ships in an effort to reach China, which
he believed was nearby.
1494 Apr, Alonso de Hojeda cut
off the ear of a Taino Indian for alleged stealing and sent a number
of Indians in chains to La Isabela.
(AM, 7/97, p.59)
1494 Aug 20, Columbus returned
to Hispaniola. He had confirmed that Jamaica was an island and
failed to find a mainland.
1494 Father Ramon Pane wrote an
account of the Taino religion at the request of Christopher
(AM, 7/97, p.61)
1495 The Taino Indians staged
an organized attack on the Spaniards, but it was easily crushed.
(AM, 7/97, p.59)
1496 Mar 10, Christopher
Columbus concluded his 2nd visit to the Western Hemisphere as he
left Isabela, with 2 ships for Spain. He returned to Spain to ask
for more support for his colony on Hispaniola.
1496 Apr, About this time
Bartolome Columbus moved the colony to a new settlement on the south
coast, named Isabela La Nueva. It was established on the east bank
of the Ozama River. Columbus established Santo Domingo in what is
now the Dominican Republic.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(AM, 7/97, p.59)(SFEC,
1497 While Columbus was absent
Francisco de Roldan, a former servant, and over 100 followers sacked
the custom house at La Isabela and left to live with the Taino in a
province called Jaragua.
(AM, 7/97, p.59)
1498 Aug 19, Christopher
Columbus arrived at the southern coast of Hispaniola.
1500 Oct, Governor De Bobadilla
of Santo Domingo captured Christopher Columbus and returned him in
shackles to Spain. Columbus, during his third sojourn to the new
world, engaged in a dispute with the ambassador plenipotentiary to
Santo Domingo, Hispaniola (later shared by Haiti and the Dominican
Republic). Columbus was later released and forgiven by the Queen.
(V.D.-H.K.p.143)(SFEC, 3/15/98, Z1
1502 Jun 29, Christopher
Columbus arrived at Santo Domingo, Hispaniola, on his 4th voyage to
the new world. He requested harbor and advised Gov. Nicolas de
Ovando of an approaching hurricane. Ovando denied the request and
dispatched a treasure fleet to Spain. 20 ships sank in the storm, 9
returned to port and one made it to Spain.
1502 Bartolome de Las Casas,
soldier, sailed to Hispaniola. He participated in the conquest of
Cuba and received a royal land grant. He later had a change of heart
and became a Dominican priest. 2,500 colonists arrived at
(NH, 10/96, p.29)(TL-MB, 1988, p.8)
1502 A hurricane nearly
destroyed La Nueva Isabela and it was abandoned. The city was
rebuilt on the other side of the river as Santo Domingo by the new
governor, Nicholas de Ovando.
(AM, 7/97, p.59)
1503 Apr 16, Christopher
Columbus abandoned the garrison at Rio Belen (Panama) and sailed for
home (Hispaniola) with 3 ships. On the way he was shipwrecked in
1504 Jun 29, Diego Mendez, one
of Columbus's captains, returned to Jamaica with a small caravel and
rescued the Columbus expedition. Mendez had managed to take a canoe
from Jamaica to Hispaniola where he chartered the rescue ship.
1503 The missionary Bartolome
de Las Casa described the brutal destruction of a Taino Indian city,
La Aleta (later in the Dominican Republic). Captain-Genl. Juan de
Esquival led a Spanish force that massacred 600-700 Higuey Tainos
for rebelling after one of their chiefs was disemboweled by a
Spanish attack dog. In 1997 archeologists found evidence of a city
at the site called La Aleta.
(SFC, 3/29/97, p.A10)(AM, 7/97, p.60)
1510 The Florentine banker
Bartolommeo di Marchionni lent the King of Spain money for the
crowns first shipment of Africans to Santo Domingo.
(SFEC,11/16/97, BR p.4)
1514 Diego Columbus, son of
Christopher, built the first seat of government in the Americas in
(SFEC, 2/14/99, p.T10)
1515 Bartolome de Las Casas
(1474-1566), Dominican priest and the first Spanish priest to be
ordained in the New World, returned to Spain from Hispaniola to
plead on behalf of the ill-treated native Indians. He became known
as the Apostle to the Indians. Helen Rand Parish (1912-2005) later
authored a number of seminal works on Las Casas.
(NH, 10/96, p.29)(TL-MB, p.11)(SSFC, 5/15/05,
1515 By this year the Taino
Indians were practically annihilated in clashes with the Spanish.
(SFC, 3/29/97, p.A10)
1522 A massive slave rebellion,
the first of dozens, was crushed in Hispaniola.
1526 Jul 26, The Spaniard Lucas
Vasquez de Ayllon and his colonists left Santo Domingo in the
Caribbean for Florida.
1585 Francis Drake attacked the
Spanish ports of Vigo and Santo Domingo. English shipping in Spanish
ports was then confiscated as a virtual declaration of war by
(TL-MB, 1988, p.24)
1586 Jan 1, Francis Drake, who
left England on a new voyage to America last September, made a
surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in
Hispaniola, forcing the governor to pay a large ransom.
1697 Sep 20, The Treaty of
Ryswick was signed in Holland. It ended the War of the Grand
Alliance (aka War of the League of Augsburg,1688-1697) between
France and the Grand Alliance. Under the Treaty Frances King Louis
XIV (1638-1715) recognized William III (1650-1702) as King of
England. The Dutch received trade concessions, and France and the
Grand Alliance members (Holland and the Austrian Hapsburgs) gave up
most of the land they had conquered since 1679. The signees included
France, England, Spain and Holland. By the Treaty of Ryswick, a
portion of Hispaniola was formally ceded to France and became known
as Saint-Domingue. The remaining Spanish section was called Santo
1791 Aug 14, Haitian slaves,
led by voodoo priest Boukman Dutty, gathered to plan a revolution.
(SFCM, 5/30/04, p.9)( http://tinyurl.com/yun3k3)
1791 In St. Domingue Toussaint
LOuverture joined the slave rebellion against plantation owners and
later led a colonial revolt against France. In 1995 Madison Smart
Bell authored "All Souls Rising," a novel set in this period.
(SFEC, 1/26/97 BR, p.10)(SSFC, 4/8/01, BR
p.4)(SFCM, 5/30/04, p.10)
1792 Jan 28, Rebellious slaves
in Santo Domingo launched an attack on the city of Cap.
1793 Apr 14, A royalist
rebellion in Santo Domingo was crushed by French republican troops.
1793 Aug 29, Slavery was
abolished in the French colony of Santo Domingo (Haiti).
(HN, 8/29/98)(MC, 8/29/01)
1793 Sep, The 1st British
soldiers came ashore at St. Domingue.
(SFCM, 5/30/04, p.10)
1794 May, Toussaint Louverture
(LOuverture), Haitian rebel leader, ended his alliance with the
Iberian monarchy and embraced the French Republicans. An order
followed that led to the massacre of Spaniards.
(WSJ, 1/19/07, p.W4)
1795 Jul 22, Spain signed the
Peace of Basel, a treaty with France ending the War of the Pyrenees.
The treaty ceded Santo Domingo to France.
1795 Britain reinforced its
forces in St. Domingue. It was the largest expedition that had ever
(SFCM, 5/30/04, p.12)
1798 May 2, The black General
Toussaint L'ouverture forced British troops to agree to evacuate the
port of Santo Domingo. After 5 years of fighting over 60% of 20,000
British troops were buried on St. Domingue.
(HN, 5/2/99)(SFCM, 5/30/04, p.12)
1800 Dessalines, a lieutenant
of Haitian rebel leader Toussaint L'Ouverture (Louverture),
butchered many mulattoes (the estimates range from 200 to 10,000).
(http://tinyurl.com/22xwby)(WSJ, 1/19/07, p.W4)
1800s The Haitians occupied the
country twice since the 1800s.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1801 Jan, Toussaint Louverture,
ignoring the commands of Napoleon Bonaparte, overran Spanish Santo
Domingo, where slavery persisted.
