Sunday, November 3, 2013

Las Hermanas Mirabal/The Mirabal Sisters

(L to R: Patricia, Marie-Teresa, and Minerva)
Las Hermanas Mirabal-Patria (b. February 27, 1924), Dedé (b. March 1, 1925), Minerva (b. March 12, 1926), and María Teresa (b. October 15, 1935)-are celebrated, national heroines in their home-country of the Dominican Republic. They challenged dictator Rafael Trujillo’s ruthless autocracy by helping launch the 14th of June Movement. As participants, the women (nicknamed Las Mariposas or The Butterflies) distributed anti-Trujillo pamphlets, ran covert protest meetings, and recruited regime members and/or their families to defect. Consequently, the siblings, and their similarly activist husbands, were incarcerated and tortured on multiple occasions.

On November 25, 1960, three of the Mirabal sisters-Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa-and their driver Rufino de la Cruz were savagely bludgeoned to death on Trujillo’s instruction. Their murder, implausibly covered-up to seem like a car accident, prompted wide-spread indignation. For the women’s courageous defiance, they became admired, national heroines. To commemorate the Mirabal sisters’ legacy, Dedé founded el Museo de las Hermanas Mirabal (The Mirabel Sisters’ Museum). Likewise, the United Nations General Assembly has chosen to memorialize the Mirabal sisters by designating November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Source 1, 2

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