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Rafael Trujillo

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Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (October 24, 1891 – May 30, 1961), nicknamed El Jefe (The Chief or The Boss), served as dictator of the the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961. He officially served as president from 1930 to 1938 and again from 1942 to 1952, otherwise ruling as an unelected military strongman. His 30 years in power, to Dominicans known as the Trujillo Era (Spanish: La Era de Trujillo), is considered one of the bloodiest ever in the Americas, as well as a time of a classic personality cult, when monuments to Trujillo were in abundance. It has been estimated that Trujillo's authoritarian rule was responsible for the death of more than 50,000 people, including 20,000 to 30,000 Haitians in the infamous Parsley Massacre.

At the height of his power, Trujillo was one of the richest men in the world, reaching a net worth of $800 million. He was also a rapist, having hundreds of beautiful mulatto girls and various young virgins brought to him for a marathon romp, then sending them off with a few gifts (and sometimes a child). He was also very extravagant; he had thousands of suits, pairs of shoes which would be repeated by Imelda Marcos, and ties, all made of fine, expensive material. He also liked to travel a lot, his favorite trip being to Paris. The nails that kept his mansion together were reportedly made of solid gold.

One of his most infamous acts was his ordering of the brutal murder of the Mirabal Sisters, called Las Mariposas ("the butterflies"), three sisters who vehemently opposed his dictatorship. This was the last and biggest mistake he ever made. Once word of the murder reached outside his country's border, foreign approval/acceptance of his regime all but vanished. It was one of the last murders committed during his reign, as he was assassinated by CIA-backed plotters mere months later.

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