14ymedio, Havana, 14 February 2023 — A woman identified as Yurina Yaque Pérez was murdered in the neighborhood of Sueño, Santiago de Cuba, on Monday night. The victim was “cut” on a public street by a man with whom she had a relationship, according to her relatives.
“It was her partner who cut her throat yesterday in the middle of a downpour,” one of the sources told 14ymedio, explaining that the murder had been committed on Avenida de Céspedes, between I and J streets. Approximately between seven and eight o’clock at night, a sudden downpour fell on the city, this newspaper confirmed, and in that area of Sueño there was a blackout at that time.
Pérez’s wake was this Tuesday morning at the central funeral home on Calvario street, in Santiago de Cuba, as confirmed by 14ymedio with workers from the establishment.
With the death of Yurina Yaque Pérez there have been 11 femicides in Cuba so far this year. Just three days ago, Mercedes Vasallo Herrera, 51, was murdered by her husband in the town of Carlos Rojas, in Jovellanos (Matanzas).
Vasallo Herrera, whose body her grandson found under the bed, was killed with a knife and had a serious contusion on her skull, according to the activist Marthadela Tamayo, from the Cuban Women’s Network, reporting on her Facebook profile.
Independent Cuban human rights observatories such as Yo Sí Te Creo [I Do Believe You] and the Red Femenina [Women’s Network] verified 34 murders of women in 2022, while the figures in the two previous years were 32 and 36, respectively. These groups have called on several occasions for effective mechanisms for the prevention of sexist violence “so as not to reach its extreme manifestation, which is irreparable.”
The most recent official data on gender violence date from a 2016 survey, which revealed that 26.7% of Cuban women between the ages of 15 and 74 claimed to have suffered some type of violence in their partner relationship, during the twelve months prior to the study. Only 3.7% of the assaulted requested institutional help.
Last Friday, when the murders of two women became known, the official press published an extensive article in which, among many other things, it wondered if there really were more victims or if complaints had become a more frequent practice today. The mystery is unjustified, since the Ministry of the Interior is the only body that has strict control of accunting for all violent deaths that occur in the country.
The lack of public data is precisely one of the main demands of the independent groups, as well as the inclusion of femicide as an aggravating circumstance or offense typified in the Penal Code. The Cuban Women’s Network advocates for a new legal body that guarantees care and response to victims, since the Island is the only country in the Western Hemisphere that does not have a comprehensive law against violence against women.
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