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Jesús (de) Galíndez Suárez
Born October 12, 1915
Amurrio, Spain
Died disappeared March 12, 1956
New York City, USA
Nationality Spanish
Fields Literature
Known for Opposition to Franco and Trujillo

Jesús (de) Galíndez Suárez (born October 12, 1915, Amurrio[1] - died 1956) was a Spanish writer who disappeared in New York City. He was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by henchmen of Rafael Trujillo, leader of the Dominican Republic.



Galíndez participated as a Basque nationalist in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 he fled to Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Domingo), where he lectured and represented the Basque Government as a delegate.[2] He started to investigate Trujillo and his government, encountered problems, and fled again, moving to New York in 1946. There, he associated with Ibero-American Poets, the Writers Guild, the International League for the Rights of Man, and the Inter-American Association for Democracy and Freedom. At Columbia University he lectured about international law and completed his doctoral thesis about Trujillo and his rule.[3] Galíndez allegedly became an informant for the FBI.[4]



Galíndez was last seen at 10 PM on March 12, 1956, as he entered the subway station at 57th Street and Eighth Ave in the Manhattan district of New York;[3] Time magazine indicates that he disappeared near a subway station at 116th Street and Broadway.[5]

As was well known, Galíndez feared that Dominican agents might hurt him. On the night of his death, two Dominican ships were in New York, one put out that night and returned after 5 hours, the other left later. However, investigations initially went nowhere. His body was never found, but with the unraveling of the Murphy case further light was shed on his case.[3]

The Murphy case

Gerald Lester Murphy was an American airline pilot for the Dominican airline, CDA. On December 4, 1956, his car was found abandoned near Ciudad Trujillo, without a trace of him.[6] Under pressure from relatives, their Congress representatives, and the US State Department, the Dominican government got into the picture: it was suggested that Octavio de la Maza, also a pilot with CDA, and Murphy had a brawl, as a result of which Murphy fell from a cliff into the ocean. De la Maza was arrested and jailed but refused to admit any involvement. On January 7, 1957, he was found hanging in his cell with a suicide note and an admission of involvement. However, circumstances of his "suicide" implied that it was staged and his note was declared a forgery by the FBI.

The trial in the US of John J. Frank in November 1956 as unregistered agent for the Dominican government provided further insights into the Galíndez–Murphy connection. He stated that Galíndez had been under Dominican supervision for some time, and it was feared that he was writing a critical volume about Trujillo and his family. Agents offered US$25,000 to buy the manuscript, but Galíndez refused. Thus Trujillo decided that Galíndez had to be killed.[3]

A plan was hatched to use an American pilot, namely Murphy. Murphy rented a Beech aircraft, equipped it for long distance flight and landed on March 12 in Amityville. In the night an ambulance arrived and a "patient" was moved on the airplane. The plane, piloted by Murphy, flew to West Palm Beach to refuel. Then Murphy flew to the Dominican Republic with the "patient", who then disappeared. Murphy initially had plenty of money, but may have talked too much and disappeared. It is alleged that Galíndez was the "patient".[3]


The death of de la Maza created a friction between Trujillo and his son Ramfis who had been a close friend to de la Maza.[3] In the US, Trujillo hired Sydney S. Baron and Co. to counteract the negative publicity and reactions the Galíndez case had evoked. Baron hired Morris Ernst to investigate the Galíndez disappearance. With the help of the Dominican government, they produced a report in May 1958 that whitewashed the Dominican government of any involvement. Nevertheless, Crassweller sees the Galíndez case as one factor in the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Trujillo.[3]

The father of Octavio de la Maza, Antonio de la Maza, later was one of the assassins of Trujillo.[7]

Literature and movies

Galíndez's book was published posthumously in 1973 as The Era of Trujillo, Dominican Dictator (University of Arizona Press, ISBN 0816503591, ISBN13: 9780816503599).

The Galíndez case was the inspiration for the 1991 novel Galíndez by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán that, in turn, resulted in the 2003 movie "El Misterio Galíndez (The Galíndez File)".[8]. In 2002 Ana Diez directed the documentary Galíndez about the affair.[9]


  1. ^ Vicente Lloréns. Memorias de una emigración: Santo Domingo , 1939-1945. Biblioteca Del Exilio, 2006. p. 199. ISBN 84-8472-278-3.  
  2. ^ Legarreta J (2006). "Jesús de Galíndez: Martyr for Freedom". Retrieved November 2, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Crassweller RD. Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator.. The Macmillan Company, New York, 1966, pages311-323.  
  4. ^ William Z. Nasri (editor). Legal issues for library and information managers. The Haworth Press (1987). p. 10.índez+fbi&source=bl&ots=ABY_Flg8LQ&sig=UbGvFQGNJ2plWScXFxVhiNGT8i0&hl=en&ei=0qbvSrvZE9K7lAeF2qzuCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CA0Q6AEwATgU.  
  5. ^ Time Magazine (April 02, 1956). "The Americas: A Critic Vanishes".,9171,862074,00.html. Retrieved November 2, 2009.  
  6. ^ Time Magazine (February 11, 1957). "SEQUELS: Case of the Missing Pilot".,9171,809032,00.html. Retrieved November 2, 2009.  
  7. ^ Dominicantoday (May 29, 2009). "De la Maza’s valor decapitated the bloodiest Dominican tyranny".  
  8. ^ "El Misterio Galíndez" at the imdb
  9. ^ "Galíndez" at the imdb

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