Cromos, série IV
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina (October 24, 1891–May 30, 1961) was the head of state of the Dominican Republic from 1930 until 1961, occupying the office of President of the Republic in 1930–38 and 1942–52. At the end of his final term, he engineered his continued rule of the country as de facto head of state, or dictator. Trujillo was commonly nicknamed, by the country's citizens, "El Chivo" ("the Goat," it being a promiscuous animal) in allusion to his many adulterous relationships.
During the United States occupation (1916–1924), Trujillo joined the National Guard, trained by the United States Marines to maintain order after the occupation. Quickly rising to high rank, Trujillo overthrew President Horacio Vásquez in 1930. After a devastating hurricane destroyed much of Santo Domingo, Trujillo devised a rebuilding plan to modernize the city, which he renamed Ciudad Trujillo (Trujillo City). He also renamed the highest point of the country Pico Trujillo (Trujillo Peak) after himself. Statues of himself were everywhere in the Republic. Trujillo used his political control to obtain great personal wealth. He achieved support from the United States by becoming one of Latin America's leading anti-communists.
He ruled with absolute authority. Until his demise, Dominican schoolchildren recited daily prayers for "God, country, and Trujillo," many households were required to post plaques professing allegiance to the official state party, Partido Dominicano, and travel by Dominicans within their country was surveiled or prohibited. His secret police (SIM, for Military Intelligence Service) jailed, tortured, or killed any opposition.
Trujillo's first wife, Aminta Ledesma, came from his hometown and they married in 1913. They had two children; one died early, and one was a daughter named Flor de Oro. He divorced her to marry a more socially acceptable woman, Bienvenida Ricardo, of a provincial aristocratic family. In 1937 he divorced again (his wife then being pregnant with a girl, who would be named Odette); his third wife was María Martínez, the daughter of Spanish immigrants. María bore him three children: sons Ramfis and Rhadamés, named after characters in Aida, and daughter Angelita. Trujillo was well-known for his adulterous affairs; for instance, he had a rather controversial one with Lina Lovatón Pittaluga, an upper-class debutante, just after marrying Martínez.