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In the Time of the Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez
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Who killed Minerva?

Minerva, along with Patria, Mate, and their driver, is shot and killed by Trujillo's men as she returns from visiting her husband in prison.

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On November 25, 1961 Minerva, Patria, and Mate travel over a dangerous mountain road for the fourth time to visit their husbands in prison. Their husbands, fearing they are in danger, urge them to stay nearby for the night. The women refuse.

On the way back, the Mirabal sisters are...

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On November 25, 1961 Minerva, Patria, and Mate travel over a dangerous mountain road for the fourth time to visit their husbands in prison. Their husbands, fearing they are in danger, urge them to stay nearby for the night. The women refuse.

On the way back, the Mirabal sisters are confronted by a roadblock and stopped by five of Trujillo's SIM men. While one of the men watches, each of the other four shoots and kills one of the sisters and their faithful driver, Rufino.

Dedé and her mother receive news that the sisters, including Minerva, have been killed in a car accident, with the jeep having careened off the edge of a cliff at a dangerous bend in the road, but eyewitness reports indicate that they were murdered by the SIM.

Dedé is deeply distressed by their deaths but realizes that her role from now on will be to act as the speaker for her sisters. Their deaths become one of the catalysts causing the United States to withdraw its thirty-year support of Trujillo's brutal dictatorship, paving the way for his assassination. Dedé comes to believe that none of them died in vain, and the women become national and international heroes for the stand they took against tyranny.

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