A Young Woman of 20 Murdered by Her Partner in Bayamo, the 77th Femicide in Cuba This Year

Dailenis Nápoles Zamora, 20, was murdered by her partner in Bayamo, Granma. (Facebook/Marlene Sandoval)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 23 November 2023 —  The independent observatories Alas Tensas and Yo Sí Te Creo (YSTC) confirmed this Thursday two new victims of misogynistic violence in Cuba. The deaths of both women brings the number of femicides on the Island since January to 77, more than double the number recorded throughout the year in 2022 by unofficial records.

The first reported death was Dailenis Nápoles Zamora, 20 years old and resident of Bayamo (Granma), who was murdered on October 20. The alleged murderer of the young woman was her partner, identified by the independent media Asere as Alexis Castañedas.

According to the media, citing witnesses to the event, after a “heated” argument, Nápoles threatened to leave the house where they both lived and go live with her parents. Castañedas chased the young woman to a bus stop and made her return to their home, where he allegedly murdered her with a knife.

Before surrendering to the authorities, the alleged aggressor informed the victim’s mother, who found her daughter wrapped in a sheet with her throat slit

Before surrendering to the authorities, the alleged aggressor informed the victim’s mother , who found heer daughter wrapped in a sheet with her throat slit. Sources close to the victim told Asere that Nápoles used to be frequently mistreated by Castañedas.

The second case confirmed by YSTC – which 14ymedio had alreadyalluded to this Monday – was that of Sarahí López Pérez, 48, murdered by her ex-partner on November 18 in the Havana municipality of Cerro. Days before the confirmation of the femicide, the Asere media outlet identified inmate Yordano Quintanal Díaz as the aggressor, who took advantage of a prison pass to murder López.

The events occurred on Salvador Street, between Parque and Bella Vista, in the Consejo Popular Canal. YSTC sources told 14ymedio that the victim’s mother and brother were also injured, and were admitted to the Calixto García hospital with minor injuries. This Monday, both family members were discharged from the hospital.

“She had broken up with him and did not accept him. He is a very violent man,” a neighbor of López told CubaNet, who reported that the woman had received previous threats from her attacker. “During the previous [prison] pass he threatened and attacked her, but she did not report it out of fear. Now he came out again and killed her,” the neighbor added.

The cases registered so far in 2023 by independent activists are on track to triple the number of misogynistic murders from last year

The official Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) recognized this Monday the increase in sexist murders, but without mentioning any of the cases registered this year by independent activists; the total is on track to triple the number of misogynistic murders in 2022, when 34 femicides were reported.

For its part, the official newspaper Girón revealed this Saturday that, in the first half of 2023, seven women were murdered in the province of Matanzas; four in 2021, and three in 2020, “whose basic causes of death were strangulation, burns from flames and assault with a blunt object.”

The media also confirmed the existence of a “sexist, possessive pattern” that is repeated on the Island, in addition to “threats” and “injuries.” Other women, she lamented, “do not report or seek help,” but rather “protect the aggressor and justify it.”

“In the Penal Code there is no article or criminal type that defines the exercise of violence against women,” provincial prosecutor María Elena Govín, of the Department of Criminal Procedures, admitted then. The absence of a legal tool against misogynistic violence, denounced on numerous occasions by Cuban feminists, has found a deaf ear in the Government, which continues to refuse to offer official figures, hence Govín admits that it is “a debt” of the authorities with Cuban women.


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