Sunday, 27 November 2011

Dominicans walk to end violence against women

Waiting for the military band to lead the march

The Three Martyred Sisters

   Women activists and the United Nations have marked November 25 as The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The date also commemorates in the Dominican Republic the brutal slaying of three sisters who opposed the rule of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. The sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal were murdered in 1960. Most historians agree that Trujillo ordered their murders because the sisters continually opposed corruption and violence Trujillo used to keep himself in power.
   However, it also led to the dictators own death six months later when seven men ambushed  Trujillo  killing him as he was being driven to see one of his many mistresses.
 Of the seven men involved in the killing of the dictator, two of the conspirators were later shot and killed, four were captured and executed.
   There was one sole survivor who managed to escape and is living in the Dominican Republic. He is in his nineties. A fourth sister is also still living in the Dominican.

      Marching for Women in the Dominican

Ilda, Margarita and Gloria  walking through San Pedro de Macoris  

   It was a perfect day for the march. Just a light sprinkle of rain, not too hot and a slight cloud cover.  The turnout was excellent. 
   The march began at 3;30 pm, headed up by the military band followed by policemen and women, the red cross, the firemen, school children in their school uniforms and about 1500 people participating in the march.
It was a perfect day to take photos of downtown San Pedro and some of the historic buildings along the way.

We took a picture of the modern Cancer Clinic baseball player Sammy Sosa built for the people of the Dominican Republic

   All traffic stops for a march. Most of these young men are what they call motorcycle taxis. They had to wait about 15 minutes for the marchers to pass by. By their smiles they didn't seem to mind. The army and police were always posted at the intersections to make sure it was safe.

   Notice the kids on the balcony. This is a Catholic girls school.  I'm sure the teachers taught them the reason for this  demonstration. There was also a large contingent of various school children in the march.

                                Someone we met on the way
Looking back along the parade route


  Finally we can see the end of the march. The beautifully restored Catholic Church San Pedro the Apostle. This was the end of the march, which was not the end. There was another hour and a half of speeches from organizers and politicans. All in all it was quite successful. Although this day was declared official by the United Nations, I think in 1999. It really began much earlier in the Dominican. It began shortley  after the deaths of the three Dominican women more than 50 years ago and has continued ever since.

The camera I used was nothing special. I had planned to use my G11 but because of the rain I used my wifes Kodak video camer which will also take snapshots. At only 5 migapixals I was surprised it did so well and water does not affect it.

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