A Woman is Murdered in Front of her Four Children in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio Province

Entronque de Herradura, a town in the Pinar del Río municipality of Consolación del Sur. (Facebook/Horseshoe Junction)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 22 December 2023 — The independent platforms Alas Tensas and Yo Sí Te Creo en Cuba (YSTC) confirmed this Friday a new femicide. The name of Misleidis Díaz, murdered on December 19 in Pinar del Río, is added to the painful record of femicides in 2023 on the Island, which already amounts to 85 cases.

According to the platforms, Díaz, 46, was murdered by her ex-husband in front of the four children they had in common in Entronque de Herradura, a town in the Pinar del Sur municipality of Consolación del Sur.

The activists also allege that the victim had reported violent treatment and death threats by the alleged aggressor to the police on previous occasions, but the authorities ignored her complaints.

The threats were so many and were so credible that four days ago Misleidis went to the PNR Unit to file a complaint.

“The threats were so many and they turned out to be so credible, that four days ago Misleidis went to the PNR Unit to make the complaint,” a source who claims to have known Díaz declared on social media. “They didn’t even draw up a report, they sent her back to her house,” she added, alleging that the authorities considered the attacker’s threats to be just “talk.”

On Thursday, the severity of violence against women on the Island has motivated a group of independent organizations and platforms to address an open letter to the Cuban Government. Their demands: that the State and the relevant institutions offer clear data on femicides and violence against women on the Island. The methods of the authorities, defined in the text as “patriarchal” and “authoritarian,” keep more people in danger of violence, specifically 16,116 Cuban women and girls, the activists denounced.

The document also highlights the constant efforts of these independent organizations to collect information on cases of femicides and violence against women, about which the State refuses to reveal official data or offer police collaboration.

The latest statistics presented by the authorities in this regard quantified 117 femicide murders on the Island in a period of three years, since 2020, while independent media and observatories have recorded almost the same number in the last two years alone.

The activists also noted the hundred women who remain imprisoned on the Island “for political reasons,” in most cases separated from their children and family and suffering inhuman treatment in prisons.

This is the case of Lizandra Góngora, separated from her five-year-old son, and Lázara Karenia, who will be sent to prison when her baby turns one year old. The report also reported on Brenda Díaz, a transsexual woman held in a men’s prison, and Aymara Nieto, a Lady in White accused for the second time after allegedly starting a riot in the prison.

Other names, such as those of the Garrido sisters, Sissi Abascal and Sayli Navarro, also appear in the list of women imprisoned by the regime for their role as activists and opponents in recent years, although they were not mentioned in the document.

Establishing and guaranteeing compliance with a Comprehensive Law against Violence is also one of the requests of these groups

It is necessary to take “effective prevention measures such as (the creation of) specialized police stations, gender prosecutor’s offices, shelters, comprehensive protocols and anti-racist programs,” continues the letter, which also questions the role of the Cuban authorities in controlling violence against women in the country, taking into account that this year 85 femicides have been recorded without the State having made mention of any of them or expressed its will to resolve the cases.

Establishing and guaranteeing compliance with a Comprehensive Law against Violence is also one of the requests of these groups, who have been demanding for years the appropriate inclusion and classification of violence against women in the Penal Code.

“A new stage cannot be opened for Cuba, of supposed confrontation with violence against women, if the criminalization of all civic activism in the country persists,” continues the report, which insists that Cuba must return the “right of association, of assembly, of demonstration and of expression to all the organizations of the Cuban civil society.”

The call for “seriousness” and “transparency” of institutions, especially those in charge of protecting the integrity and rights of women, such as the Federation of Cuban Women, was another of the points discussed by the activists.

Two weeks before the end of the year, the independent registry of femicides in Cuba has 85 cases of women murdered in Cuba because of their gender, generally by their partners or ex-partners, and generally violently. The bloody list also includes the names of teenagers who were under 18 years old, and elderly women over 65. In many cases, the aggressors also attacked family members of the victims.

All of this despite the Government’s efforts to appear to have an inclusive policy and concern for these cases, which led it to form, this year, an Observatory to record “in real time” incidents of violence against women and femicides. So far, the contribution of official figures to the improvement of this situation on the Island, which is getting worse day after day, is zero.


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