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Mirabal Sisters

 Tomorrow–Nov. 25th, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, designated by the United Nations in 1999 in commemoration of the Mirabal sisters: Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa who were murdered on Nov. 25, 1960 because of their bold and fearless opposition to Rafael Trujillo, brutal dictator of the Dominican Republic (1930-1961). Just a few days ago, Linda and I visited friends in the  Dominican Republic, who arranged a 10-hour road trip for us to visit the Casa Museo Hermanas Mirabal, a profound experience. The museum, in what was the sisters’ home at the time of their murder, was created by their surviving sister, Dede, to honor her sisters, who were known as las Mariposas, “the butterflies,” in the resistance movement.  We viewed personal items, including a wedding dress, embroidery, teacup collection, and artifacts of their murder such as shoes, handbags, and the heartbreaking display–the long braid of hair that Dede cut from Maria Teresa’s head in the morgue. The sisters were survived by their husbands, (one of whom was later killed for his political activism), six young children (Minerva’s daughter is currently a congresswoman), and their mother. Linda took this picture of me looking at busts of Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa.

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