The trail of the independent artist Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto – “The Sixth” – has been set for tomorrow at 8:30 AM in the Plaza of the Revolution municipal court.
The cartoonist and creator of numerous graffiti is accused of the alleged crime of threatening his wife, which could mask political retaliation. The complaint was made by Danilo’s wife’s father, who was also present as the main prosecution witness.
Friends and colleagues fear that the court hearing is a way of settling accounts with this uncomfortable “king of the spray can.” In statements to 14ymedio, El Sexto has demonstration his dissatisfaction with the legal process and has confirmed that his wife was present during the session to “state what occurred.” Right now the couple is living under the same roof together with their small daughter and hope that “the charges won’t go forward.”
With regards to tomorrow’s trial, Maldonaldo believes, “There won’t be any problems, although there is always the pressure. Just for the simple fact of thinking differently, I feel exposed in front of them.”
In recent decades it has become a frequent practice to bring common crime charges against activists and artists who undertake work critical of the government. In a similar situation right now is the writer Angel Santiesteban, condemned and sentenced to prison on alleged charges of violation of domicile and injury.
Gorki Aguila, the famous singer and leader of the punk rock band Porno para Ricardo is also on the list of those awaiting trial, accused of alleged “drug abuse.”
As a general rule, people critical of the government are not judged on political reasons but for “common crimes” with the aim of limiting solidarity and international pressure.