Life of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo



Rafael Leonidas Trujillo was one of the most well known ruthless dictators in the new world. He was born in the year 1891 and his parents were Jose Trujillo Valdez and Julia Molina Chevalier. Trujillo’s childhood was considered normal under the conditions of the Dominican Republic at the beginning of the 20th century. He had a very limited education just like most of the people at that time and started working at the age of 16 as a telegraph operator.

A couple of years later around 1918 Trujillo formed part of the Dominican Republic army and very soon managed to obtain the rank of general.

Around the year 1930 Rafael Leonidas Trujillo used his power to manipulate the elections and beat the former president Horacio Vazquez. At that precise moment Trujillo created a special force to torture and kill anyone opposing him. Around the year 1936 the Dominican Republic congress voted to change the name of Santo Domingo to Ciudad Trujillo. He also ordered to rename the highest peak in the country, the construction of some hotels in the city of Boca Chica and several monuments in his honor. He won 2 consecutive terms but refused to go on a third one taking a similar position to the president of the United States. Later after 4 years he ran again for president and was elected by a vast majority. 


The rule of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo had the complete approval of the United States government especially for his anti communist views.

He also had a policy of accepting foreigners with one notable exception. Haitians and basically all black people were greatly discriminated by his government. The parsley massacre in the year 1937 where 20000 to 30000 Haitians were killed was a clear example of the dictator’s feelings toward the Haitians. He always thought that white people should get the better things in life.

The relationship between Trujillo and the United States started to deteriorate as he wanted absolute control over the country’s finances. It also didn’t help that he was very unpopular in the Dominican Republic and other countries.

The excessive violence he used against his opposition including innocent people created an overall international resentment toward him.


In May 30, 1961 Trujillo was assassinated in Santo Domingo. It has been mentioned that the United States might have been involved in the killing of the dictator, however, the government has denied any direct connection with the incident.





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