1801 Jul 7, A new constitution,
drafted by a committee appointed by Toussaint Louverture
(LOuverture), went into effect and declared the independence of
Hispaniola. The constitution made him governor general for life with
near absolute powers.
1802 Feb, Napoleon sent a large
army under his brother-in-law, Charles Leclerc, to regain control of
St. Domingue. Thousands of soldiers died mainly to yellow fever and
French control was abandoned so as to support military ventures in
Europe. Toussaint L'Ouverture turned to guerrilla warfare inspired
by the ideals of the French Revolution and its motto of "Liberty,
(CO, Grolier's, 11/10/95)(AP, 4/7/03)
1803 Nov 18, The Battle of
Vertieres was fought. Jean-Jacques Dessalines (b.1758), Haitian
rebel leader, led his army to decisive victory over the French with
his slogan "Cut off their heads and burn down their houses."
(HFA, 96, p.42)(AP,
1804 Jan 1, Jacques Dessalines
proclaimed the Republic of Haiti and declared independence from
France (National Day).
(WSJ, 3/1/04, p.A16)(SFCM, 5/30/04, p.19)
1804 Apr 20, Jean-Jacques
Dessalines, Haitian rebel leader, commanded a massacre of the French
at town of Cape Francois. It is generally thought that Dessalines
had around 20,000 French slaughtered in early 1804.
1804 Oct 6, Jean-Jacques
Dessalines (b.1758) had himself crowned James I, Emperor of Haiti.
He was murdered two years later in a conspiracy under Christophe and
1806 Oct 17, Jean-Jacques
Dessalines (b.1758), Emp. Jacques I of Haiti, was assassinated.
1844 Feb 27, Dominican Republic
rebels, under the leadership of Francisco del Rosario Sanchez and
Ramon Mella, launched their uprising and gained independence from
Haiti (National Day). [see Nov 6]
1844 Nov 6, The first
constitution of the new Dominican Republic was signed in San
Cristobal. Pedro Santana, fearing political instability, controlled
revisions to the newly written constitution that allowed him to stay
in power, and declared himself president of the nation, a post he
would hold from 1844-1848, 1853-1856, and 1858-1861. Spain granted
independence to the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic won
independence from next door Haiti after 2 occupations. [see Feb 27]
5/16/96, p.A-9)(Econ, 2/20/10, p.35)
1849-1878 Buenaventura Baez served five terms as
president of the Dominican Republic. He sought to have his country
annexed by the United States twice, in 1850 and 1868. In 1878 he was
forced out of office and into permanent exile in Puerto Rico. Baez
helped lead the revolt that established the republic's independence
from Haiti in 1843. Baez is remembered as a thoroughly corrupt
tyrant, having no regard for his people or their property.
1863-1865 The conflict of this period was known as
the War of the Restoration. From 1844--after independence from
Haitianuntil 1899, the fledgling republic was dominated by a series
of dictatorial men on horseback. One of these strong men, Pedro
Santana, endeavored to stave off the threat of Haiti by returning
the country to Spanish control, with him as the Governor General
beginning in 1861. The Spanish troops eventually left, but the idea
of the protectorate remained, eventually leading to U.S. occupation
1891 Oct 24, Rafael L. Trujillo
Molina, was born. He became president and dictator of the Dominican
1902 Apr 28, A revolution broke
out in the Dominican Republic.
1904 Jan 2, U.S. Marines were
sent to Santo Domingo to aid the government against rebel forces.
1905 Feb 7, The Dominican
Republic signed a treaty turning over customs collection to US.
1916 May 5, U.S. marines
invaded the Dominican Republic. [see May 15, 1916]
1916 May 15, U.S. Marines
landed in Santo Domingo to quell civil disorder. [see May 5, 1916]
1916 May 29, U.S. forces
invaded the Dominican Republic and stayed until 1924. [see May
1916 Nov 29, US declared
martial law in Dominican Republic.
1916-1924 US Marines occupied the Dominican
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1924 Jun 26, After eight years
of occupation, American troops left the Dominican Republic.
1930 Aug 16, Rafael Leonidas
Trujillo (b.1891), an American-trained National Guard general, began
ruling as dictator of the Dominican Republic and continued to 1961,
when he was assassinated.
1930 Sep 3, In the Dominican
Republic a hurricane killed 2,000 and injured 4,000.
1930s Late, A handful of
Spanish artists, including Eugenio Granell and Jose Vela Zanetti,
immigrated to Santo Domingo and introduced the modern art idiom.
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A14)
1936 Trujillo changed the name
of Santo Domingo to "Ciudad Trujillo."
(WSJ, 2/8/00, p.A24)
1937 Mar 6, Jose Pena Gomez
(d.1998 at 61), advocate for the poor and later mayor of Santo
Domingo, was born in Valverde, Dominican Republic, to Haitian
immigrants. According to Jose Pena Gomez, a Dominican massacre of
Haitians forced his parents to flee back to Haiti. Jose was adopted
by a Dominican family.
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)
1937 Thousands of Haitian
immigrants were massacred in the Dominican Republic under dictator
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. An estimated 30,000 Haitians and black
Dominicans were rounded up at gunpoint and executed, often by
machetes (to give the impression that peasants had committed the
murders). In 1998 the novel The Farming of Bones by Edwidge
Danticat was based on this event.
(SFEC, 12/13/98, BR
1939 A handful of Spanish
artists, including Eugenio Granell and Jose Vela Zanetti, immigrated
to Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic and introduced the modern
1942 Minerva Bernardino led the
fight for expanded rights in the new constitution.
(SFC, 9/5/98, p.A23)
1947 Juan Bosch of the
Dominican Republic worked as a personal secretary to Cubas Pres.
Carlos Prio Socarras and participated in an ill-fated attempt to
organize an anti-Trujillo invasion.
(SFC, 11/2/01, p.D6)
1950 Minerva Bernardino (d.1998
at 91) was appointed a representative of the Dominican Republic at
the United Nations. She was one of the only 4 women to sign the 1945
UN Charter in San Francisco. She had insisted that the document
include the phrase to ensure respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms without discrimination against race, sex,
condition or creed.
(SFC, 9/5/98, p.A23)
1955 Rafael Leonidas Trujillo
ordered every household to hang a plaque that read: In this house,
Trujillo is chief."
(WSJ, 2/8/00, p.A24)
1956-1959 Some 1,300 Japanese made a 30-day, 8,000
mile voyage across the oceans to settle on free land offered by
Dominican Republic dictator Gen. Rafael Trujillo. In 2000 more than
170 immigrants sued the Japanese government, claiming they were
deceived into leaving Japan and taking bad land. In 2006 Japan
settled the lawsuit, promising to pay up to $17,000 to each
plaintiff as well as $10,000 to emigrants who did not take part in
1959 The Dominican dictator
Trujillo broke relations with Cuba soon after Castro took power.
(WSJ, 4/9/98, p.A1)
1961 May 30, Rafael Leonides
Trujillo Molina (69), Dominican Republic dictator (1930-61), was
murdered. In his final years he had installed Joaquin Balaguer as
vice president and then as president. Balaguer fled to exile in NYC
following the assassination.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(SFC, 7/15/02, p.B6)(MC,
1962 Dec 20, In its first free
election in 38 years, the Dominican Republic chose leftist Juan
Bosch Gavino, the leftist leader of the Dominican Revolutionary
Party, as president. Juan Bosch (1909-2001) was toppled in the
Dominican Republic by the army shortly after being elected. His
plans for land reform would have split up sugar plantations owned by
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)(HN,
12/20/98)(SFC, 11/2/01, p.D6)
1963 Sep 25, Juan Bosch
(1909-2001) was toppled in the Dominican Republic by the army
shortly after being elected. His plans for land reform would have
split up sugar plantations owned by generals.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(SFC, 11/2/01,
1965 Jose Pena Gomez incited a
popular uprising on radio and demanded the restoration of Pres.
