Although sixty years have passed, the memory of the Dominicans does not forget the murder of the Mirabal sisters, ordered – like many others, including the Haitian genocide – by the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, the Caribbean Generalissimo who would perpetuate himself in Latin American history as one of the most cruel, ruthless and vain rulers of the last century.
The memory of this character, military and political, so well known for being the protagonist of La fiesta del Chivo, Vargas Llosa’s great novel, has been rekindled these days in the Dominican Republic before the news of the death at the age of 83 – as a result of cancer – of the last surviving executor of that group of unscrupulous murderers of the regime.
Alfonso Cruz Valerio, who lived lucidly in the last years in the north of the city of Santiago, had been co-author, on November 25, 1960, of the triple murder of the sisters Patria, Minerva and María TeresaDaughters of a wealthy Salceda family, and well trained, they were very critical and active against Trujillo and his dictatorship.
They were known as Las Mariposas for their elegance and culture, and one evening, when they returned home after visiting the husband of María Teresa, a political prisoner, in jail, five henchmen of the private police of Trujillo, masked, they kidnapped, tortured, raped and beat them to death. Alfonso Cruz, one of them, was cruel to María Teresa until he beat her to pieces.
The sisters were known as
The Butterflies for their elegance and culture
Then they put their bodies in a car and crashed it to simulate an accident that the government justified and immediately silenced. Since then it remains the memory of that national commotion that awoke the news and the details that became known. After some time and with another political situation, the five murderers were identified, tried and sentenced to prison terms of 30 and 20 years, of which they barely served two.
Alfonso Cruz, considered the head of the group, outlived the others and, despite the stigma that pointed to him, refused to leave the country where he aroused so much hatred and contempt and remained in his neighborhood in a barely isolated house. without ever asking for forgiveness. Neighbors describe him as a hermetic type, without friends and with few social relationships, and with a contemptuous air of respect for others.