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Belicia de León, known as Beli, was Oscar and Lola’s mother. She came of age under the shadow of the Trujillo regime, and her experiences in this period left her with lasting emotional and physical scars. Beli was the third daughter of the respectable but doomed Cabral family. Her mother, a nurse, killed herself shortly after giving birth to her. Her father, a surgeon, was in prison when she was born. As an orphaned infant, Beli passed into the hands of distant relatives who then sold her to a family in Azua. There, she worked as a child slave for almost nine years and suffered a terrible disfigurement when the father of the family poured hot oil on her back. Her father’s cousin La Inca eventually tracked Beli down, adopted her, and attempted to give her an upbringing worthy of her family’s respectability. However, Beli’s rebellious personality got her into trouble with a Dominican gangster. After getting beaten nearly to death, Beli left the Dominican Republic for New York. Her new life only exhausted her further. Abandoned by her partner to raise two children on her own, Beli spent the rest of her life working nonstop to support her family.