The Mirabal Sisters

Patria, Minerva, María Teresa, and Bélgica (Dedé) are the Mirabal sisters, born in Ojo de Agua, Province of Salcedo, Dominican Republic. Daughters of Don Enrique Mirabal and Doña Mercedes Reyes de Mirabal, are recognized in national history as heroines, having excelled in the fight against the trujillista regime (1930-1961). 

Also known as “Las Mariposas” (Butterflies), Patria, Minerva and María Teresa were brutally murdered on November 25, 1960 by Trujillo, while they were travelling to Puerto Plata to visit their imprisoned husbands. Belgium (Dedé) is the only surviving sister. Since then, November 25 has been called International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in recognition of the memory of these three Dominican women. 

“… Many Dominicans were murdered in 1960, including three sisters from the section of Conuco, Salcedo, belonging to the respected Mirabal family, whose husbands were imprisoned for participating in the conspiracy caused by the June 14 invasion. The assassination of the Mirabal Sisters, on November 25, 1960, filled the minds of sensible and decent people against Trujillo and increased the atmosphere of deep animosity that already existed against the Government (…)” 

[Excerpt from the book “Manual de Historia Dominicana”, by Frank Moya Pons. 12 th. Edition, 2000. Caribbean Publishers] 

The Hermanas Mirabal Foundation, founded on November 12, 1992 with the aim of immortalizing “Las Mariposas”, created the Hermanas Mirabal Museum on December 8, 1994. The Hermanas Mirabal Museum, maintained and directed by the surviving sister, Dedé , is located in the city of Conuco, Salcedo Province of Dominican Republic (Salcedo-Tenares road) inside the house in which the Mirabal sisters lived their last ten months. The decoration and the sister´s belongings are kept intact as they were before their murder. 

Did you know? Since November 1999, every 25th of the month the United Nations has commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in honor of the Mirabal Sisters.

Did you know? The American writer of Dominican origin Julia Álvarez wrote in 1994 a successful novel based on the Mirabal sisters, called “In the Time of the Butterflies”. The book was then adapted into a feature film under the direction of Mariano Barroso, produced by M.G.M. and Showtime, and starring Salma Hayek, Marc Anthony, Edward J. Olmos and Mía Maestro.

Did you know? Dedé, the last survivor of the Mirabal sisters, wrote her first and only book entitled “Living in the Garden,” published on August 25, 2009. One of her sons, Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, served as Vice President of the Dominican Republic during the First period of government of Leonel Fernández (1996-2000). Also Minou Tavárez Mirabal, daughter of Minerva, has been involved in political activities, including presidential candidate. Dedé died on February 1, 2014 of pulmonary complications.

 

More information:
Hermanas Mirabal House Museum: http://casamuseohermanasmirabal.com

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