Inauguration of Memorial Museum of Dominican Resistance
Under the auspices of the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, and in the presence of a large number of dignitaries and invited guests, the Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana was opened on 29 May 2011, the eve of the 50th anniversary of the overthrow of the Trujillo regime and the ending of the dictatorship period in the country.
In her opening remarks, the Director of the Museum, Luisa De Peña Diaz, stated that the Museum is designed to honour the memory of the resistance movement to remind present and future generations that never again should anyone anywhere have to endure the brutalities suffered by the Dominican Republic. The museum seeks to raise awareness of the issues relating to respect for human rights by acknowledging the abuses of the past, building collective consciousness and memory, and creating a stronger society.
In 2009, the Documentary Heritage on the Resistance and Struggle for Human Rights in the Dominican Republic, 1930-1961 was inscribed on the Memory of the World International Register in recognition of its global significance in documenting one of the most oppressive regimes in the Latin American history, under which thousands of Dominicans and foreigners were imprisoned, tortured or killed. These atrocities are documented as well as the Dominican resistance movement and its struggle for democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.
A special plaque confirming the inscription on the Memory of the World Register was unveiled during the ceremony. The Memory of the World Programme serves to draw attention to the need to protect the world's documentary heritage which is kept by information institutions including museums, libraries and archives. It highlights the invaluable work done by custodial institutions to ensure that the world's collective memory is maintained.
The opening was also the kick off for an international conference on Memory and Justice: How museums, archives and historical centres contribute to the development of society.