World February 23, 2024 | 11:04 am

UN exhibition honors Mirabal sisters’ legacy in Dominican independence commemoration

New York.- As part of the commemorative activities for the 180th anniversary of Dominican national independence, the UN headquarters in New York hosted the inauguration of a photographic exhibition titled “Sisters” on Thursday. The exhibition pays tribute to the Mirabal Sisters and features photographs related to their lives in “Ojo de Agua,” Hermanas Mirabal province.

The event drew a substantial audience, including numerous ambassadors accredited to the international organization and senior UN officials. The Dominican ambassador to the UN, José Alfonso Blanco, spearheaded the event, accompanied by members of the Permanent Mission. The President of the 78th UN General Assembly, His Excellency Dennis Francis, actively participated, along with Minou Tavárez Mirabal, daughter of Minerva and Manolo, and other members of the esteemed Mirabal family.

“In the context of the celebration of the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic, this exhibition goes further to highlight the crucial role of the Mirabal Sisters in the search for freedom and justice in our country, before and after their deaths,” expressed Ambassador Blanco in his welcome address.

He continued, “The celebration of the lives of these brave sisters has extreme meaning as we approach the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the UN resolution of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an initiative of the Dominican Republic.”

Expressing gratitude to those who contributed to the exhibition’s success, Ambassador Blanco specifically thanked curator Ilonka Arvelo.

The President of the General Assembly, in paying tribute to Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa Mirabal, acknowledged how the Dominican Republic continues to honor the memory of the Mirabal sisters and advocate for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

“Unfortunately, 65 years after the murder of the Mirabal sisters, the statistics on gender abuse worldwide continue to be regrettable,” added Ambassador Francis.

Minou Tavárez, representing the Mirabal family, lamented that violence persists, particularly affecting women, despite the expectations of a new century. She expressed gratitude for the act and pondered what Minerva would think if she witnessed how little had changed, emphasizing Minerva’s dedication to human rights and democracy.

Minou, also President of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court, concluded her speech by trusting that the example of the sisters would continue to inspire those fighting to end cycles of violence against women.

The exhibition, described as a journey through the lives of the Mirabal sisters, showcases a collection of recovered photographs spanning from 1929 to 1960, the year of their tragic murder. It narrates their captivating story and underscores their pivotal role in defending human rights and social justice, leaving an indelible mark on Dominican history.

“The Butterflies, as they were called in hiding, have flown to the city of New York, to the headquarters of the United Nations Organization, to engage them in their fight for the rights of all people. Their bravery and political fight for enduring values such as freedom, human rights, and democracy will continue to inspire generations.”

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