The Mirabal Sisters' Extraordinary Fight against a Dictator's Rule

Topics: Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo, Mirabal sisters Pages: 9 (3808 words) Published: April 20, 2014
The Mirabal Sisters. Four Dominican women, daughters and mothers from Salcedo named Ojo de Agua (as of Nov. 2007 the province is officially named Hermanas Mirabal), Dominican Republic. Daughters of Enrique Mirabal Fernández and Mercedes "Chea" Reyes Camilo. These women followed their convictions with bravery and selflessness to fight for what they believed. To fight against a dictator's rule they felt was wrong. Three of them - Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa - gave their lives for their cause. Some henchmen following the Dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo orders killed them savagely. The four sisters and the group they were involved in were a threat to this commanding dictator. They were involved with trying to over throw his cruel, ruthless and fascist government. The remaining sister DeDe is preserving their memories. The families' first real run in with Trujillo was at a party to which they were invited. Trujillo had his eye on Minerva so he had the family invited to another party. All but Chea, the mother, went as they were afraid to refuse the "request". Trujillo was very enamored with Minerva and danced and engaged her in conversation. When she refused his advances the family abruptly left the party. This infuriated Trujillo so he had the father, Don Enrique arrested (no one was permitted to leave a party before Trujillo) and incarcerated in the Fortelaza Ozama in Santo Domingo. Minerva and Doña Chea along with Minervas friends Brunilda Soñé, Enma Rodríguez, Violeta Martínez (from Moca) and Violeta Martínez (from San Francisco) were arrested the following day. Every day Minerva was taken to the Fortaleza Ozama and interrogated by Trujillo's men. She refused to write a letter of apology to Trujillo. Since the family was well connected, they knew the right people. They got the brother of Trujillo, with whom they were acquainted, to intercede for them and have the family members that were imprisoned released. They were always in fear of Trujillos men and again were arrested a few years later. This constant fear and stress led to Don Enrique, the girls' father, death on December 14, 1953. In 1956 their mother Chea moved to a new home she had built as she just felt too lonely in the old family home after the death of her husband. This home, after the mothers death on January 20, 1981, was converted into the Museo de las Hermanas Mirabal / Mirabal Sisters Museum. The Mirabal girls married went to school, had children living in what appeared to be normal lives. When things just were too much they decided this was it and had a meeting with their friends to find some way to stop Trujillo and his reign of terror over the Dominican people. The group the Mirabal sisters helped form that fought against the Trujillo regimen was known as al Movimiento 14 de Junio/ The Movement of the Fourteenth of June. The sisters were known as Las Mariposas/ The Butterflies. The young people of the Movimento Revolucionario de 14 de Julio held secret meetings working against the dictator. But, there was a trator among them and within a few weeks most all the group of young people, mostly upper middle class, had been arrested and taken into custody.  At the end of that month, more than a hundred members of 14 de Julio were caught. Most of them were subject to indescribable torture at the prison  "La 40" and a few were killed. Finally, under pressure from the Catholic Church, Trujillo permitted the women to go free on parole and later some of the mens freedom followed. Many of the important leaders were kept in prison still including Manolo Tavares and Leandro Guzmán, husbands of Maria Teresa and Minerva. The dictator kept the men imprisoned hoping that it would make the ladies shut up and stop their activities, but it did not. On November 25, 1960 Trujillo decided he had enough of the sisters trouble making and decided it was time to get rid of them. He sent his men to intercept the three women on their return home from visiting their...
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