Honoring the Memory of a Slain Dominican Journalist

Far from the din of today’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations, there is also “A Flower for Orlando.”

The annual gatherings – held here in NYC and elsewhere – celebrate the courageous journalism of Luis Orlando Martinez Howley, a Dominican reporter murdered in his native country March 17, 1975. From a brief report by Dominican Today:

Martinez had published numerous articles questioning widespread corruption in the administration of the late Joaquin Balaguer, in his column for newspaper El Nacional. As is the case every year, the ceremony will be held at Juan Pablo Duarte Square, located at the corner of 170th Street and Broadway in upper Manhattan.

The first of several perpetrators of the crime was arrested locally in 1998. From an archived New York Times report:

An immigrant from the Dominican Republic who has quietly run a Bronx liquor store for the last few years has been charged with carrying out a politically motivated killing of a journalist in his native country 23 years ago, federal authorities said yesterday.

The man, Mariano Cabrera Duran, 49, was arrested Saturday evening at his store, M & N Wines and Liquors, by federal marshals and New York police officers at the request of the Dominican authorities. According to a complaint filed in United States District Court on Saturday, the Dominican authorities say Mr. Cabrera was ”one of the persons that shot and killed” Luis Orlando Martinez Howley outside a university in Santo Domingo on March 17, 1975.

[Image of poster for 2010 NYC gathering courtesy: uptownco.wordpress.com]