Bosch. Leftists in the army revolted and Pres. Lyndon Johnson sent
in 23,000 US Marines to prevent a Cuban-style revolution.
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)
1965 Apr 28, U.S. Army and
Marines under US Pres. Lyndon Johnson invaded the Dominican Republic
to stop a civil war. Johnson sent 22,800 troops at the urging of
Thomas Mann (d.1999 at 87), a high state department official. The
troops stayed until stay until Oct 1966.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(HN, 4/28/98)(MC, 4/28/02)
1965 Jul 5, Porfirio Rubirosa
(b.1909), Dominican Republic playboy, died in a car crash in Paris.
His 5 wives included Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. In 2005 Shawn
Levy authored The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio
(http://tinyurl.com/bfdj4)(SSFC, 10/16/05, p.M3)
1966 Joaquin Balaguer, a
conservative former president, defeated Bosch in elections with US
support and served as president for 22 of the next 30 years.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)
1968 Nov 12, Sammy Sosa,
baseball outfielder (Chicago Cubs), was born in the Dominican
1970 Feb 15, A Dominican DC-9
crashed into sea at Santo Domingo and 102 people were killed.
1973 Juan Bosch resigned from
the Dominican Revolutionary Party, founded by exiles in Cuba, and
formed the moderate Dominican Liberation Party.
(SFC, 5/12/98, p.A21)(SFC, 11/2/01, p.D6)
1975 Mar 17, Journalist Orlando
Martinez Howley, editor of the opposition magazine Ahora and
columnist for El Nacional, was slain. In 1997 police arrested
retired Genl. Salvador Lluberes Montes, former chief of the armed
forces, in connection with the slayings. In 2000 retired Gen.
Joaquin Pou Castro, gunman Rafael Lluberes Ricart, former air force
officer Mariano Cabrera Duran and Luis Emilio de la Rosa Beras were
sentenced to 30 years in prison each for their role in the murder.
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.A9)(SFC, 4/2/97, p.A12)(SFC,
1975 Nov 20, An interim report
by the US Senates Church Committee said that the CIA failed to
assassinated Fidel Castro at least 8 times. The report also covered
CIA activity in Chile, the Congo, the Dominican Republic and
1978 May, The Revolutionary
Party (PRD), under the leadership of Jose Pena Gomez, won the
Dominican Rep. presidential elections.
1978 Aug 16, Antonio Guzman
(1911-1982) assumed office as president of the Dominican Rep.
Mindful of the fate of Juan Bosch sixteen years before, Guzman
determined to move slowly in the area of social and economic reforms
and to deal as directly as possible with the threat of political
pressure from the armed forces.
1979-1997 In the Dominican Rep. Metales y Oxido
S.A., ran a battery recycling plant in Haina. It left behind fields
of lead powder that sickened local people and caused brain damage in
children. The Dominican government said in 1999 that the site would
be cleaned up, but little was done. In 2007 cleanup efforts began to
1980 Feb 27, The M-19
revolutionary group took over the embassy of the Dominican Republic
in Bogota, Colombia, for 2 months. After 61 days they were given $1
million and asylum to Cuba in a deal negotiation by Pres. Turbay.
(SFC, 1/7/97, p.A10)(WSJ, 1/8/97, p.A12)(AP,
1982 May 16, In the Dominican
Republic the Revolutionary Party, under the leadership of Jose Pena
Gomez (1937-1998), won the presidential elections. The PRD's
presidential candidate, Salvador Jorge Blanco, won, and the PRD
gained a majority in both houses of Congress. Jose Pena Gomez served
as the mayor of Santo Domingo from 1982-1986.
1982 Jul 4, Antonio Guzman
(b.1911), president of the Dominican Rep., committed suicide by a
gunshot wound to his head while still in office. Vice president
Jacobo Majluta Azar served out the remainder of the term.
1982-1986 In the Dominican Rep. Salvador Jorge
Blanco (1926-2010) served as president. In 1991 he was
convicted of corruption under a political antagonist's
administration. In 2001 he was declared innocent by an appeals
court. Blanco's single term in office was marked by severe economic
problems that lingered despite his austerity policies backed by the
International Monetary Fund and rescheduling of one-third of the
Caribbean country's $3 billion foreign debt.
1984 Apr, In the Dominican Rep.
rioting erupted over austerity measures and dozens were left dead.
1986 In the Dominican Republic
former Pres. Joaquin Balaguer won elections and served for 10 years.
(SFC, 7/15/02, p.B6)
1986 The site of the 1493 town
of La Isabela was named a national park, Solar de las Americas.
(AM, 7/97, p.54)
1986 Ramon Baez Sr. started
(WSJ, 6/30/03, p.A12)
1990 Inflation surged to 100%
and forced the initiation of austerity measures.
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1991 Julia Alvarez, native of
the Dominican Republic, wrote her novel How the Garcia Girls Lost
(SFC, 2/5/97, p.E1)
1991 Former Dominican Rep.
Pres. Jorge Blanco (1982-1986) was sentenced along with three other
men to 20 years in prison for misspending government funds meant for
military purchases. The conviction was overturned in 2001 by an
appeals court that ruled Blanco and the three other men were never
provided the right to defend themselves.
1992 A US Senate report linked
the Sun Yee On triad to criminal organizations in Canada, the
Dominican Republic, and 7 US cities including SF. The report stated
that the syndicate was in outright control of the entertainment
industry in Hong Kong.
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.A7)
1994 May 26, Michael Jackson
and Lisa Marie Presley were married in the Dominican Republic. (The
marriage, however, did not last.)
1994 Oct, The former Haiti
police chief, Lt. Col. Michel Francois fled to the Dominican
Republic 2 weeks after US troops arrived in Haiti.
(SFC, 3/8/96, p.A10)
1994 Balaguer was re-elected
after a questionable 1% margin of victory over Jose Francesco Pena
Gomez. By this year inflation dropped to 4%
(SFC, 5/17/96, p.A-14)
1994 Journalist Narciso
Gonzalez disappeared outside air force headquarters. he had accused
Balaguer of fraud in the elections.
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.A9)
1996 Feb 6, A Turkish-owned
Boeing 757 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of
Puerto Plata shortly after takeoff from the Dominican Republic,
killing 189 people, mostly German tourists.
(WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 5/12/96, p.A-14)(AP,
2/6/01)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1996 Mar 2, Jacobo Majluta
(61), President of Dominican Republic (1982), died.
1996 May 16, Three candidates
vied to succeed Pres. Joaquin Balaguer. Front runner Jose Francisco
Pena Gomez of the Dominican Liberation Party was accused of having
Haitian parentage. Most Dominicans are of mixed European and African
heritage. The candidate of the ruling Social Christian Reformist
Party was Jacinto Peynado. The centrist candidate was Leonel
(SFC, 5/16/96, p.A-9)
1996 May 18, A second round of
voting on June 30 put Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Liberation
Party against Jose Francisco Pena Gomez of the Dominican
(SFC, 5/18/96, p.A-8)
1996 Jun 30, Leonel Fernandez
won the elections with 51% of the vote.
(WSJ, 7/2/96, p.A1)
1996 Aug 16, Dominican Rep.
Pres. Balaguer left office. Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna (b.
1953), a 42-year-old lawyer who grew up in New York City, was the
100th president of the Dominican Republic. He replaced Joaquín
Amparo Balaguer Ricardo (1906-2002), President of the Dominican
Republic from 1960 to 1962, from 1966 to 1978, and again from
1996 Oct, Pres. Leonel
Fernandez forced 24 army generals into retirement.
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.A9)
1996 Nov 1, Pres. Fernandez
fired his commander-in-chief Lt. Genl. Juan Bautista Rojas Tobar
after he was accused of involvement in the 1994 slaying of Narciso
(SFC, 11/25/96, p.A9)
1997 Nov 11, Troops clashed
with marchers at the start of a general strike and one demonstrator
was left dead. The strike was called to protest low wages, power
outages, closed schools and closed businesses.
