West Miami-Dade

Vigil at FIU to mark Brothers to the Rescue anniversary


A silent vigil took place at the main fountain of FIU Monday afternoon to remember the four victims of the 1996 Brothers to the Rescue shoot down that took place 18 years ago.

The vigil began at 3:21 p.m. and end at 3:27 p.m. - the exact time the planes were shot down on Feb. 23, 1996.

Killed were Mario de la Pena Jr., Armando Alejandre, Carlos Costa and Pablo Morales, all fliers aboard two Brothers to the Rescue planes dropping pro-democracy leaflets over Cuba.

Cuba had sent out warnings about flying over Cuban air space but the pilots were not over Cuban air space when they were shot down.

Those taking part said they want to demand justice for the victims of the shoot down and for the recent victims of violence in Venezuela that has taken place in the past two weeks.

The group will recognize Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the Cuban hunger striker who died after an 83-day hunger strike on February 23, 2010.

The vigil has been held every year for the past 18 years at the campus at Southwest 107th Avenue and Eigth Street.

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