14ymedio, Havana, 11 January 2017 — The economist Karina Galvez, a member of the editorial board of the magazine Convivencia (Coexistence) has been arrested and taken to the headquarters of State Security on the Pinar del Rio highway. Her home is sealed and family and friends are not allowed access.
On Wednesday morning the police searched Galvez’s house. Several officers from State Security’s Technical Investigations Department (DTI), officials from the Institute of Physical Planning, and numerous police officers took part in the raid, as reported to 14ymedio by Dagoberto Valdes, director of the independent publication in the city of Pinar del Río.
Livia Gálvez, Karina’s sister, explained that an official who identified herself as “Major Odalys,” told her that Karina was being held under the crime of “tax evasion,” which could be linked to the sale of a property.
She added that she was told that she may visit her in seven days to bring her personal hygiene supplies.
Yoandy Izquierdo, a member of the Convivencia team, said the police search lasted nearly four hours.
“They have not taken anything from the house, what they have done is to paste notices handwritten in pen on the doors and garage,” said Izquierdo, who witnessed an Interior Ministry official stating that “the house is not confiscated, it is occupied.”
“There is a police car and a DTI car outside the house,” Valdés said in a telephone conversation with this newspaper in the morning. The director of the study center also reported a visible operation around the block of the building.
So far the reason for the search and Galvez’s arrest is unknown.
On 24 December Karina Galvez was summoned to the Department of Immigration and Aliens (DIE) where she was questioned about her travels outside Cuba. During the interrogation, two officers demanded that she give details about her participation in a forum on internet governance in Guadalajara, Mexico.
In recent months, members of the magazine Convivencia have been subjected to pressure and warnings. Dagoberto Valdes underwent an intense interrogation last October at police headquarters on San Juan Highway in Pinar del Rio. A uniformed official told him, “From today your life will be very difficult.”
On 25 November, State Security prohibited a meeting of the Coexistence Studies Center (CEC), linked to the magazine, which intended to address Culture and Education in the Future of Cuba: Vision and Proposal.
The Center organizes training courses for citizens and civil society in Cuba. The entity functions independently from the State, the Church and any political group. The magazine of the same name was begun in 2008; it is published bi-monthly and has just released its 54th issue.