Radio Murder Suspect Dies in Police Shoot Out

February 16, 2017

A man accused of shooting dead two journalists live on air in the Dominican Republic died during a shootout with police, authorities have said, in what they described as a "suicide".

Police were chasing Jose Rodriguez because they suspected him of shooting dead 103.5 FM station director Leonidas Martinez and presenter Luis Manuel Medina on Tuesday.

Rodriguez, 59, "died last night from a shot to the head which he inflicted himself with a pistol he was carrying," a police statement said.

Rodriguez had shot at police as they pursued him before turning the gun on himself, it said.

However, the president of the Dominican College of Journalists, Olivo de Leon, called the police statement into question, saying it contradicted earlier claims that officers had shot Rodriguez.

Leon complained that Rodriguez's death made it difficult to identify other possible suspects linked to the killing of the journalists.

Police said earlier that they were questioning dozens of other people about the attack at the radio station in San Pedro de Macoris, east of the capital Santo Domingo.

Two Journalists Shot Dead Live On Air

February 15, 2017

A radio presenter and a producer were shot dead as they broadcast the news live on Facebook yesterday.

Police said the shooting occurred at the radio station, which is based inside a shopping mall in the town of San Pedro de Macoris, just east of the capital of Santo Domingo.

The victims have been identified as presenter Luis Manuel Medina and producer and director Leo Martinez at radio station 103.5 HICC.

During the Facebook Live video gunfire is heard, along with a woman yelling “shots, shots, shots” before the transmission cuts off.

Police said the station secretary, named as Dayaba Garcia, was also injured in the attack and is undergoing surgery.

Medina presented Milenio Caliente (Hot Millennium), a local news programme that included political analysis and social campaigning, and was also the official announcer of the Estrellas Orientales baseball team. He had been using the programme to highlight the issue of pollution in Laguna Mallen, a protected lake in San Pedro.

The intimidation of journalists reporting on organised crime and corruption is said to be fairly common in the Dominican Republic, although murder is rare.

Danilo Medina sworn in as President for second term

August 15, 2016

The Dominican Republic's President Danilo Medina was sworn in today for his second term, after riding an economic boom to win re-election in a landslide despite deep and lingering poverty.

Dressed in a white suit with the red, white and blue presidential sash draped across his chest, Medina took the oath of office before the Caribbean tourist paradise's National Assembly.

His audience included Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Rafael Correa of Ecuador, three of Latin America's most outspoken leftists.

Medina, a 64-year-old economist and head of the centrist Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), won the country's May 15 election with 62 percent of the vote after pushing through a constitutional amendment to allow him to stand for a second four-year term.

Judge rules for gay US envoy in Catholic Church row

April 04, 2016

 A National District judge today ruled against a restraining order that sought to bar openly gay US ambassador James W. Brewster and other diplomats from carrying out activities considered unconstitutional, such as visits to schools, accompanied by his husband.


2nd Civil Court Judge Danilo Caraballo ruled against the request filed by Dr. Wheshy Wilkeson against Brewster, his husband Bob Satawake, Francisco Castillo, of the Embassy of the US Embassy, and Alexandra Panehal, head of the local US Agency for International Development (USAID).


The judge ruled that Medina didn’t prove that he was subjected to direct damage in the conflict, as all plaintiffs must do.

Dominican Republic celebrates 172 years of independence

Dominicans across the country, as well as in major U.S. cities like New York, are celebrating their anniversary of independence today (27 February). Festivities include elaborate parades and delicious Dominican food.


Before achieving independence in 1844, the Dominican Republic experienced a turbulent history of occupation by Spain, France and Haiti. Christopher Columbus arrived at the island in 1492 in his first trip to America, and the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, was Spain’s first settlement in the New World. Saturday marks the 172nd anniversary of the Dominican Republic’s independence from Haiti, which was gained after nationalist Juan Pablo Duarte helped organize the war against the Haitian regime. 


In celebration, Dominican Republicans honor their founding fathers: Duarte, Ramon Matias Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sanchez. Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina also gives an annual speech on Dominican Independence Day to pay tribute. In the Dominican Republic, parades are scheduled for Sunday. Most towns typically send their representatives to La Vega to march in the independence day parade, dressed in a variety of costumes from around the country.


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