(WSJ, 11/12/97, p.A1)
1998 Jan, The 6-month sugar
cane harvest began and thousands of Haitians were entering the
country illegally to work.
(SFC, 1/21/98, p.A9)
1998 Feb 7, Falco (40),
Austrian born pop singer, died while on vacation in an auto crash in
the Dominican Republic. His hits included Der Kommissar, Rock Me
Amadeus, and Vienna Calling.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.D8)
1998 Apr 8, Cuba restored
relations with the Dominican Republic.
(WSJ, 4/9/98, p.A1)
1998 Aug 20, Fidel Castro (72)
visited the Dominican Republic for a regional meeting on trade
negotiations with Europe. He was greeted by Pres. Leonel Fernandez
(SFC, 8/21/98, p.A15)
1998 Sep 22, Hurricane Georges
hit the Dominican Republic and at least 12 people were killed. Three
people were killed in St. Kitts, 2 in Antigua and 4 in Puerto Rico.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.A10)
1998 Sep 23, The death toll
from hurricane Georges reached 110. 17 people were killed in Haiti
and 17 in the Dominican Republic as the storm hit Cuba.
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A12)(WSJ, 9/24/98, p.A1)
1998 The tiny 1.6 cm. Jaragua
Gecko was found on Beata Island. It was the smallest of all 23,000
species of reptiles, birds and animals.
(SFC, 12/15/01, p.A2)
1998 Sep 24, The death toll
from Hurricane Georges reached 443. The Dominican Republic toll was
later set at 265; 154 in Haiti; 6 in Cuba; 11 in Puerto Rico; 2 in
Antigua; 4 in St. Kitts and Nevis and 1 in the Bahamas.
(SFC, 9/25/98, p.A16)(WSJ, 9/28/98, p.A1)(SFC,
1999 Jan 6, The Dominican
Republic considered sending soldiers into parts of Santo Domingo
where fighting between police and drug gangs had left 48 people dead
since late Dec.
(WSJ, 1/7/99, p.A1)
1999 Sep 22, The FBI hit a big
Mexican drug ring, formerly run by Amado Carillo Fuentes, with 93
arrests in the US and the Dominican Republic.
(WSJ, 9/22/99, p.A1)
1999 Nov 26, Leaders of 71
developing countries demanded that the world's poorest countries be
allowed to export goods duty-free to wealthy economies. The ACP
group was meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
(SFC, 11/27/99, p.A14)
1999 Nov, Drug trafficker Jose
Figueroa Agosto walked out of that Puerto Rican prison after
presenting guards with a forged release order. He had served only
four years of a 209-year sentence for killing a man suspected of
stealing a cocaine shipment. Within a month, he moved to the
Dominican Republic, where he was detained as part of a drug
investigation in 2001. He was released after two weeks; he used an
alias and authorities didn't know his true identity.
2000 Jan 17, A boat carrying 40
migrants trying to illegally reach Puerto Rico sank off the
Dominican coast after leaving Sabana de la Mar and at least 8 people
(SFC, 1/18/00, p.A12)
2000 Feb 25, It was reported
that the number of HIV infected people in the Caribbean region
ranged from 500,000-700,000. Cases in Haiti were estimated to be
330,000 and 150,000 in the Dominican Republic
(SFC, 2/26/00, p.A10)
2000 Mar 8, Near Puerto Rico at
least 10 people died when a boat carrying some 70 illegal immigrants
from the Dominican Republic capsized.
(SFC, 3/9/00, p.A12)
2000 May 17, In the Dominican
Republic Hipolito Mejia, the populist opposition leader, was on the
verge of winning the election with enough votes to avoid a runoff.
Danilo Medina of the incumbent Liberation party had 24.9% and
Joaquin Balaguer had 24.6% for the Social Christian Reformist Party.
(SFC, 5/18/00, p.C16)
2000 May 18, Hipolito Mejia was
declared the winner in the presidential race after his opponents
(SFC, 5/19/00, p.D4)
2000 Aug 16, Hipolito Mejia
(59) assumed the presidency of the Dominican Republic succeeding
Leonel Fernandez. He proceeded to use foreign borrowing to finance
(SFC, 8/17/00, p.A16)(Econ, 12/13/03, p.35)
2000 Oct 3, In the Dominican
Republic an arms depot exploded and 2 civilians were killed in San
(WSJ, 10/4/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 4, It was reported
that a mutated oral polio vaccine infected at least 3 people in the
Dominican Republic and Haiti. That standard vaccine appeared to work
against the mutated strain.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.E2)(WSJ, 4/16/02, p.A1)
2000 Mario Vargos Llosa of Peru
authored his historical novel The Feast of the Goat. It explored
the cruel regime of General Trujillo in the Dominican Rep.
(Econ, 10/16/10, p.44)
2001 Mar 15, Two of 60
Dominicans survived a shipwreck following 24 days at sea. Some had
resorted to eating the dead after food and water ran out. The
migrants were attempting to reach Puerto Rico.
(SFC, 3/21/01, p.A14)
2001 Aug 31, The US Little
League tossed out pitcher Danny Almontes perfect game and all his
teams victories and 3rd place World Series finish after learning
that he was 14 and not 12.
(SFC, 9/1/01, p.A8)
2001 Oct 7, Hurricane Iris
caused a mudslide in the Dominican Republic that killed 3 people.
(WSJ, 10/8/01, p.A1)
2001 Nov 12, American Airlines
Flight 587, bound for the Dominican Republic, crashed in Belle
Harbor in the Far Rockaway district of Queens just after takeoff
from JFK Airport. All 260 crew and passengers were killed as well as
5 people on the ground. The A300-600 plane appeared to have fallen
apart. The vertical tail section cracked off when composite fittings
failed possibly due to turbulence from a preceding 747. In 2004 a
safety board said the pilots unnecessary and excessive use of the
rudder contributed to the crash.
(SFC, 11/14/01, p.A14)(SFC, 11/15/01, p.A19)(SFC,
10/27/04, p.A3)(AP, 11/12/05)
2002 May 16, Legislative and
municipal elections were held. The ruling Dominican Revolutionary
Party of Pres. Hipolito Mejia claimed victory.
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.A13)
2002 Jul 13, Dominican
lawmakers voted to reform the country's constitution to allow
presidents to serve two consecutive terms in office.
2002 Jul 14, Joaquin
Balaguer (95), who ruled the Dominican Republic for 22 years and
dominated his country's politics for years after leaving office,
(AP, 7/14/02)(SFC, 7/15/02, p.B6)
2002 Aug 10, A UNICEF report
said about 2,500 Haitian children are smuggled illegally into the
Dominican Republic each year to work as manual laborers or beggars.
2002 Sep 14, In Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic, demonstrators threw homemade firebombs at police
who retaliated with tear gas during a fourth day of violent protests
over electricity blackouts that have left 2 dead.
2002 Sep 20, A riot in an
overcrowded Dominican prison left 30 inmates dead and 48 others
injured, 12 critically. Most of the deaths were by smoke inhalation.
(AP, 9/20/02)(AP, 2/16/12)
2002 Nov 15, Latin American
leaders gathered in Bavaro, Dominican Republic, for the 12th annual
Ibero-American Summit to discuss ways to ease poverty, fight drug
trafficking and heal internal strife.
2002 Nov 17, Leaders from Latin
America, Spain and Portugal closed their summit with new pledges of
support for struggling coffee-growing countries.
2003 Feb 26, Striking
Dominica public workers agreed to end a 6-day strike that slowed air
transportation and mail service, after the government agreed to
review its proposal to cut the work force.
2003 May 15, The Dominican
government took control of the Caribbean nation's oldest and most
respected newspaper and seized 70 radio and four television stations
after Ramon Baez, banker and media baron, was charged with bank
(AP, 5/15/03)(WSJ, 6/30/03, p.A12)
2003 Jun 3, Miss Dominican
Republic, 18-year-old Amelia Vega, was crowned in Panama City,
Panama, as Miss Universe 2003.
