A Femicide in Vinales Brings to 67 the Number of Women Murdered in Cuba in 2023

Image of Yulia Valle published in social media (Facebook).

14ymedio bigger14ymedio/EFE, Havana, 24 October 2023 — Cuba’s independent feminist platforms Alas Tensas [Outstretched Wings] and Yo Sí Te Creo [I Do Believe You] (YSTC) confirmed on Tuesday two new femicides in the country, bringing to 67 the total number of women murdered so far in 2023.

On top of the verification of the murder of Cristina Ramírez Milián, 49, which occurred last October 18 in the town of Birán (Holguín), at the hands of her ex-partner, they added the confirmation of the femicide of Yulia Valle, in Viñales, Pinar del Río, last October 12th. The alleged assailant of this woman was also her ex-partner, according to independent observatories.

Sources close to her published on social media that Valle had been granted humanitarian parole and was to travel to the United States on Monday, October 16th. The woman, according to these same sources, left behind an orphaned minor “who turned 14 on the day of her burial.”

With just over two months to the end of the year, Cuba is about to double the total number of femicides verified in 2022 (34), according to the underreported data of these platforms.

With just over two months to the end of the year, Cuba is about to double the total number of femicides verified in 2022 (34), according to the underreported data of these platforms

 On Monday, independent observatories denounced the murder of Lisandra Perez Marcial, 35, who died on October 15th at the hands of her partner in their home, in Caibarien, Villa Clara. They also confirmed the death of Bárbara Rodríguez Guerra, 41, who was also assaulted by her partner in Manzanillo, Granma province. Rodríguez, a teacher, was murdered on September 20th and is survived by two minor daughters. Pérez Marcial’s son witnessed the assault and death of his mother.

The work of these feminist collectives and their dissemination in the independent media have helped to shine a spotlight on the cases of misogynistic murders as well as disappearances of Cuban women in recent years. The activists insist that a “state of emergency for gender violence” be declared, and regret that the government has not taken any measures in this regard.

In addition, they advocate for a comprehensive law against gender-based violence (misogynistic murder is not classified in the Penal Code) and the implementation of protocols to prevent these events, as well as the creation of shelters and systems of protection for women and their children in danger.

The pro-government Federation of Cuban Women presented in early June the Cuban Observatory on Gender Equality, which includes statistics on “women who have been victims of intentional homicide as a result of gender violence in the last 12 months.” However, it does not record all the cases reported by independent organizations. For its part, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) reported in mid-May that in 2022 there were 18 convictions for femicides, all with sentences – for the crime of murder – beyond 25 years in prison.

Translated by Skyler Brotherton-Julien (Spanish 321, University of Miami)


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