Las Mariposas

“Las Mariposas” which translates to “The Butterflies,” were three sisters who lived in the Dominican Republic, and despite having a conservative upbringing, led in the fight to bring down the dictator Generalissimo Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (known as Trujillo). The three Mirabal sisters who were killed by Trujillo were Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa. Trujillo was a brutal dictator and “his rule included instances of bribery, murder, the disappearances of anything or anyone who challenged him, sexual advances towards a number of unwilling women, along with a number of other injustices.”(1)

The sisters and their husbands led in the resistance to oust Trujillo, but in 1960 Trujillo had the women killed on their way home from visiting their husbands in jail. Ironically, the killing of the women inspired people to resist Trujillo even more, and he was eventually taken down. The women remain heroes in the Dominican Republic and around the world. They were even featured in a fictionalized account of their lives starring Salma Hayek. “In the Time of Butterflies” came out in 2001 and was produced for the Showtime network.

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(2) (photo credit)