mercredi 9 décembre 2020

L'assassinat des sœurs Mirabal : symbole caribéen de la violence faite aux femmes

Depuis 1999, seuls deux pays sur trois ont interdit la violence domestique, tandis que 37 pays dans le monde continuent d’exempter les auteurs de viol s’ils sont mariés ou épousent éventuellement la victime. 49 pays n’ont actuellement aucune loi protégeant les femmes de la violence domestique. Il est moins connu que le 25 novembre, journée internationale contre les violences faites aux femmes, célèbre la mémoire des sœurs Mirabal, militantes féministes et démocrates assassinées par le dictateur dominicain Rafael Trujillo.


Origine du mouvement féministe en République Dominicaine

L’origine du mouvement féministe organisé en République Dominicaine souligne les interactions entre les questions de genre, de race et de classes. Il s’origine dans les contacts entre des femmes de la classe moyenne éduquée dominicaines et états-uniennes durant la première occupation de la République Dominicaine par les États-Unis entre 1916 et 1924. Ce sont ces interactions que Clara Palmiste explore à l’occasion du 46e colloque annuel de l’Association des historiens de la Caraïbe (2014) (Palmiste, 2014) en soulignant notamment le lien entre luttes féministes et luttes d’indépendance nationale.

Trujillo et les sœurs Mirabal

L’histoire des sœurs Mirabal illustre cette intrication. Les sœurs Mirabal – Patria (née en 1924), Minerva (née en 1926) et Maria Teresa (née en 1935), ainsi que Belgica Adela, dite Dede, qui ne participa pas directement à leur aventure – sont issues de la classe moyenne et reçoivent une bonne éducation dans la République Dominicaine dirigée par le dictateur Rafael Trujillo de 1930 à 1961.

Ce dernier, en plus d’être un dictateur particulièrement sanguinaire et mégalomane, au point de rebaptiser Ciudad Trujillo la capitale, était un prédateur sexuel à la réputation si établie que les familles dominicaines essayaient de cacher leurs filles à ses yeux quand il se déplaçait dans le pays.

Ayant remarqué les filles Mirabal et particulièrement Minerva, de l’avis général la plus belle et la plus charismatique, il invite la famille à une réception en 1949. Cette dernière ne peut refuser ; mais, alors que Trujillo danse avec Minerva, elle le gifle devant toute l’assemblée. Il est presque étonnant que la famille puisse alors rentrer chez elle vivante. Peu de temps après, le père Mirabal fut jeté en prison et torturé. Minerva dut venir s’excuser devant Trujillo pour obtenir la libération de son père. Elle obtint aussi de pouvoir s’inscrire à la Faculté de Droit de Santo Domingo, ce qui était alors interdit aux femmes.

Par vengeance, Trujillo refusa qu’elle puisse passer en deuxième année avant qu’elle ne prononce un discours public de louange à son égard et en 1957, alors qu’elle avait été reçue avec les honneurs, il interdit qu’elle puisse exercer la profession d’avocat.

Le Mouvement révolutionnaire du 14 juin

Pendant ses études, Minerva rencontre Manolo Tavárez Justo, militant anti-impérialiste et anti-trujilliste qu’elle épouse en 1955. Le couple mène une active campagne pour libérer son pays de Trujillo sans s’aligner sur les États-Unis, rejoint par de nombreux militants, dont deux sœurs de Minerva, Patria et Maria Teresa, qui rejoignent la lutte avec leurs époux.

Suite à la victoire de la Révolution cubaine le 1er janvier 1959, des militants du Mouvement de Libération dominicain soutenu par le nouveau régime cubain débarquent le 14 juin 1959 dans le nord de la République Dominicaine, mais ils sont rapidement défaits par les troupes trujillistes.

Cet échec pousse les militants démocrates de l’intérieur à se rassembler dans un mouvement unique, le Movimiento Revolucionario 14 de Junio (1J4) dont Manolo Tavárez et Minerva Mirabal sont les deux figures emblématiques. Le 1J4 programme un attentat contre Trujillo à l’occasion d’une fête agricole, mais le jour avant l’action prévue, le 21 janvier 1960, le SIM, le service de renseignement trujilliste, opère une grande rafle parmi les militants du 1J4, emprisonnant de nombreux militants dont les trois sœurs Mirabal et leurs maris.

Les emprisonnements et les tortures contre des militants anti-trujillistes, pour beaucoup issus de familles aisées proches du régime, provoquent un électrochoc dans la société dominicaine qui s’éloigne de plus en plus de Trujillo. La lettre pastorale de janvier 1960 des évêques dominicains, qui signe la rupture entre Trujillo et l’Église catholique, et les tentatives de Trujillo d’assassiner le président vénézuélien Romulo Betancourt, poussent de nombreux pays de l’hémisphère américain à commencer par les États-Unis présidés par John F. Kennedy, à ne plus soutenir le régime trujilliste. Suite aux sanctions internationales, Trujillo est obligé de libérer de nombreuses militantes du Mouvement du 14 juin, mais garde les hommes en prison.

