14ymedio, Havana, 29 January 2023 — Osiris José Puerto Terry has a bullet lodged in his back, a prominent scar on his abdomen and another on his right foot, almost all the way to his knee cap. A captain of the specialized police force shot him during the protests on July 11, 2021 at the corner of Santa Emilia and Diez de Octubre. “It is attempted murder,” denounced this ice cream sandwich vendor who that day was only trying to make it home.
Puerto Terry went from being a victim to being accused. A year and a half ago he underscored to Diario de las Américas that he was being followed by military counterintelligence and the Aguilera police unit in Lawton, in the municipality of Diez de Octubre. “On the seventh of every month I must appear at the police station with my wife and sign a document of commitment stating I will not become involved in politics, will not create problems and a series of other things. On dates determined by State Security, I must spend three or four days without leaving my house.”
The official who handled his case in Villa Marista, political police headquarters in Havana, “does not want me to say that they shot me three times while I was defenseless and without resisting at all. Why wouldn’t I say the truth? Saying the truth is not a crime,” he told that same news site. Puerto Terry is tired of his demand for justice and compensation being tossed back and forth and the empty words.
With regard to the case, he recounted that the Prosecutor stated that the two sub-officials injured him “while they were doing their job.” Puerto Terry denies that and reiterated, “That is a lie. A captain of the specialized police force shot me. In the Prosecutor’s response, five months after the fact, they called it causing injuries. I do not agree with that. I do not agree: three shots from a firearm are not injuries, it is an [attempted] murder,” affirms Osiris.
Puerto Terry told Diario de las Américas that on that Sunday the people who were protesting against the government were pushed back by the police and government supporters who were mobilized. “It was heated,” said the 49-year-old man, when around 5 pm, while he was crossing the street, a group of officials arrived “shooting firearms at the population.”
One of the shots hit a column he was using for protection. “A neighbor opened the door to the building where I sought refuge. When I was going to enter, the police fired a second shot which hit my right foot. I fell on the floor, I could not stand up, and the official fired a third short which hit me in the back,” stated Puerto Terry to that same news site. One of the neighbors came out and shouted, “It is Orisis lying there.”
The link to the YouTube video showing the moment in which this vendor was injured in the leg and when he was shot in the back was shared via Justicia11j’s Twitter account.
After offering him aid, a neighbor nicknamed Coquín put him in a car and took him to Calixto García hospital. When he entered the hospital, he was beaten by the police officers who were at the entrance, “When the doctors and surgeons from group number four who were on staff that day arrived, the officials asked, ’Are you going to save this counterrevolutionary?’.”
Puerto Terry was discharged on August 11th. An official at 100 and Aldabó, the seat of the Technical Investigations Department, took a statement from him and his wife. Despite having drafted a letter where he explained that on the day of the protest he went to sell his ice cream sandwiches and as he was returning home he ran into some neighbors on Pamplona and San Nicolás who offered him some rum.
On that July 11th and the days that followed, arbitrary acts occurred on the part of police against the population. After several accusations by civil society and Cubans on social media, it was evident that Diubis Laurencio Tejeda was murdered by a gunshot fired by police sub lieutenant Yoennis Pelegrín Hernández during the protests the following day, July 12th, in the Havana neighborhood of La Güinera, in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo.
Translated by: Silvia Suárez
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