The Mirabal Sisters are being commemorated in Washington Heights.
The late Dominican sisters, famous for their brave activism against dictator Rafael Trujillo in the 1950s-’60s, now have a street named after them in the largely Dominican New York neighborhood. According to New York City Council Member Ydanis, “the southeast corner of 168th St. and Amsterdam Avenue will be co-named Mirabal Sisters Way.”
“They stand as inspirational and visionary activists for social and political justice and role models to generations of women since their untimely death in 1960 at the hands of the Dominican tyrant Trujillo,” Rodriguez, who was born in the Caribbean country, said.
On Sunday, he joined members of the city’s Dominican community — including the Mirabal Sisters Cultural & Community Center and Altagracia Mirabal, the late siblings’ cousin — for the naming ceremony.
The Mirabal Sisters are a symbol of social justice and liberation. This is a historical moment that we honor the women who fought for equality and against tyranny in the Dominican Republic. I’m so proud to present Mirabal Sisters Way at 168th St. & Amsterdam Ave. pic.twitter.com/Hfr1UtQxQF
— Ydanis Rodriguez (@ydanis) February 10, 2019
Throughout their lives, Minerva, María Teresa and Patria Mirabal, known as Las Mariposas, resisted Trujillo’s oppressive regime, forming the Movement of the Fourteenth of June that attempted to overthrow the president and speaking out, often by distributing informative detailed pamphlets, against his atrocities. For their dissent, María Teresa and Minerva were sentenced to three years in prison in May 1960. They, however, were soon released following international calls for their freedom. But three months later, on November 25, 1960, the sisters were assassinated by Trujillo’s henchmen.
The women’s fight for justice has been honored by the United Nations General Assembly, who designated the anniversary of their murder as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In popular media, the Mirabal sisters have also been celebrated in Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez’s book “In the Time of Butterflies” and the film adaptation featuring Salma Hayek and Marc Anthony.