The story of how the murdered Mirabal sisters stood up to a brutal dictator will be remembered this week

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, on 25 November, marks when three sisters were killed for standing up to the Dominican Republic’s savage ruler Rafael Trujillo, writes David Harding

Wednesday 24 November 2021 00:00
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<p>In 1960, the Mirabal sisters were brutally murdered in their home country of the Dominican Republic for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo</p>

In 1960, the Mirabal sisters were brutally murdered in their home country of the Dominican Republic for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo

Thursday is the UN-designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It is a noble cause with a somewhat clunky title, but behind it lies a truly remarkable story.

On 25 November 1960, three sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal were brutally murdered in their home country of the Dominican Republic. Their “crime” was to oppose the appalling dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.

Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic with limitless brutality for more than 30 years. He was such a cruel man that his reign seems almost a caricature for dictators. Opponents were routinely killed, allegedly fed to sharks in some cases, he corruptly plundered billions and, almost inevitably, named the country’s highest mountain after himself.

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