This week we’ll look at a note from the Dominican Republic, 200 Pesos, p178a 2007. It is amazing the stories from history that some notes tell. In this case, this note honors the lives of 3 sisters who died fighting against a malicious dictator. Rafael Trujillo ruled in the Dominican Republic from 1930-1961. He became president shortly after the US ended its occupation of the DR. Trujillo was used to getting whatever he wanted and responded in extreme ways to any perceived slights against him. He was also hungry for money and created monopolies in salt, meat, rice, and milk, which made these items difficult for people to afford, but helped him to become the richest man in the DR.
The Mirabal sisters who are pictured on this note (Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa) were born into a family of farmers. Their mother, Mercedes, saw the importance of education, and made sure that her daughters were schooled. This education raised their awareness of the political situation of their country, and they did not wish for their children to grow up under such abuse of power. However, the catalyst to getting these sisters involved in bringing down Trujillo was when he made sexual advances toward Minerva, which she rejected. Trujillo was so angered that he threw their father in prison and made it impossible for Minerva to get her license to practice law, although she had graduated with a law degree. Trujillo didn’t know it, but he had messed with the wrong family.
The sisters became activists, handing out materials to encourage the people to fight against this evil dictator. With a group of activists they attempted to assassinate Trujillo in 1960, but their plot was discovered and they were thrown in jail. Trujillo then released them due to international political pressure but was determined that they be killed. He arranged for their husbands, who were still in prison, to be moved to a remote jail. When the sisters went to visit their husbands, they were ambushed and killed, and then placed back into their jeep and pushed over a cliff to make it look like an accident. Knowing Trujillo’s hatred for these women, no one believed that this was an accident, and the incident led to the assassination of Trujillo in 1961 when the people finally had enough of this tyrant ruling their country. A monument was built honoring the Mirabal sisters in the place where they had been killed, which is pictured on the back of this note. I believe this story shows that anyone can make a difference in the world, no matter what humble circumstances they come from. The Mirabal sisters fought for what was right, and it changed the fate of their country.
Country: Dominican Republic
Denomination: 200 Pesos
Pick #: 178a
Other Info: Caribbean Islands Currency
Depictions: Mirabal Sisters – Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa; Monument to Mirabal Sisters (Monumento A Las Hermanas Mirabal)
Note Size: 6″ x 2 1/2″
Continent: North and Central America