The death of Ramón Pérez Martínez (Macorís) today revived the memory of the crimes and excesses caused, in the twelve-year period of Joaquín Balaguer, by the Colorá Band, which he led and became one of the best-known vigilante groups and feared in the recent history of the Dominican Republic.
Pérez Martínez, who was President Balaguer’s confidant, died at the age of 73, and immediately the news of his death caused countless reactions of rejection of his career linked to violence and intimidation on social networks and other spaces.
In the last Balaguer governments, Pérez Martínez served as administrator of the Dominican Electricity Corporation (CDE). He was also a deputy and, as an engineer, he was responsible for the construction of the extension of John F. Kennedy avenue, called Quinto Centenario, and the remodeling of Villa Consuelo and other sectors of the capital.
In his book Balaguer and the Dominican military, Brian J. Bosch, former US military attaché, points out that the excesses and abuses of the Banda Colorá were ordered from the political power, “as part of the most recent effort (by the government) to intensify the campaign against terror and violence caused by to the left”.
The parapolice group began its operations in Santo Domingo, after being created by General Enrique Pérez y Pérez, when he was head of the National Police, according to testimonies of the time. The powerful group spread its influence throughout the national territory and the deaths and attacks it caused were innumerable.
Brian J. Bosch affirms that the first objective of the band “was to terrorize those suspected of being leftists within the public schools and the state university.” In their forays, school and university campuses were leveled, teachers intimidated and students beaten, he adds.
After knowing the death of Pérez Martínez, the journalist José Bujosa Mieses wrote on his page of Facebook: “This criminal, traitor, renegade of the left, author of multiple crimes before and after directing the fatal Banda Colorá created by him and the ‘uncontrollable’ forces of the balaguerato, while I was a prisoner, in the Ergástula de La Victoria, threatened me of death in front of groups of his bandits ”.
He also added: “The triple murder of the 5 young athletes of the Héctor J. Díaz Club is still fresh in my memory: Rubén Darío Medrano Reyes, Andrés Florentino, Víctor Fernández Checo, Gerardo Bautista Gómez and Radhamés Peláez Tejeda and the student Ramón Fadul and Fadul, assassinated in the UASD, like so many other crimes committed by him and his bandits. If it is true that there is a hell at this time it must be turned into flames ”.
The death of Macorís was announced today by the general secretary of the Christian Social Reform Party (PRSC), Ramón Rogelio Genao.
The wake takes place at the Blandino funeral home on Abraham Lincoln Avenue, starting at 4:00 in the afternoon this Wednesday. The burial will be held tomorrow at 3:00 pm
Genao reported that Pérez Martínez suffered from chronic diabetes, kidney failure and various heart diseases. Also, he was a cancer survivor.
The Colorá Band in the collective memory
In the page Dominican history in graphics, released through Facebook, It was disclosed that the Anticommunist and Antiterrorist Democratic Front, better known as the Banda Colorá, was a parapolice group in the service of Joaquín Balaguer, which operated in Santo Domingo with national and international fame in the 1970s.
“It was created by former Major General Enrique Pérez y Pérez to break strikes. He also made his contributions by training the personnel of the ‘security services’ who would be in charge after persecuting, repressing, torturing and disappearing young revolutionaries ”, it was published.
According to the publication, from 1970 to 1978, Tito Monte, Amín Abel Hasbún, Flavio Suero, Sagrario Elcira Díaz Santiago, Gregorio García Castro, Orlando Martínez, Amaury Germán Aristy and three other comrades of the movement lost their lives. Los Palmeros.
Arguments of Pérez Martínez and his defense
In an interview, Pérez Martínez made clear his participation in the Banda Colorá, which in his opinion was a response to the beatings, betrayals and disappointments caused by colleagues from the left, which would have left him practically defenseless when he was persecuted by the Policeman.
Then Pérez Martínez said that the creation of the questioned group was not the work of the government or the police headquarters, as said, but of agents of the United States embassy in the country, who had a hunting line of the main figures of the Dominican left.
In an interview later given to the program Today In 2017, Pérez Martínez stated that Balaguer’s name cannot be associated with any act of blood.
“We are talking about a post-war period. In the country there would be more than 40,000 illegal weapons, but in the year 67 a group began to organize in Cuba, with Caamano, to come to the country and enter the mountains … ”, he argued about the circumstances of the Balaguer period.
In the same year 2017, in an interview disclosed by the program Magazine 110, Pérez Martínez said that he felt good to have lived through a very important process in the life of the nation and that the country was experiencing its great take-off towards development, which, in his opinion, had to “be seen as part of everything what happened here after Trujillo’s death ”.
Pérez Martínez did not refer to the Banda Colorá in the interview, but he did refer to current affairs at the time.
“To come on television and not say that it hurts me to see the Haitianization of this country would be strange to myself. What is happening hurts me. I think we are losing the Republic … ”, he emphasized.
He also said that it is necessary to curb crime because everyone feels unsafe in the country.