Story of those who killed the Mirabal sisters

Among the atrocities committed by the Military Intelligence Service (SIM) that produced the greatest impact on the population is the murder of Minerva, Patria, María Teresa Mirabal and Rufino de la Cruz on November 25, 1960, which was perpetrated by the chief of the SIM in the Cibao region, Alicinio Peña Rivera.

The day the sisters were intercepted by SIM henchmen near the place known as La Cumbre, where Trujillo had a summer house; They were killed with sticks, stab wounds and forceful blows, according to the reviews about the event.

The murder of the three young women outraged various sectors and had repercussions in the international community, which, according to experts, marked the beginning of the end of the Trujillo Era.

Alicinio Peña Rivera, one of the murderers of the Mirabal sisters

In this regard, Peña Rivera captured his memories years later.

«He arrived unexpectedly, and I was surprised to see him enter my barracks. On his kepi she wore the golden bouquets of a superior officer. It was Major Torres Tejada, Chief of the SIM. We greeted each other cordially and he invited me to have a beer at Café Antillas, a legendary establishment run by some Chinese nationals, located opposite the city’s recreation square. We settled in his car, and we left. ”, Wrote Peña Rivera.

Peña Rivera added that during the journey neither he nor Torres Tejada talked about anything interesting; However, everything changed when the latter gave him a transcendental order.

Murderers of the Mirabal sisters in the dock

«I come from the Minister of the Armed Forces, General Román, so that you can arrange for the transfer to Puerto Plata of the husbands of the Mirabals, who are in the Salcedo prison. Tell them that we are waiting for an introduction of clandestine weapons, and since we hope to capture the smugglers we need to have them in the area of ​​the events so that they can help us determine if these people belonged to the “June 14” movement. Explain to them that as soon as the operation is over they will be returned to Salcedo, that there is nothing against them, and that their wives can visit them as usual.”

Peña Rivera explained that Torres Tejada then told him: “Once transferred, you must prepare an ambush for the Mirabals on the highway, kill them and simulate a car accident, leaving no one alive. That’s the boss’s wish«.

Emilio Estrada Malleta, one of the assassins

testimony at trial

During the trial that followed the murderers of the Mirabal sisters, Ciriaco de la Rosa, one of the killers, would also tell his version of the fateful day.

“After arresting them, we took them to the place near the abyss, where I ordered Rojas Lora to take sticks and take one of the girls away. He complied with the order immediately and took one of them, the one with the long braids (María Teresa). Alfonso Cruz Valerio chose the tallest (Minerva), I chose the shortest and chubby (Patria) and Malleta, the driver, Rufino de La Cruz. I ordered each one to enter a cane field on the side of the road, all separated so that the victims would not witness the execution of each one of them. I ordered Pérez Terrero to stay on the road to see if any vehicle or someone who might find out about the case was approaching.

condemnation of the murderers

Cruz Valerio, Emilio Estrada Malleta, Ramón Emilio Rojas and Néstor Pérez Terrero were sentenced to 30 years in prison and Ciriaco de la Rosa, to 20 years in 1963, after being found materially guilty of the crime against the sisters and the driver Rufino de la Cruz , who had taken them in his vehicle to Puerto Plata where their husbands were imprisoned.

However, they all escaped from the Ozama Fortress, in Santo Domingo, at the beginning of the April Revolution of 1965 and never returned to prison.

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