10 things about the Mirabal Sisters

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The date was chosen because it was the day that the 3 Mirabal were assassinated for protesting the dictatorship under Rafael Trujillo. I wanted to do a post about them because this was a family that gave up so much for their country so that their children could have a better future.

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, even my life if necessary.

– Patria Mercedes Mirabal Reyes
  1. The 4 sisters were known as the Unforgettable Butterflies in the Dominican Republic. This name was used in Julia Alvarez’s 1994 novel In the Time of the Butterflies.
  2. Doña Dede was the only sister not assassinated and after the death of her 3 sisters she took in their 6 children and raised them alongside her own. She also devoted her life to preserving the legacy of her sisters as feminists and political activists. 
  3. When asked how she could survive she responded with, “So I could tell their story!”
  4. The legacy that the Mirabal sisters left influenced their children and they have been active in politics as well as Vice President and a Deputy Foreign Minister. 
  5. Minerva went to university to receive a degree in Law and Maria Teresa followed in her footsteps to go to university and received a degree in mathematics. 
  6. The three sisters (Patria Mercedes, María Argentina Minerva and Antonia María Teresa) as well as their husbands were involved in political activities against the Trujillo dictatorship. In fact they had been arrested multiple times. 
  7. It was as they were visiting their incarcerated husbands on November 25, 1960 that the 3 sisters were stopped, separated, strangled, and beaten to death. 
  8. Their assassination helped ignite the anti-Trujillo movement and within a year Rafael Trujillo was assassinated as well. 
  9. In 1997, after Joaquín Balaguer stepped down the Mirabal sisters were finally recognized as martyrs in the school curriculum. 
  10. The province where they grew up, Salcedo, was renamed to the Hermanas Mirabal Province in November 2007 to honor their legacy. 

Do you have someone who you think should be featured? Let me know below 👇

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