Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina

Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (räfäĕl´ lāōnē´ŧħäs trōōhē´yō mōlē´nä), 1891–1961, president of the Dominican Republic (1930–38, 1942–52). Trained by U.S. marines during U.S. occupation of the country, he was army chief in the presidency of Horacio Vásquez, whom he ousted in 1930. He became dictator and retained power until his death even when not in the presidency. His autocratic, efficient, and ruthless regime accomplished considerable material progress. Terroristic methods were used, however, not only to repress Dominican opposition, but also against neighboring Haiti; in 1937, to stop Haitian infiltration, Dominican troops crossed the border and massacred between 10,000 and 15,000 Haitians. Generalissimo Trujillo was constantly embroiled in difficulties with other Caribbean countries, charging that plots were being hatched against him abroad. In 1956 rumor blamed the Trujillo regime for the disappearance from New York City of Jesús de Galíndez, a Columbia Univ. instructor who had sharply criticized Trujillo. Trujillo was assassinated in 1961.

See R. D. Crassweller, Trujillo: The Life and Times of a Caribbean Dictator (1966); J. de Galíndez, The Era of Trujillo (pub. after his disappearance, 1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Trujillo: Little Caesar of the Caribbean
Germán E. Ornes.
Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1958
President Trujillo, His Work and the Dominican Republic
Lawrence De Besault.
The Washington Publishing Company, 1936
Sugar and Power in the Dominican Republic: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Trujillos
Michael R. Hall.
Greenwood Press, 2000
The United States and the Trujillo Regime
G. Pope Atkins; Larman C. Wilson.
Rutgers University Press, 1971
The Struggle for Democratic Politics in the Dominican Republic
Jonathan Hartlyn.
University of North Carolina Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Trujillo in Power: Explanations and Characteristics" begins on p. 45
State and Society in the Dominican Republic
Emelio Betances.
Westview Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Class and State Formation under Trujillo"
Journey toward the Sunlight: A Story of the Dominican Republic and Its People
Stanley Walker.
Caribbean Library, 1947
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Rafael Trujillo in multiple chapters
Quisqueya La Bella: The Dominican Republic in Historical and Cultural Perspective
Alan Cambeira.
M. E. Sharpe, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 21 "The Era of Trujillo: 1930-1961" and "Living in the Shadow of Trujillo" begins on p. 178
Culture and Customs of the Dominican Republic
Isabel Zakrzewski Brown.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "The Trujillo Era" begins on p. 162
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