Presentation on theme: "Rafael Trujillo The Dominican Dictator and His Era of Tyranny."— Presentation transcript:
Rafael Trujillo The Dominican Dictator and His Era of Tyranny
The Beginning of the End In 1916 the United States occupied the Dominican Republic in an attempt to establish a stable democracy. In the process, the U.S set up a Dominican National Guard and trained Dominican soldiers. In 1924, the United States pulled out after a somewhat successful election. Leaving behind Rafael Trujillo as the head of the Dominican National Guard.
The “election” of El Jefe(chief or boss) Rafael Trujillo or El Jefe as he came to be called, was the head of the National Guard through the 1920s under president Vasquez. In 1930, a rebellion led by Rafael Estrella broke out against President Vasquez. The rebels headed from Santiago to the capital of Santo Domingo. As head of the National Guard Trujillo was in charge of stopping any rebellions. In this situation however, Trujillo declared his neutrality and allowed the rebels to overtake the capital. President Vasquez fled leaving rebel leader Estrella(one of Trujillo’s acquaintances) as active president until the elections later that year. In the elections of 1930, Trujillo became president with a suspicious 95% of the votes. The election of Trujillo in 1930 was the beginning of the long and oppressive “Era of Trujillo”
The Era of Trujillo Trujillo was the dictator of the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. During his thirty one years of control, the people of the island of Hispaniola faced oppression and fear at the hands of Trujillo, his secret police, and his fellow cabinet members. Trujillo would not allow any opposition to his government and he went to any means necessary to keep his power. These means included assassinating any political opponent and imprisoning and torturing any citizen who spoke out against his government. The number of people who died in “accidents” or who just plain disappeared off the face of the earth was unnaturally high during the Tyranny of Trujillo.
Monumento a la Paz de Trujillo If you were going to build a statue to represent peace, what would you put on top of it?
The Era of Trujillo (cont.) Trujillo instilled fear in the citizens of his country and forced them to surrender to his wants and needs. Throughout his dictatorship he amassed a large personal fortune by stealing people’s land and taking control of a large portion of the businesses and factories in his country. Trujillo, who’s mother was supposedly 50% Haitian, ordered the massacre of thousands of Haitians. This was a result of his racist views against the mostly black Haitians.
The SIM and La Cuarenta Under the rule of Trujillo, the citizens of the Dominican Republic learned to watch what they said about politics because they knew that someone was always listening. If the SIM suspected a person of not agreeing with Trujillo, that person would be taken to a secret location such as La Cuarenta for “questioning”. These interrogations often included harsh tortures and threats to the person’s family. Many people never returned home after being kidnapped by the SIM.
Las hermanas Mirabal The Mirabal sisters are one example of the tragedies that occurred in the era of Trujillo. Minerva, Patria, Maria Teresa, and Dede Mirabal were a group of sisters who stood up against Trujillo and did not allow him to control their beliefs and actions. The Mirabal sisters along with their husbands set up an underground movement to overthrow the evil tyrant. The sisters and their husbands were imprisoned and tortured for conspiring against Trujillo. The sisters were eventually released, while their husbands remained imprisoned.
Las hermanas Mirabal (cont.) On November 25, 1960 Maria Teresa, Minerva, and Patria Mirabal along with their driver were returning from visiting their imprisoned husbands when they were stopped on the road by some of Trujillo’s men. The sisters and the driver were murdered in a field off the road and it was presented to the public as a car accident. Everybody knew the sisters as Las Mariposas and saw through the so called “accident”. Las Mariposas were heroes to the Dominican people and this assassination by Trujillo enraged the people. The movement against Trujillo that the Mirabal sisters helped to establish only grew stronger in their death. Their courage proved to the Dominican people that they needed to fight the tyrant and his goons.
In memory of the murder of the Mirabal sisters, November 25 is now the official international day for the elimination of violence against women.
The end of a tyranny On May 30, 1961 Rafael Trujillo was murdered in his car by a group of assassins. This assassination was the culmination of the efforts of the Mirabal sisters, the Catorce de Junio Movement, and all the Dominican people who did not allow Trujillo to keep them from standing up for their beliefs and opinions.