L’assassinat

La Fotaleza San Felipe de Puerta Plata 

Le 25 novembre 1960, les trois sœurs Mirabal sont autorisées à rendre visite à leurs maris emprisonnés dans la Fortaleza San Felipe de Puerta Plata au nord de la République Dominicaine. Sur le chemin du retour des agents trujillistes les arrêtent sur une route isolée de la Cordillère centrale. Les trois sœurs et leur chauffeur sont battus à mort et leurs assassins tentent de maquiller le crime en accident de voiture. La nouvelle déclenche une vague d’indignation dans toute la République Dominicaine.

Six mois plus tard, le 30 mai 1961, un groupe d’officiers assassine Trujillo avec le soutien implicite des États-Unis. Cette mort ouvre une période troublée où la brève période démocratique sous la présidence de Juan Bosch est brutalement interrompue par un putsch de militaires anti-communistes puis une guerre civile qui se conclut avec la deuxième occupation de la République Dominicaine par les États-Unis entre 1965 et 1966 et le retour de Joaquín Balaguer, Président en titre de la République Dominicaine au moment de l’assassinat de Trujillo.

Postérité des sœurs Mirabal

En juillet 1981, la première rencontre féministe d’Amérique latine et de la Caraïbe à Bogotá proclame le 25 novembre « Journée internationale de non-violence envers les femmes », étendant ainsi leur renommée à toute l’Amérique latine.

En 1994, l’écrivaine Julia Alvarez publie en anglais, In the Time of the Butterflies (Algonquin Books), un roman historique narrant l’histoire des « Sœurs papillons » en reprenant le point de vue de Minerva Mirabal. Ce roman d’une des auteures américaines d’origine dominicaine les plus renommées fit connaître cette histoire aux États-Unis. Cette même année, la maison natale des trois sœurs est convertie en musée sous l’égide de la Fondacion Hermanas Mirabal dirigée par Dédé Mirabal, la dernière survivante.

Le 8 mars 1997, à l’occasion de la première Journée internationale des femmes suivant le départ définitif de Balaguer du pouvoir, l’un des deux obélisques ornant le Malecon de Santo Domingo est repeint avec le portrait des trois sœurs. Cet obélisque avait été érigé à l’origine par Trujillo pour célébrer la fin de la tutelle des États-Unis sur les douanes de la République Dominicaine et le retour à la pleine souveraineté.

En 1999, l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU proclame le 25 novembre « Journée internationale contre les violences de genre ».

Le 25 novembre 2000 les restes des trois sœurs sont transférés dans le jardin de la Maison-Musée des Sœurs Mirabal qui devient officiellement une annexe du Panthéon de la Patrie dominicain et un monument en leur honneur est érigé.

En 2007, leur province de naissance, Salcedo, est rebaptisée Provincia de Hermanas Mirabal.

En 2001, le réalisateur espagnol, Mariano Barroso, réalise un téléfilm reprenant le roman de Julia Alvarez dans lequel Salma Hayek joue le rôle de Minerva et en 2010, le film Trópico de Sangre, dirigé le réalisateur dominicain Juan Delancer, reprend l’histoire des sœurs Mirabal en s’appuyant sur le témoignage de Dédé Mirabal.


Pour aller plus loin

Conférence sur Manioc

Palmiste, Clara, L'élaboration d'une pensée féministe sous domination : le cas de la République dominicaine dans les années 1920, 2014 : http://www.manioc.org/fichiers/V15007

Ouvrages

Alvarez, Julia. In the Time of the Butterflies. Algonquin Books, 1994. (trad. : Au temps des papillons. Métailié, 2003.)

Manley, Elizabeth S. The Paradox of Paternalism : Women and the Politics of Authoritarianism in the Dominican Republic. University Press of Florida, 2017.

Maier, Elizabeth, et Nathalie Lebon. Women’s Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean : Engendering Social Justice, Democratizing Citizenship. Rutgers University Press, 2010.

Vargas Llosa, Mario. La fiesta del Chivo. Alfaguara, 2000. (trad. : La Fête au Bouc. Gallimard, 2000)

Articles

Puleo, Gus. « Remembering and Reconstruction the Mirabal Sisters in Julia Álvarez’s “In the Time of the Butterflies” ». Bilingual Review / La Revista Bilingüe, vol. 23, no 1, Bilingual Press / Editorial Bilingüe, 1998, p. 11‑20.

Robinson, Nancy P. « Origins of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: The Caribbean Contribution ». Caribbean Studies, vol. 34, no 2, Institute of Caribbean Studies, UPR, Rio Piedras Campus, 2006, p. 141‑61.

Hall, Michael R. « The Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy in the Dominican Republic ». Journal of Third World Studies, vol. 23, no 1, University Press of Florida, 2006, p. 13‑16.

Films

Barroso, Mariano. In the Time of the Butterflies. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Showtime Networks, Ventanarosa Productions, 2004.

Delancer, Juan. Tropico de Sangre. Kemasi Films, 2010.

Voir aussi :

Site officiel de la maison natale des trois sœurs convertie en musée, la Casa Museo Hermanas Mirabal : http://casamuseohermanasmirabal.com


FV



Lien vers l'article : http://blog.manioc.org/2020/12/lassassinat-des-surs-mirabal-symbole.html

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