2003 Aug 11, The Dominican
Republic granted asylum to former Ecuadorian President Gustavo
Noboa, who has been under investigation for allegedly mishandling
his country's foreign debt negotiations and costing the country $9
2003 Aug 20, In the Dominican
Republic police clashed with rioters who were protesting rising
prices and electrical blackouts, leaving one man dead and a dozen
2003 Oct, The IMF suspended a
$600 million loan program to the Dominican Republic, agreed upon in
August, after the government paid out a similar amount to
re-nationalize the 2 main electricity distributors.
(Econ, 12/13/03, p.35)
2003 Nov 11, Dominican Republic
police fired rubber bullets at rock-throwing protesters during a
general strike. At least 6 people were reported killed and 60
2003 Dec 7, Tropical Storm
Odette lashed the Dominican Republic with torrential rains,
prompting thousands to flee their homes and killed at least 8 people
before it dissipated over the Atlantic.
2003 About 20% of Dominican
Republics GDP went into a questionable bailout of the countrys 3rd
largest bank. The bailout under Pres. Mejia triggered economic
(Econ, 8/21/04, p.31)(Econ, 5/20/06, p.42)
2003 The Dominican Rep. began
to reform its prisons.
(Economist, 9/22/12, p.46)
2003 The Dominican Republic
population was about 8.5 million.
(Hem., Dec. '95, p.106)
2004 Jan 28, Businesses shut
down, schools closed and streets emptied for a 48-hour strike to
protest the Dominican Republic's worst economic crisis in decades.
2004 Jan 29, In the Dominican
Republic at least 4 protesters died from gunshot wounds suffered in
clashes with security forces.
2004 Apr 20, Gen. Jose Miguel
Soto Jimenez said the Dominican Republic will pull its troops out of
Iraq early, in the next few weeks, following the lead of Spain and
2004 May 16, Dominican Republic
President Hipolito Mejia sought a second term in an election. Leonel
Fernandez, former Dominican leader (1996-2000), reclaimed the
presidency in a vote that reflected frustration with the nation's
worst economic crisis in decades. A polling-station shooting left 3
(AP, 5/16/04)(AP, 5/17/04)(WSJ, 5/17/04, p.A1)
2004 May 24, Heavy rains left
as many as 2000 people dead across the island of Hispaniola. Health
officials feared up to 1,000 people could be dead in the Haitian
town of Mopau. Floods wiped out villages across Haiti and the
Dominican Republic. The final toll was over 3,300 dead.
(AP, 5/27/04)(SFC, 5/28/04, p.A3)(AP,
2004 May 28, US officials and 5
Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras and Nicaragua) signed a free trade pact (CAFTA), to be
later approved by Congress. The Dominican Republic would be included
(SFC, 5/29/04, p.A4)
2004 Jun 17, In the Dominican
Republic Craig Roger Hiserote (55), an American executive for a
North Carolina-based energy company, was killed by two gunmen on a
motorcycle as he drove home from work in the coastal town of San
Pedro de Macoris.
2004 Aug 10, Thirty-three
missing Dominican migrants were found alive after nearly two weeks
at sea, but two died on the way to the hospital. 55 others aboard
died on the journey.
(AP, 8/10/04)(SFC, 8/12/04, p.A12)
2004 Sep 6, The Supreme Court
ordered the Dominican government to relinquish control of the
country's oldest daily newspaper, which was taken over more than a
year ago amid a major bank scandal.
2004 Sep 13, In the Dominican
Republic 4 youths were swept away and killed by monstrous waves from
Hurricane Ivan in Santo Domingo.
2004 Sep 17, Tropical Storm
Jeanne lashed the Dominican Republic with wind and rain that
triggered mudslides and collapsed walls before it weakened to a
tropical depression and headed toward the Bahamas. Eight were killed
across the Caribbean.
2004 Oct 4, Officials in Haiti
said they have found hundreds more bodies, raising the death toll
from Tropical Storm Jeanne to nearly 2,000 people. Later estimates
put the death toll at 3,000.
(AP, 10/4/04)(AP, 11/1/07)
2004 Dec 3, A boat carrying at
least 91 Dominican migrants apparently trying to reach Puerto Rico
illegally capsized, killing eight people.
2004 The Dominican Republic
joined the negotiations for the Central American Free Trade
Agreement with the US and the agreement was renamed DR-CAFTA.
2005 Feb, The Dominican
Republic secured a $665 million loan from the IMF.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.42)
2005 Mar 7, In the Dominican
Republic rival gangs fighting for control of a provincial prison set
pillows and sheets ablaze, starting a fire that killed 136 inmates
after rescuers were thwarted by a jammed entrance.
2005 Apr 27, The Dominican
Republic education secretary said all public elementary and
secondary schools will institute mandatory English classes by the
next school year.
2005 Jun 30, In Honduras
Central American leaders agreed to create a regional special forces
unit to fight drug trafficking, gang violence and terrorism within
their borders. The 2-day regional meeting included the presidents of
Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico,
Nicaragua, and Panama.
2005 Aug 2, President Bush
signed a free trade pact with five Central American nations and the
2005 Aug 25, Haiti recalled its
top diplomat to the Dominican Republic after 3 Haitian migrants were
beaten and burned to death in an attack that has added to growing
tensions between the uneasy Caribbean neighbors.
2005 Sep 6, Dominican Republic
legislators overwhelmingly approved a free-trade agreement with the
US and five Central American countries, rejecting arguments that the
pact would devastate the domestic sugar industry. The other five
countries are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and
Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Nicaragua had not yet ratified the pact.
2005 Sep 6, Nine countries:
Antigua, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Dominica, Suriname, St. Kitts, St.
Vincent and the Dominican Republic, signed oil deals with Venezuela
in Jamaica. Cuba and Jamaica had previously signed. Chavez urged
Caribbean governments to consider Cuba-style socialism as an
alternative to capitalism.
2005 Oct 1, In the Dominican
Rep. 1,719 homicides were reported in the first eight months of the
year, compared to 1,513 during the same period in 2004. At least 25
children have been killed or injured by stray bullets in the same
period. Police estimate guns are used in 75 percent of homicides.
2005 Oct 22, A record 22nd
tropical storm of the season formed about 125 miles off the
Dominican Republic; because the annual list of storm names had
already been exhausted, forecasters called the new system Tropical
2005 Oct 25, A rain-swollen
river flooded Puerto Plata in the northern Dominican Republic,
washing away houses and killing six people, including two children.
2005 Nov 7, A jury in Miami,
Florida, found Luis Alavarez Renta, a powerful financier from the
Dominican Republic, liable on 3 counts of racketeering and one count
of fraudulent money transfer in a civil case stemming from his
actions in the 2003 collapse of Banco Intercontinental, or Baninter.
(WSJ, 11/9/05, p.A14)
2005 Dec 26, Maxima Perez (33),
a woman in the Dominican Republic, gave birth to the first
sextuplets ever recorded in this Caribbean country.
2005 In the Dominican
Republic Diego (7), an adopted boy from Russias Volgograd region,
was abandoned by a Russian couple who left him in the Boca Chica
tourist zone with a driver who worked for them during their stay in
the Caribbean country. After returning to Russia, authorities
arrested the couple for cocaine trafficking. The boy lived with the
taxi driver and his wife until authorities received allegations they
were mistreating him. In 2008, he was taken away and sent to a
temporary shelter for children who have been victims of domestic
2006 Jan 10-2006 Jan 11, The
bodies of 24 Haitian migrants, who apparently suffocated crossing
the border in a sealed truck, were found in the Dominican Republic.
The victims were among 69 Haitians, mostly adult men, who were
driven across the border illegally at the northern Dominican town of
2006 Mar 2, Haiti's newly
elected Pres. Rene Preval met with Dominican Republic President
Leonel Fernandez in Santo Domingo amid rising tensions between their
countries over immigration and security.
