(born Oct. 24, 1891, San Cristóbal, Dom.Rep.—died May 30, 1961, Ciudad Trujillo, near San Cristóbal) Dictator of the Dominican Republic (1930–61). He entered the army in 1918 and rose through the ranks to become a general in 1927. In 1930 he seized power from Pres. Horacio Vásquez, and from then until his assassination he remained in absolute control of the country. Though he introduced a degree of economic modernization, its benefits were distributed inequitably, government corruption was rife, and Dominicans suffered the loss of civil and political liberties under his regime.
Learn more about Trujillo (Molina), Rafael (Leónidas) with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Trujillo, in northwestern Peru, is the capital of the La Libertad Region, and the third largest city in Peru. The city has 811,979 inhabitants and is an economic hub in northern Peru. The city is located at the banks of the Moche River, near its mouth on the Pacific Ocean.
The city played a significant role in the struggle against a complete Spanish rule. It declared its independence in 1820, served as temporary capital of Peru in 1825, and was the main headquarters for Simon Bolívar.
Trujillo has a dry climate with an average temperature of 21°C. The summers can reach temperatures over 32°C and the winters are never colder than 14°C. Most of the year, the temperature stays in the low to mid twenties.
Trujillo is known as “La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera", "The City of Eternal Spring", because of its very sunny and pleasant weather year-round. The International Spring Festival in early October attracts visitors from all over Peru and from all over the world.
Tourism is also a major industry in Trujillo due to the city's proximity to important sites where the Moche and Chimu civilizations evolved. These civilzations are well known artisans, many artifacts having been found during archaeological digs in the city. Nearby ruins include the Chimu mud city of Chan Chan,which is the world's largest city built out of adobe Chan-chan, also known as "Ciudad de la Luna" (City of the Moon) or "de las Largas Murallas" (of the Long Walls), has been compared with Teotihuacan in Mexico, and the ancient cities of Egypt. Other nearby ruins are the Moche ruins of Huaca del Sol, Huaca de la Luna, and El Brujo.
Trujillo aspires to be designated a World Heritage Site, because of the proximity of both those cultures and its historical colonial city centre whose old houses attract many visitors. The old mansions and manors of Trujillo are distinguished for their solemn and austere facades. Inside, their impressive halls are overflowing with ornaments. Trujillo's window railings are a truly unique feature of the mansions. The House of Ganoza-Chopitea or "casa Ganoza" with a polychromatic front in the baroque style, crowned by a rococo frontispiece and two lions, is the city's most representative example of Trujillano mansion architecture. Another one is the House of Mayorazgo, as old as the city itself, and holding one of Peru's greatest numismatic collections. In addition, the revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar lived in a house on the Plaza de Armas.
The world-famous beach Huanchaco, a surfing destination, is located just north of Trujillo.
There are plenty of higher education institutions. Trujillo is home to the majority of the universities and vocational institutes in northern Peru. The most recognized universities are the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, which was created in May 10, 1824 by Simon Bolivar. Other well-known universities are Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego, Universidad Privada Cesar Vallejo , Universidad Privada del Norte, Universidad Católica de Trujillo and Universidad Privada de Trujillo.