- historical event: The Mirabal sisters were named Las Mariposas (Spanish: butterflies). On this day the members of the dictatorial regime strangled them and broke their bones. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is celebrated in their memory.
Today the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is celebrated in commemoration of the Mirabal sisters, who were violently murdered on that day by the order of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo. During life, the four sisters were activists in the fight against Trujillo’s autocratic regime. They were called Las Mariposas (Spanish: butterflies). On this day three of the four sisters were returning from visiting their husbands in jail when they were attacked by members of Trujillo’s secret police. All three, along with their driver, were strangled and their bones were broken, and the car was driven into a ravine. Only one sister remained alive, who is to this day committed to preserving the memories of her murdered sisters. In 1999 the United Nations declared this day the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.