With their activism in the Dominican Republic, 3 courageous Mirabal sisters, known as “The Butterflies,” changed the world and dared to speak out against decades of oppression. The sisters led an underground resistance movement and inspired the nation to free themselves from tyranny, leading to mass outrage, a state-orchestrated assassination, and taking down one of the 20th century’s worst dictators, Rafael Trujillo (aka El Jefe).
“Sisters of the Underground” shares the Mirabal sisters’ story in this scripted, 8-episode historical podcast executive produced by Eva Longoria and Dania Ramirez. Stream My Cultura Network’s series from the first episode to learn how the sisters sparked the movement to free their nation from a brutal dictatorship that endured for over 30 years. In the Dominican Republic, the sisters are legends, and this series highlights their story for a broader audience around the world.
Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal grew up under Trujillo’s regime and knew about the constant injustices the nation faced. Before coming into power in 1930, Trujillo was the army’s commander in chief. Trujillo orchestrated the country’s economy, production of goods like tobacco, meat, and rice, and syphoned all profits to his family and supporters.
All previous political and civil liberties vanished, and the Dominican Party was the only one allowed. Trujillo used his secret police force to punish or eliminate any threats to his regime.
In 1949, Minerva had already been arrested for opposition. Minerva met activist Manolo Tavárez Justo at the University of Santo Domingo. They married in 1955 and formed the resistance party. Patria, María Teresa, and their husbands also joined their efforts. They organized the failed 14th of June Movement in 1960, and were arrested shortly thereafter. Later on, the sisters ultimately died for the cause and further inspired the resistance movement.
“Sisters of the Underground’s” new episodes will be released over the next few weeks.