2006 Mar 15, It was reported
that the Dominican Republic is looking to Washington for help
recovering at least $80 million in damages from a US utility it
accuses of dumping thousands of tons of coal ash on the country's
beaches, sickening residents and harming the tourism industry. The
government says 82,000 tons of coal ash were shipped from an AES
plant in Guayama, Puerto Rico, and left on beaches in Manzanillo and
the Samana Bay port town of Arroyo Barril between October 2003 and
March 2004 without proper government permits.
2006 Apr 23, Powerful waves
capsized a boat carrying Dominican migrants near a popular surfing
beach off the coast of Puerto Rico killing at least five people.
Small boats frequently attempt to smuggle migrants from the
Dominican Republic to the US Caribbean territory, a roughly 70-mile
journey across the often-perilous Mona Passage.
2006 Jul, The Dominican
Republic government imposed a new law to combat crime, all bars,
liquor stores and nightclubs must close at midnight on weekdays and
at 2 am on weekends.
2006 Aug 17, Dominican Republic
President Leonel Fernandez named four generals and a former law
partner to the Cabinet, a day after his party took control of the
Caribbean country's Congress for the first time.
2006 Oct 11, In the Dominican
Republic Resort tycoon Howard "Butch" Kerzner was killed along with
three others when a helicopter they were traveling in crashed into a
building on the north coast.
2006 Nov 17, Sonia Pierre (43)
received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award at a ceremony in
Washington, a prize of $30,000 and a promise from the center founded
in honor of the late senator to help her cause. Her tireless work
securing citizenship and education for Dominican-born ethnic
Haitians has made her the target of threats at home, but has earned
her recognition from overseas as a fierce defender of human rights.
2006 Nov 27, In the Dominican
Rep. fire struck a strip club after it closed in the early morning,
killing 9 employees who lived on the floor above the establishment,
including several dancers.
2006 Dec 8, Former San
Francisco Giants shortstop Jose Uribe was killed in a car crash in
his native Dominican Republic.
2007 Feb 28, A boat carrying
Haitian migrants caught fire off the coast of the Dominican
Republic, leaving at least eight passengers dead and 44 missing.
2007 May 12, A cutter of the
Dominican Republic picked up 3 men hauling in bales of cocaine
dropped from a plane that had originated in Venezuela. A US plane
and British helicopters took part in the seizure of a half-ton of
cocaine as Colombian drug traffic via Venezuela escalated.
(SFC, 7/2/07, p.A17)
2007 Jun 6, In the Dominican
Rep. a gym teacher opened fire at a school, killing one student and
wounding another before using the gun to take his own life.
2007 Jul 4, Taiwan's vice
president kicked off a Latin American tour in the Dominican
Republic, an ally rapidly increasing its economic and political ties
with the island's diplomatic rival, China.
2007 Aug 18, Hurricane Dean
barreled across the eastern Caribbean and took aim at Hispaniola,
Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, with forecasters saying it
could turn into a monster Category 5 storm within 72 hours. Dean
claimed at least six lives as it began sweeping past the Dominican
Republic and Haiti.
2007 Oct 29,
Tropical Storm Noel caused flooding and mudslides that killed
at least 20 people in the Dominican Republic and left another 20
2007 Nov 1, Floodwaters and
mudslides spawned by Tropical Storm Noel killed at least 143 people
including 84 in the Dominican Republic and 57 in Haiti. By this
evening Noel was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane and rains
continued to pound the area.
(AP, 11/1/07)(AP, 11/4/07)
2007 Nov 8, Dominican
singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra swept the Latin Grammy Awards,
taking home five musical honors including album of the year, record
of the year and song of the year.
2007 Nov 21, Costa Rica's
president signed into law a free trade agreement (CAFTA) with its
Central American neighbors, the United States and the Dominican
Republic. Costa Ricans voted for the trade deal in a national
referendum, moving it forward. But then it became stalled again as
congress squabbled over the enabling legislation dealing with 13
different aspects of the deal. In late 2008 lawmakers overcame the
final intellectual-property hurdle by allowing schools and
universities to copy some materials and by reducing prison time for
those guilty of selling pirated goods.
(AP, 11/22/07)(AP, 11/11/08)
2007 Dec 12, Tropical Storm
Olga soaked portions of the Caribbean, triggering floods and
landslides that killed at least 38 people in the Dominican Republic,
Haiti and Puerto Rico.
(AP, 12/12/07)(AP, 12/13/07)(WSJ, 12/15/07, p.A1)
2007 The Dominican Rep.
government began denying citizenship to people whose parents were
illegal immigrants. The policy was incorporated into an amended
constitution in 2010.
(Econ, 12/31/11, p.24)
2008 Jan 3, Puerto Rico halted
all bird imports after a rare outbreak of avian flu in nearby
Dominican Republic, where authorities killed more than 100 chickens,
including fighting roosters that tested positive for the lethal
virus. The ban forced the cancellation of more than 100 cockfights,
dealing a blow to the lucrative industry.
2008 Feb 4, Dominican merchants
closed a popular border market that caters to Haitians, punishing
their impoverished neighbor for banning Dominican poultry and egg
imports following an outbreak of avian flu.
2008 Mar 7, At a summit in the
Dominican Republic the presidents of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador
agreed to end a bitter dispute triggered by a Colombian cross-border
raid with testy handshakes and an apology.
2008 May 14, In the Dominican
Republic 3 people, including a former congressman, were shot and
killed in Villa Vasquez ahead of May 16 elections.
(WSJ, 5/16/08, p.A8)
2008 May 16, Dominican Republic
President Leonel Fernandez was favored to win a third term, despite
concerns over long-serving politicians in this Caribbean nation with
a painful history of rule by strongmen.
2008 May 17, Dominican Republic
President Leonel Fernandez declared victory in the national election
and pledged to continue pushing forward economic projects that have
helped pull the Caribbean nation's economy out of crisis.
2008 May, In the Dominican
Republic the state holding company for electricity generation, known
as CDEEE, employed over 2,000 people to do the work of 20 or 30.
More than a third of the power was being stolen. Pres. Fernandez
stood by the unreforming boss, Radames Segura.
(Econ, 5/10/08, p.48)
2008 Aug 12, In the Dominican
Republic former Pan American Games wrestling medalist Wilson
Santiago Rojas (31) was shot to death when he tried to prevent his
cousin from being robbed inside a Santo Domingo electronics store.
2008 Aug 15, About 20 people,
including Italian tourists, were killed when two buses collided
head-on in the Dominican Republic.
2008 Aug 16, Dominican Republic
President Leonel Fernandez promised to boost agricultural production
and warned of dire economic times as he was sworn in for a third
2008 Aug 16, Tropical Storm Fay
lashed Haiti and the Dominican Republic with torrential rains and
floods that killed at least 18 people including at least 14 people
in Haiti, feared to have died aboard a bus that tried to cross a
(AP, 8/17/08)(AP, 8/18/08)
2008 Aug 28, Tropical Storm
Gustav bore down on Jamaica after leaving 67 people dead on
Hispaniola, including 59 in Haiti and 8 in the Dominican Republic.
(SFC, 8/29/08, p.A2)
2008 Sep 30, In the Dominican
Republic a Hummer truck registered to New York Mets pitcher Ambiorix
Burgos struck pedestrians Josefina Minaya Martinez (38) and Angely
Fana (29). They died later at a hospital. An arrest warrant for
Burgos was issued on Oct 3.
2008 Nov 1, Five migrants were
rescued after 15 days lost at sea. One died the next day. A total of
33 Dominican migrants were trying to reach Puerto Rico by boat when
they were reported missing by relatives in mid-October. Survivors
said they lost their way after the captain abandoned the ship. The
survivors ate their dead comrades to stay alive. Four Dominicans
were later charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly
helping to organize the illegal boat trip to Puerto Rico that ended
in the deaths of 29 migrants.
