The Mirabal crime: the blow to the regime
The Mirabal Sisters
On a day like today in 1960, the Mirabal Sisters Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, along with their driver Rufino de la Cruz, were assassinated with sticks by order of the despot Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.
The horrendous event shocked that society, which the regime had dominated for 30 years, and although the regime tried to make an accident out of the deaths, the truth soon came out. This tragedy fueled even more the anger against Trujillo, who was later assassinated, specifically on May 31, 1961. And precisely at the hands of a group of men, some of whom were close to the regime, but given the excesses he committed every day with his opponents, they understood that the time had come to put an end to that dictator.
On November 25, 1960, Patria (36), Minerva (34), and María Teresa (26) were captured when they were returning home after visiting their husbands (Manolo Tavarez, Pedro Antonio González, and Leandro Gumán), who were in prison in Puerto Plata, for being opponents of the regime as members of the 14 de Junio group. They were also in jail three months earlier and released on orders of Trujillo, who already had his death warrant.
And so it was that on the Duarte highway, they were intercepted by a group of agents, who beat them and threw the jeep in which they were traveling into a ravine so that it would be understood as an automobile accident, which it was not. The plan was directed by General Pupo Román.
“After apprehending them, we led them to the site near the abyss, where I ordered Rojas Lora to get sticks and take one of the girls. He complied with the order immediately and took one of them, the one with the long braids, Maria Teresa. Alfonso Cruz Valerio chose the tallest, Minerva, I chose the shortest and plumpest, Patria, and Malleta chose the driver, Rufino de La Cruz. I ordered each one to go into a cane field by the side of the road, all of them separated so that the victims would not witness the execution of each one of them. I tried to avoid this horrendous crime, but I could not, because I had direct orders from Trujillo and Johnny Abbes Garcia. Otherwise, they would have liquidated all of us”.
This is how Ciriaco de la Rosa, one of the murderers, coldly narrated it before a court in June 1962 in a trial that turned into a farce because although there were sentences, those implicated did not serve them.
The crime participants were Alfonso Cruz Valerio, Emilio Estrada Malleta, Néstor Antonio Pérez Terrero, and Ramón Emilio Rojas Lora. The murders were scheduled to take place days before. Still, they did not materialize because the victims were traveling with children, according to the executioners of the “butterflies,” as they are remembered.