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Remembering the Mirabal Sisters

21 Nov, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

The United Nations in 1999 designated Nov. 25 as the International Day Against Violence Towards Women. For years before that, many women activists have earmarked that day as such, probably more so in Latin American countries.

The date came about after the brutal murders of the three Mirabal sisters on Nov. 25, 1960. Minerva, Mate and Patria were vocal political dissidents against the oppressive and bloody regime of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. They were savagely killed by Trujillo's men, and their deaths callously made to look like a car accident.

As we approach the anniversary of their death, it’s a good time to reflect on these brave and inspiring sisters and how they fought for justice and freedom in their country. If you don’t know much about these women, who were know as "Las Mariposas" (The Butterflies), I urge you to learn and watch two wonderful movies, available on DVD.

The 2002 feature In the Time of Butterflies stars Salma Hayek, Mia Maestro, Lumi Cavazos, Edward James Olmos, Demian Bechir, Marc Anthony and so many other talented actors. This film is adapted from the book of the same name by Julia Alvarez that tells a fictionalized account based on the true lives of the Mirabal sisters. (The book, too, is a wonderful read.)

The more recent Tropico de Sangre (2010) stars Michelle Rodriguez, Juan Fernandez, César Évora and others in a film that aims to stick more closely to history. While this film doesn’t have as much star power as In the Time of Butterflies, it does have the blessing of the surviving Mirabal sister, Dedé, who consulted on the film and even appears in it. 

Both are worth a viewing.

... Have a happy, blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

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About the Author: Angelique Flores

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