Committee to Protect Journalists
Country Report: Dominican Republic

As of December 31, 1998

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Press freedom is generally respected in the Dominican Republic, and journalists reported few problems covering the year's major news stories -- from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Georges to the strikes and protests that followed the municipal elections in August. The only violent incident occurred during the visit of Cuban President Fidel Castro in August, when television commentator Rafael Bonilla Ayber was injured in a clash between pro- and anti-Castro demonstrators.

In December, U.S. federal authorities, acting at the request of Dominican authorities, arrested Mariano Cabrera Durán, a liquor store owner in the Bronx, New York, and charged him with participating in the 1975 murder of reporter Luis Orlando Martínez. Cabrera is expected to go on trial in Santo Domingo in January 1999. Martínez, who worked for the magazine Ahora, was killed after he published articles critical of President Joaquín Belaguer.

| Attacks on the Press in 1998 |