268. Telegram 1129 From the Embassy in the Dominican Republic to the Department of State1 2

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  • Counter-terrorism by Security Forces

1. As Dept aware Santo Domingo scene has been shaken by recent killings, four murders reported SD–1099 as having occurred April 13 and 14 were augmented April 15 by developments reported SD–1124. Considerable public reaction and concern noted.

2. On night April 15 Ambassador discussed with President Balaguer problem of recent killings and possibility security forces might react strongly thereto. President admitted police and military had been highly agitated (“muy exaltados”) on preceding night but indicated he and/or others had been able calm them down. President conveyed clear impression security forces initial reaction had been brought under control, and they not now inclined take matter into own hands via reprisals or other retaliation. Ambassador expressed Embassy’s willingness assist to extent possible in counseling military and police against any unwise action.

3. On morning April 16 Ambassador visited by friendly Dominican official who displayed serious concern over strong prospect retaliatory action by military and police. Source quoted Colonel Nivar Seijas, First Brigade Commander, as having admitted orders given one company army troops to avenge recent deaths army personnel. Nivar Seijas also told source that National Police Chief B/Gen [Page 2] Braulio Alvarez Sanchez had quietly killed six communist prisoners and discreetly disposed of bodies in manner likely to preclude future discovery.

4. Source told Ambassador that in separate conversation National Police chief then confirmed to him such police action had been taken but went on to complain about Nivar Seijas unleashing of army troops.

5. Though not entirely consistent with President’s statements (para 2) source told Ambassador both Nivar Seijas and Alvarez Sanchez had indicated to him that President was aware (in general though not in detail) their actions. Would appear Nivar Seijas told President he planned take appropriate measures and police chief told him had “taken care of” some heads of communist terrorist apparatus. Could obviously be that President did not grasp full import such statements.

6. As matter related to recent events and police attitudes, source also told Ambassador local communists now known to hold plan for terrorism drawn up in Cuba and brought into country by Castro agent who arrived as unlisted passenger on Iberia flight and continued via PAA to New York.

7. [text not declassified] National Police chief has now passed word to subordinates that retaliation for any further violence directed against security forces will be at rate of 5 for 1.

8. DATT reports that US military officers confirm Col Nivar Seijas was quite exercised at Dec 15 reception and in more voluble fashion than usual made loud statements along above lines with respect readiness his troops exact revenge for terroristic acts against military.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–8 DOM REP. Secret. It was repeated to Sago de los Caballeros. On April 15, the Embassy detailed several incidents of violence against the military and the police. (Telegram 1099 from Santo Domingo; ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 783, Country Files, Latin America, Dominican Republic, Vol. I) Intelligence Note No. 318, April 25, from Hughes to Rogers detailed the ongoing political violence and the difficulties faced by the Dominican Government in preventing reprisal attacks against the left by official security forces. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–8 DOM REP)
  2. The Ambassador met with President Balaguer to discuss the killing of four police and military officers by anti-government elements. Balaguer indicated that initial reactions by the Dominican security forces had been brought under control.