14ymedio, Havana, December 2, 2023 — A man of French nationality, about 60 years old, was murdered in the early hours of Thursday morning in a building located on the corner of Industria and Virtudes, in Central Havana. The victim had gone up to a tourist rental apartment with two girls, who gagged and suffocated him with the alleged intention of robbing him.
The police intercepted one of the young women in the bus terminal of La Coubre, where she intended to escape to the east of the country, one of the neighbors told 14ymedio. He did not know if the other woman was also located by the agents.
“The Frenchman had young girls in the apartment every night,” the source told this newspaper. “In the early morning of Wednesday to Thursday, he came with the girls, who were drugged, and they killed him to rob him.” The age of the murderers ranges from 18 to 25 years old, he calculates.
According to the neighbor, the body was discovered on Thursday, probably when the owners of the apartment went to change the victim’s bedding
According to the neighbor, the body was discovered on Thursday, probably when the owners of the apartment – located on the fourth floor of the building – went to change the victim’s bedding. “In the morning, the neighborhood was filled with patrols,” the man explains. The building is not far from the old Great Musical Theater of Havana and a Methodist temple.
The neighborhood where the French tourist stayed is one of the poorest in Central Havana. Formerly known as the neighborhood of Colón – and famous for the practice of prostitution – its accommodations are highly sought after by tourists looking for a low-cost rental that is not far from the historic center of the city.
Bunkhouses proliferate, and the buildings are very deteriorated. The Colón neighborhood is also known for the abundance of members of the Abakuá secret society and for the practitioners of Santería and other Afro-Cuban religions.
Neither the Police nor the French Embassy in Havana have comment on the event, although it is common for the regime to keep secret the murders of foreigners on the Island, even more so in a context of a debacle of international tourism such as the one that the country is currently going through.
Neither the Police nor the French Embassy in the Cuban capital have commented on the event
One of the few exceptions is Antoinette Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Canadian tourist, murdered in Varadero in November 2020. The death of the woman, who had three children and worked as a hospital porter in Quebec, was reported by the authorities to the Canadian government, and it was a Canadian channel from that country, CTV News, that told the story.
Sami Soussa, the victim’s cousin, told CTV News that Traboulsi’s body was found by the Cuban police after his disappearance was reported by a friend the day after his arrival on the Island. The body was buried under 3.3 feet of sand with signs of violence. “In the Cuban morgue they confirmed that it was my cousin’s body,” Soussa explained at the time.
The Cuban Government has also not revealed how many foreign tourists have died from violent causes on the Island in recent decades
The Cuban Government has also not revealed how many foreign tourists have died from violent causes on the Island in recent decades. A note published by Martí Noticias in 2013 estimated that the figure – at that time – amounted to fifty.
Citing sources from the Ministry of Tourism, which asked for anonymity, the channel also revealed that another 50 foreigners were injured in 2013 alone. The main causes, they said, were “assaults or homicides to rob them; drowning in the sea, usually in a state of drunkenness; traffic accidents, in many cases due to ignorance of poor road conditions; and drug overdoses or heart attacks caused by Viagra consumption, among those who go to the island looking for sex tourism.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.