(AP, 11/2/08)(AP, 11/11/08)
2008 Nov 19, The US Coast Guard
suspended its search for roughly 90 migrants feared dead after their
makeshift boat apparently sank in an often-stormy stretch of water
between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The boat left the
southeastern Dominican Republic on the night of Nov 12 and a woman
whose boyfriend was on the boat alerted authorities that it was
missing on Nov 16.
2008 Dec 5, A boat from the
Dominican Republic was found adrift. 2 survivors were found by
fisherman and 49 others were presumed dead. Migrants had set off on
Nov 13 in search of jobs in Puerto Rico.
2008 Dec 15, A plane from the
Dominican Rep. went missing near the Turks and Caicos Islands that
reportedly had 12 people on board.
(AP, 12/16/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2009 May 2, In the Dominican
Rep. the decapitated body of a migrant from neighboring Haiti was
found in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Santo Domingo. Residents
alleged the victim killed a local merchant. About 1 million people
of Haitian descent lived in the Dominican Rep., often suffering
discrimination and violence.
2009 May 17, Chile confirmed
its first two cases of swine flu in two women who arrived from the
2009 Jun 16, In the Dominican
Rep. Mauricio Encarnacion Castillo and Ramon Antonio del Rosario set
cocaine evidence on fire after exchanging gunfire with police
conducting a raid. The house in San Pedro de Macoris then caught
fire and the men died of smoke inhalation.
2009 Sep 19, In the Dominican
Republic Angel Villanova (19), baseball player for the SF Giants,
allegedly shot and killed Mario Velete (25). Villanova had first
signed with the Giants in 2006 and had recently signed a contract
for $2.1 million.
(SSFC, 9/27/09, p.A1)
2009 Sep 28, Luis Alberto
Santacruz Echeverri, an alleged Colombian cocaine trafficker
arrested in the Dominican Republic, was extradited to the US to face
drug trafficking charges.
2009 Sep, In the Dominican Rep.
Juan Almonte Herreras (51), a father of three who served as
secretary-general of the Dominican Commission of Human Rights, was
kidnapped and killed. The commission concluded that police had
kidnapped Almonte, tortured him and later set his body on fire. The
Inter-American Court of Human Rights accused the Dominican
government of conducting a lax investigation.
2009 Oct 8, Leaders of the
Dominican Republic and Haiti agreed to cooperate in a campaign aimed
at eradicating the last vestiges of malaria from the islands of the
Caribbean by 2020.
2009 Oct 9, In the Dominican
Rep. dozens of citizens wearing flip-flops and swim suits and
carrying coolers and surfboards soaked in the sun outside Congress
to protest a proposal they say will limit public access to beaches
and rivers. President Leonel Fernandez and opposition leader Miguel
Vargas Maldonado supported the amendment that guaranteed the right
to private property along beaches and rivers, without giving any
2009 In the Dominican Rep.
Canadas Barrick Gold and Goldcorp began developing the Pueblo Viejo
gold mine. The state-owned Rosario mine had been abandoned in 1999.
Mining began in January 2013 with some $4 billion invested in the
(Econ, 9/21/13, p.38)
2010 Jan 7, In the Dominican
Republic 4 people, including two US citizens, went missing on a
fishing trip off the southern coast. Robert Wayne and Laura Ricart
left Boca Chica with Spaniard Javier Jorge and Dominican Plinio
Jacobo, aboard a 24-foot (7m) boat.
2010 Jan 20, The Dominican
government announced a deal with Honduras' president-elect to give
ousted leader Manuel Zelaya safe passage to this Caribbean nation.
2010 Feb 16, Jorge Puello, who
surged into the spotlight by providing food, medicine and legal
assistance to the 10 Americans jailed in Haiti, acknowledged in a
phone interview from the Dominican Rep., that he is named in a 2003
federal indictment out of Vermont that accuses him of smuggling
illegal immigrants from Canada into the United States. He was
already being pursued by authorities in the Dominican Republic on an
Interpol warrant out of El Salvador, where police said he led a ring
that lured young women and girls into prostitution.
2010 Mar 18, In the Dominican
Rep. Jorge Puello (32), a fugitive who once acted as the lawyer for
a group of US Baptist missionaries accused of kidnapping 33 Haitian
children, was arrested on human-trafficking charges at the request
of the United States.
2010 May 16, Dominicans were
expected to expand the ruling party's strong congressional majority
elections that could strengthen President Leonel Fernandez's grip
over the legislature.
2010 Jul 23, In the Dominican
Rep. 8 people who allegedly spent $170 million on apartments, cars
and other goods using money from Jose Figueroa, the Caribbean's top
drug trafficker, were formally charged with money laundering and
2010 Sep 23, In the Dominican
Rep. 5 teenagers (ages 15 to 17), including two girls, were
convicted and sentenced to 3-5 years in prison for killing 7 taxi
drivers and seriously injuring two others by forcing most of them to
drink drain cleaner. The teens used guns to assault the drivers in
April and steal money from them.
2010 Sep 26, In the Dominican
Republic a Dominican foreman fatally shot a Haitian worker during an
argument over pay, touching off racial clashes at a construction
site that killed a Dominican worker and injured another.
2010 Oct 21, In the Dominican
Rep. 126 students were sickened after eating free school breakfasts
despite the government's efforts to resolve past problems with
tainted school food.
2010 Dec 2, Dominican Rep.
authorities detained 18 military officials and two US pilots, Kevin
Kuranz (31) and Christopher Smith (28), after stopping a
cocaine-laden airplane from taking off. The plane was owned by
Wisconsin-based Air Cargo Carriers LLC. The pilots were freed on
bail on Dec 20 pending further investigation.
(AP, 12/3/10)(AP, 12/21/10)
2010 Dec 26, In the Dominican
Rep. former President Salvador Jorge Blanco (84) died. He was
convicted of corruption in 1991 under a political antagonist's
administration but declared innocent in 2001 by an appeals court,
died. Blanco was president from 1982-1986.
2010 The Dominican Rep.
government amended the country's constitution to deny citizenship to
children born in the Dominican Republic to foreign parents.
2011 Jan 3, The Dominican
Republic launched its first major crackdown on illegal Haitian
immigrants since last year's devastating earthquake, rounding up and
deporting hundreds of people in recent days. Human rights groups
criticized the deportations, accusing authorities of stopping and
questioning people based on their physical appearance.
2011 Jan 13, Dominican Republic
authorities resumed mass deportations of Haitian migrants after a
brief lull, and government officers began demanding passports at bus
stations as the country deals with a cholera scare.
2011 Jan 23, In the Dominican
Rep. a 3-year-old boy of Haitian descent was killed when a group of
Dominican men burned down four family homes in revenge for an
2011 Apr 16, Leavy Nin Batista
(33), the ex-wife of a reputed Caribbean drug kingpin, was returned
to the Dominican Republic to face accusations she laundered money
for her former husband's alleged trafficking network. Jose Figueroa
Agosto, the so-called "Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean," was captured
last year in Puerto Rico. On May 9 Batista acknowledged her guilt in
a plea deal with prosecutors.
(AP, 4/17/11)(AP, 5/10/11)
2011 Apr 25, Dominican Rep.
first lady Margarita Cedeno (45) said she will not run for the
presidency just weeks after the ruling party cleared the way for her
2011 May 23, Dominican Rep.
Deputy Health Minister Jose Rodriguez said there have been 1,143
cases of cholera and 14 deaths since the outbreak began in November.
The number of new cases reported today is up about 50 percent since
the middle of May.
2011 May 25, Dominican Republic
health authorities began taking down some food stands and installing
public bathrooms in an effort to control a cholera outbreak that has
worsened in recent weeks.
2011 May 29, In the Dominican
Republic a new $2.7 million museum, honoring the more than 50,000
people who died under former dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo,
opened a day before the 50th anniversary of his death.
2011 Jul 20, Five Dominican
Republic students set a world record after reading aloud for 300
straight hours to raise awareness about books. And they kept going.
