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Las Mariposas were four sisters from the Dominican Republic who were part of a movement to end the fascist Trujillo government. The Mirabal sisters were political activists and highly visible symbols of resistance to Trujillo's dictatorship. As a result, the sisters and their families were constantly persecuted for their outspoken as well as clandestine activities against the State. On 25 November 1960, the sisters were assassinated in an "accident" as they were being driven to visit their husbands who were in prison. The accident caused much public outcry, and shocked and enraged the nation. The brutal assassination of the Mirabal sisters was one of the events that helped propel the anti-Trujillo movement, and within a year, the Trujillo dictatorship came to an end.
Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. The Mirabal sisters, known as the Unforgettable Butterflies/Las Mariposas Inolvidables, are now national heroines of the Dominican Republic. They have been immortalized in poem, fiction, art, and with an international day dedicated to them. The day reminds people internationally of the crisis of violence against women in Latin America and promotes global recognition of gender violence.
November 25 marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women campaign. The campaign runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and White Ribbon Day) to 10 December (World Human Rights Day).
The 16 Days campaign is used by individuals and groups to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against
women. The campaign: