Human Rights Heroes

The Mirabel Sisters

The Mirabal Sisters (in Spanish, Hermanas Mirabal) were four sisters in the Dominican Republic who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who ruled the country as a dictator from 1930 to his assassination in 1961. The Trujillo era in the Dominican Republic is considered one of the bloodiest eras ever in the Americas. Civil liberties were nonexistent, human rights violations by the government routine, including massacres of civilians, torture and other atrocities.

The sisters distributed pamphlets about the people executed and incarcerated by Trujillo, and prepared for an open revolt against the regime.

On 25 November 1960, Patria, Minerva and María Teresa were clubbed to death by two of Trujillo’s right-hand men. The assassinations turned the Mirabal sisters into international symbols of both popular and feminist resistance. In 1999, the sisters received recognition by the United Nations General Assembly, who designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.