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The Mirabal Sisters
Transcript of The Mirabal Sisters
February 27th 1924 - November 25th 1960
Minerva Argentina Mirabal
March 12th 1926 - November 25th 1960
Antonia Maria Teresa Mirabal
October 15th 1935 - November 25th 1960 Beglica Adela Dede Mirabal-Reyes Did not have an active role in working against the dictator, Trujillo.
Still Alive today Dominican heroines who gave their lives to the struggle of their country.
They gave up a privileged life to fight against the abuses of a powerful and corrupt Dominican dictator:
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.
The Mirabal sisters grew up in an affluent family and were will cultured and educated women at a time when most women did not receive a good education
Trujillo During the Revolution in Santiago in 1930. Trujillo and his followers overthrew the government causing the president, Horacio Vásquez, to resign.
Since Trujillo was in the military he had to run his takeover concealed from sight so as not to be charged with treason.
On May 16, 1930 he was chosen to be president without opposition
Trujillo used his political control to acquire great personal wealth.
He received much support from the United States by becoming one of Latin America's leading anti-Communists. The Party In October 1942, Trujillo had decided to host a great party in his mansion in San Cristobal. It was to commemorate Columbus's discovery of the Americas
The Mirabals invitation personally taken to them by Antonio de la Maza who was the governor of Moca
The party was held outdoors in the grounds of the mansion, a huge storm erupted and broke up the proceedings. The Mirabal party saw this as their chance to make a hasty exit and escape Trujillo's party. Trujillo was livid by this open display of non respect as it was well known at the time that no one dared to leave a party before Trujillo himself had left
And the arrests begin... Don Enrique-sent a letter of apology to the dictator to try and appease his anger. This he did but it was not sufficient for Trujillo
"We cannot allow our children to grow up in this corrupt and tyrannical regime, we have to fight against it, and I am willing to give up everything, including my life if necessary". "....it is a source of happiness to do whatever can be done for our country that suffers so many anguishes, it is sad to stay with one's arms crossed..." ".....perhaps what we have most near is death, but that idea does not frighten me, we shall continue to fight for that which is just.." Minerva was accused of being a communist. She was ordered to write a letter of apology to Trujillo, which she flatly refused to do so.
Don Enrique was arrested and held in Santo Domingo.
Minerva and mother were taken and placed under arrest and held captive in the Hotel Nacional. Minerva Mirabal was the first of the sisters to become involved in the underground movement to over throw Trujillo and his government.
She was influenced by her Uncle and had also made friends at Imaculada whose relatives had been arrested tortured and even killed by Trujillo's army of thugs.
Fortunatley for the Mirabals they were a well connected family and public opinion mattered greatly for Trujillo, and after due consideration and his brothers influence saw it would be more beneficial to let them go. Eventually they were all released. Don Enrique, his wife and Minerva were all placed in prison again ( for not buying a book about Trujillo).
Really- he was embarassed and ashamed that he was unable to contorl Minerva. 1954 Minerva began attending the University of Santo Domingo
Despite her outstanding grades Trujillo ordered that she be barred from the University gates and not be allowed to continue with her studies 1959 the 14 of June Movement was an underground resistance political group, headed by Manola, Minerva Mirabal's husband. Patria, Minerva and Maria became known as THE BUTTERFLIES or in Spanish LA MARIPOSAS.
The Butterflies posed a huge threat to Trujillo and his regime as their popularity amongst their fellow countrymen was at an all time high especially after their recent release from jail.
In Trujillo's arrogance there was nothing else to do but to dispose of this threat to his nation and government. He thought if the sisters disappeared then so would their actions and beliefs from their followers.
Trujillo had stolen their property, land, houses, left their families with nothing, the three sisters Minerva, Maria and Patria refused to give up their fight for democracy and civil liberties to everyone on the island. In fact, the more he took, the greater strength they gained.
The Final Blow After visiting their husbands, November 25, 1960 the Mirabal sisters and their driver Rufino de la Cruz were clubbed, beaten and then strangled to death alongside a mountain road between Puerto Plata and Santiago.
The meticulous plan was carried out by Trujillo’s secret police force.
The resulting publicity of the assassination of the Mirabal sisters only served to highlight their cause further and create more public and international interest in the political state of the Dominican Republic. Trujillo himself would not know that within a six month period, he himself would face assassination in 1961. Patria was 36 years old
Minerva was 34 years old
Maria was 24 years old.
Through out the country there are memorials dedicated to the courageous Butterflies so their spirits will soar and live on.
On November 25 there is now an International Day Against Violence Against Women, created by The Untied Nations in the Mirabal sisters honor.
The sisters have finally now been given recognition in Dominican Textbooks as national martyrs.