What happens in chapters 11 and 12?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Chapter 11 covers the time period from March to August, 1960 and is narrated by Mate. She and Minerva are in a cell with twenty-four women. The two sisters turn down the pardon that's offered to them because that would mean admitting they had done something wrong. Mate realizes she's pregnant but has miscarried. She decides this makes her torture physically easier to take. She isn't able to tell anyone what happened to her when she was tortured, so she writes it down. Mate is taken into a room where Leandro is also brought in. Leandro refuses to talk unless they release Mate, so they beat him. Then when Mate refuses to talk, they shock her. At their trial, Mate and Minerva receive a five-year prison sentence. Mate tells Minerva what happened to her, and Minerva says they should tell the OAS visitors. (Organization of American States) The OAS is visiting to interview prisoners about human rights violations. Mate is chosen to be interviewed, and the prisoners hide a statement in Mate's braid in her hair. In August, Mate and Minerva learn they're to be released.

Chapter 12 covers from August to November 25, 1960 and is told from Minerva's point of view. The sisters are now under house arrest. Pena tells them they should write a letter to Trujillo thanking him for their release. They reluctantly agree to it, knowing Trujillo's spies are outside their door. The sisters visit their husbands in jail. In October, they decide they will help to save men who have been marked for execution for giving out anti-government leaflets. However, they learn there's very little they can do because the revolution is scattered and there are new groups trying to overthrow Trujillo. Mate has her recurring bad dream of seeing her sisters' husbands in a coffin. The women's uncle tells them that Trujillo has made a threat against the sisters. Then they learn their husbands have been transferred to a prison that is further away and involves traveling over mountainous terrain. They worry that making this trip sets them up for a SIM attack.

In the epilogue, Dede tells us from her point of view how her sisters died. The murderers were put on trial a year after Trujillo's oust from power. One of the five men stood guard while the other four shot the sisters in cold blood. All of her sisters' husbands are also killed. Dede sees her role as explaining what happened in her country after attending an event honoring her sisters.

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