Guinness World Records recognized the university students for
breaking the previous record of 240 hours set in 2009 by a group of
women from Miami Dade College.
2011 Aug 2, In the Dominican
Rep. journalist Jose Silvestre was killed. On Aug 9 a prosecutor
said hotel owner Matias Avelino Castro wanted to prevent journalist
Jose Silvestre from publishing a planned story that linked Avelino
to a murder and drug trafficking. An arrest warrant was issued for
Avelino but his whereabouts were unknown.
2011 Aug 4, Dominican Republic
authorities said they have seized more than 400 kg of cocaine hidden
in crates of tobacco about to be exported to Spain.
2011 Aug 4, Tropical Storm
Emily brushed the southern coast of Hispaniola leaving one person
dead in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic.
2011 Sep 18, In the Dominican
Rep. army Col. Cesar Ubri, an aide to the country's top anti-drug
official, was shot to death, reportedly as a warning from drug
traffickers. On Sep 21 a police officer and another man were
arrested as suspects in the slaying of Ubri. They confessed to the
killing and said they trying to steal his car.
(AP, 9/19/11)(AP, 9/22/11)
2011 Sep 20, In the Dominican
Rep. neighbors saw Romelio Frias (28) douse his house with gasoline
before dawn and lock himself inside. Victims of the fire included
his 36-year-old wife, their 3-year-old daughter and 9-year-old twin
boys that she had from a previous marriage.
2011 Sep 26, In the Dominican
Rep. Roman Buchenauer (31), a German man, killed his Venezuelan
wife, Rosmery Rivas (29), a young daughter (9) and three family pets
and then hanged himself in an upscale residence in the tourist city
2011 Oct 8, Palestinian leader
Mahmud Abbas arrived in El Salvador from the Dominican Republic on
the latest stop of a Latin American tour to round up support for UN
recognition of a Palestinian state. He was to meet with the local
Palestinian community later in the day ahead of a meeting the next
day with Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes.
2011 Oct 12, In the Dominican
Rep. hundreds of teachers, farmers and union members gathered
outside the Congress to demand the government spend more on public
2011 Oct 25, Amnesty
International said police in the Dominican Republic have been
responsible for an alarming number of killings and torture over a
2011 Nov 29, In the Dominican
Rep. 2 men driving in Santo Domingo were slain in a gun attack.
Their stolen government car then crashed into a small truck, killing
an adult and a child.
2011 Dec 4, In the Dominican
Rep. Sonia Pierre (48), a human rights activist who bravely fought
discrimination against poor Dominicans of Haitian descent, died.
2011 Dec 8, In the Dominican
Rep. hundreds of people protested in front of the Supreme Court
against what they say is a government practice of confiscating or
annulling birth certificates for residents of Haitian descent.
2011 Dec 9, Puerto Ricos most
wanted criminal, Miguel Diaz Rivera (39), was arrested in the
Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. He is accused of running a drug
trafficking network in at least five Puerto Rican cities.
2011 Dec 15, Dominican Republic
authorities said they have arrested two Europeans and 15 local
police officers for alleged involvement in a cocaine shipment seized
at an airport. The arrests were tied to a one-ton cargo of cocaine
set on a flight to Antwerp, Belgium.
2011 Dominican Rep. police
killed 289 people this year.
(Econ, 5/26/12, p.39)
2012 Jan 6, City of London
police said that Michael Brown, a fugitive multimillionaire
fraudster, has been detained in the Dominican Republic and that
British authorities would be seeking his return to the U.K. to serve
his sentence. Four former clients, including an ex-chairman of
Manchester United football club, had accused Brown of duping them
out of about 40 million pounds ($62 million). Brown was sentenced in
his absence to seven years in jail in 2008 after he was convicted of
fraud. On April 21 Brown was deported to Spain.
(AP, 1/6/12)(AFP, 4/22/12)
2012 Jan 11, Some 50 people
were being arrested at various locations including Puerto Rico and
the Dominican Rep., with most of them in the mainland US in a
document fraud case.
2012 Jan 30, In the Dominican
Republic a tourist bus crashed down a hill, killing the driver and
injuring 10 people, including seven from the United States.
2012 Feb 4, An overloaded boat
carrying 70 migrants from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico
overturned in the pre-dawn darkness off the coast of the Caribbean
country. 13 people survived. 51 bodies were recovered by Feb 9 and
the rest remained missing.
(AP, 2/4/12)(AP, 2/5/12)(AP, 2/7/12)(AP, 2/9/12)
2012 Feb 23, Fifteen Cuban
migrants were rescued and one died after the group tried to swim to
two tiny islands just west of Puerto Rico. The migrants had jumped
into the water as federal agents and Dominican Navy officers
approached a makeshift boat that had departed from the Dominican
2012 May 20, The Dominican
Republic held presidential elections. Several polls showed Danilo
Medina (60) ahead of Hipolito Mejia (71), a former president
(2000-2004). Danilo Medina of the current president's Dominican
Liberation Party received just over 51% of the vote. Observers from
the Organization of American States later certified the election
result, but confirmed reports of vote-buying.
(AP, 5/20/12)(AP, 5/21/12)(Econ, 5/26/12, p.39)
2012 May 24, The police chief
of the Dominican Rep. said 3 high-ranking police officials have been
accused of providing security to drug traffickers. They were
arrested along with 4 men allegedly waiting for a drug shipment
bound for Puerto Rico.
(SFC, 5/25/12, p.A2)
2012 Jun 1, In the Dominican
Rep. new work requirements took effect, but the government said the
rules won't be enforced until month's end. A large number of Haitian
workers were particularly impacted.
2012 Aug 25, Tropical Storm
Isaac swept across Haiti's southern peninsula killing 8 people and
another two in neighboring Dominican Republic.
(AP, 8/25/12)(AP, 8/26/12)
2012 Dec 22, Dominican Rep.
authorities announced the arrest of 7 suspects and the seizure of
more than 2,200 pounds of cocaine and heroin. A records 9 tons of
cocaine was reported seized this year.
(SSFC, 12/23/12, p.A10)
2013 Jan, Authorities in the
Dominican Republic seized 3 tons of cocaine this month off the
country's southern coast. Last year 9 tons were seized for a third
2013 Feb 25, A judge in the
Dominican Republic ruled that Martha Heredia (22), the winner of a
TV talent show, can be held in jail for up to a year while
authorities investigate her alleged involvement in drug smuggling.
She was arrested at a Dominican airport on Feb 20 as she was about
to board a flight to New York. Police allege she had 2.9 pounds (1.3
kg) of heroin stuffed in the heels of three pairs of platform shoes.
2013 Mar 15, A Canadian joint
venture operating one of the world's largest gold mines and the
government of the Dominican Republic reached an agreement to inspect
the company's exports, ending a standoff that halted a shipment
valued at nearly $12 million.
2013 Jun 28, Dominican Republic
religious groups said they are outraged by the nomination of US
ambassador James Brewster, an openly gay man, to the conservative
2013 Aug 27, A Dominican Rep.
judge ruled there is enough evidence to try sect leader Peter Brunck
(62) and his son, Daniel Roland, on weapons violations and a charge
of "rebellion." They faced up to 10 years in prison, and prosecutors
said further counts are possible. The Academy for Future Health's
German-language website says the planet is "cleansing itself of the
debris that lives on its surface," and goes on to mention aspects of
the global financial crisis, extraterrestrials and the looming fall
of the "inhuman" US government.
2013 Sep 1, Dominican Rep.
officials uncovered an underground lab for processing cocaine near
Saban Toro. 2 Colombians faced drug charges.
(SFC, 9/3/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 26, Dominican
Republic's top court stripped citizenship from thousands of people
born to migrants who came illegally, a category that overwhelmingly
includes Haitians brought in to work on farms.
2013 Oct 2, Polish police said
they have located Rev. Wojciech Gil, a priest sought by Interpol on
suspicion he sexually abused children in the Dominican Republic,
where he led a parish in the mountain town of Juncalito for eight