Skip to content

The Mirabal Sisters, 50 Years Later

In the Dominican Republic, their resistance in the time of butterflies endures as an inspiration to many

For 30 years, dictator Rafael Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic. An estimated 50,000 people—many of them from Haiti, the neighboring country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola—died under his reign from 1930 to 1961.

It was in this setting that four upper-class sisters, the Mirabal sisters, joined the resistance to Trujillo's dictatorship. For their dissent—dramatized in the book, film and play, In the Time of Butterflies—the Mirabal sisters endured years of harassment and persecution. On Nov. 25, 1960, three of the sisters were brutally murdered.

Their deaths left a terrible mark on the history of modern-day Dominican Republic. At the same time, the ideals for which they died have served as example and inspiration for many.

In this video, Dedé, the eldest and sole surviving Mirabal sister, along with other members of her family look back at the Trujillo Era, and also show how they rose above their tragedy to inspire future generations in the Dominican Republic and worldwide.