Civil Affairs in the Dominican Republic
January 28, 2009
Following the assassination of Rafael Trujillo in May of 1961, the Dominican Republic descended into a state of political turmoil. The United States intervened in the Dominican Republic to ensure the safety of American citizens, and stayed to restore order and reinstate a democratic government. When the 42nd Civil Affairs Company arrived in Santo Domingo they found the capital littered with refuse, lacking potable water, and suffering from frequent power outages. CA personnel began mass food distribution to alleviate widespread hunger. Despite shortages in expertise and equipment, military engineers and civilian experts restored critical Dominican infrastructure. Due to an insufficient number of CA personnel in the Dominican Republic, other members of the military were often called upon to perform missions that they were unaccustomed to doing. Since there was no legal framework such as a UN resolution authorizing the U.S. military’s mission in the Dominican Republic, CA personnel could not compel members of the Dominican government to accept their advice on continuing problems.