Truth commission sought to uncover brutal Trujillo era in Dominican Republic

A new campaign seeks to establish a Truth Commission in the Dominican Republic to delve into the brutal years of dictator Rafael Trujillo.

The director of the National Museum of Resistance says it has collected 15,000 signatures to petition the Dominican government to create the commission. Luisa de Pena said Monday the government needs to address for the first time how many people were tortured and killed under the 1930-1961 rule of Trujillo and the early years of the Joaquin Balaguer presidency that followed.

Truth commissions are intended to expose abuses while allowing witnesses to speak without fear of prosecution. An estimated 50,000 people were killed under Trujillo, including an estimated 17,000 Haitians massacred in 1937. Organizers plan to submit the petition in December.