Why is 25N commemorated as the Day of Non-Violence against Women | The murder of the Mirabal sisters

This Thursday November 25 the 40 years of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women, date in tribute to the activist sisters of the Dominican Republic, Minerva, Patria and María Teresa Mirabal, who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo.

Although the celebration of 25N was made official by the United Nations (UN) On December 17, 1999, the truth is that the fight to eradicate gender violence has a long history.

The Mirabal sisters, also known as Las Mariposas, were born in Ojo de Agua, a small town in the province of Salcedo, in the north of the country, and they belonged to a wealthy family. In 1949 the family was invited to a reception in honor of the dictator Trujillo, who quickly became attracted to Minerva and began to court her. She, however, demanded that he end the judicial harassment against his close friend Pericles Franco, one of the founders of the Popular Socialist Party.

Minerva, Patria and María Teresa were imprisoned, raped and tortured on several occasions. His father, Enrique, was also arrested and released several times until he fell ill and died in late 1953.

That November 25, 1960, the three sisters were returning from seeing their husbands who were incarcerated when they were intercepted by members of the secret police, hanged and beaten. The objective of the force was that, once thrown into the car over a cliff, the murders would be interpreted as an accident.

That day, Minerva’s body was found shattered at the bottom of a ravine, inside a jeep along with her two sisters, Patria and María Teresa, and the driver of the car, Rufino de la Cruz.

At the time, the three sisters were between the ages of 25 and 36, had five children in total, and had a decade of political activism. A fourth sister, Belgium Adela “Dedé” Mirabal, who died in 2017, had a less active role in the dissent and managed to save herself.

The Mirabal in the collective memory of Latin American feminism

The following year, in March 1961, Trujillo was assassinated, and the hitmen of “Las Mariposas” sentenced to 30 years in prison, but fled the country with the help of military groups. The last of the confessed murderers, Cruz Velorio, died in early April after living in hiding for decades.

Years passed but The Mirabals were crystallized in the collective memory of feminist activists who 21 years later, in 1981, held the First Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Encounter in Bogotá, Colombia, and decided that every November 25 the International Day of Elimination be celebrated. of Violence against Women.

Two years earlier, in 1979, the United Nations (UN) had obtained the approval of the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (Cedaw), while in 1999 the General Assembly recognized November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The Mirabal sisters are still a symbol today. At the time of their assassinations, Latin America was witnessing a process of popular uprisings against the dictatorships of the region that also promoted the creation of a great movement in the Dominican Republic.

In this context, a year before the homicides, in 1959 the June 14 Group was created, which was chaired by Tavares, Minerva’s husband, and where the Mirabal sisters were known as The butterflies.

All the members of the organization were arrested and more than a hundred were tortured and lost their lives. Among them were several members of the most recognized families on the island, which increased the social pressure before the Trujillo regime. Those who did regain their freedom, however, were subjected to government surveillance and police harassment.

Activism and the fight against gender violence

Likewise, this Thursday marks the 30th anniversary of the 16 days of activism against gender violence campaign, originally launched by activists who participated in the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and, each year, continues to be coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

During the campaign that will run until December 10, the UN invites governments, civil society, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, the media and the entire United Nations system ” to join forces to face global problems “.

According to the UN, currently only two out of three countries ban gender-based violence, while in 37 states rapists are still not tried if they are married or if they later marry the victim. Furthermore, in 49 other states there is still no legislation that protects women from domestic violence.

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Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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