Becoming The Butterflies
The Political Participation of the Mirabal Sisters

"Minerva Mirabal was the one who had taken the seed of sedition to her family and [her husband Manuel] Tavarez Justo… [she was] sick with radical Leftism, which, spreading during that time, drove her to her death and took her family to tragedy."

Gen. Johnny Abbes Garcia
Trujillo y Yo

In 1938, the oldest three of the sisters — Patria, Dedé, and Minerva— were sent to Inmaculada Concepción, a Catholic secondary school in La Vega. Minerva Mirabal was the first of the sisters to become involved in the underground movements to overthrow the government. She made friends at Inmaculada whose relatives had been arrested, tortured, and killed by Trujillo's men. Even as a young girl, Minerva was very rebellious, and based her actions on her own judgements of right versus wrong. Minerva, a patriotic liberal, understood politics and aspired to study law. In the 1940's, she met Pericles Franco Ornes, the founder of the Popular Socialist Party. He was a known anti-trujillista and had been jailed various times for his political activities. Other influences on Minerva's growing anti-trujillo sentiments included leftist literature and the illegally intercepted radio stations from Cuba and Venezuela that objectively discussed the political situation in the Dominican Republic.