Father of Andy Garcia Lorenzo, one of the July 11th (11J) Prisoners in Cuba, is Stabbed

Nedel García Pacheco, father of J11 prisoner Andy García Lorenzo.  (Facebook/Saily González Velázquez)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 4 February 2022 — Nedel García Pacheco, father of Andy García Lorenzo, one of the prisoners from the 11J (July 11th) protests in Santa Clara, was stabbed on Friday in that city. The incident occurred around 5:45am today, at the edge of the dam where 48-year-old García Pacheco was fishing with several friends and co-workers.

“Then this man appeared, the one they call El Kiko who lives near our house, but we’ve never had any prior incidents with him,” Roxana García, the injured man’s daughter told 14ymedio.

“The man began to yell insults against my brother and said he deserved to be sentenced to 30 years and for a series of negative things to happen to him in jail,” said García. “My father, of course, began defending Andy and then the man pounced on him with a knife and intended to stab him directly in the heart.”

Nedel García defended himself and was wounded on the hand he used to try to stop the knife and on the left side of his back. “My father’s friends helped to separate them.” When family members found out, they immediately went to Arnaldo Milián Castro hospital.

When they set out to file a report for the aggression, the problems started. “The police officer who was on duty at the emergency room said no, that it had to be done at a police station.” When they arrived at there, “with evidence and photographs of my father’s condition, as expected, they bounced us around saying this type of report has to be made at the hospital.”

Finally, the police at the emergency room conceded to file the report “against that individual, who is slightly older than 40 years old and who has a criminal history, he has even been in prison,” explained the daughter. “I hope that in this case, justice will be served because that is what the law here should be for, although they use it to repress my family.”

According to the doctors, Nedel García Pacheco will be transferred to a hospital room where he will remain until they determine the severity of his injuries and his discharge date is known. “We still don’t know if there is damage to any organ, but the stitches have been delayed because the medical materials were not available,” explained Roxana.

“No one understands the reason for this aggression because my father never had problems with that individual nor anyone,” adds the young lady. “He doesn’t have enemies and his friends have offered a lot of support for my brother’s cause. This was an act of absolute provocation.”

They accuse State Security, “because even if they are not directly at fault, they indirectly are, due to all of the hate they’ve sowed through the media against the July 11th protesters.”

Andy García Lorenzo was tried in January in Santa Clara, along with 15 other protesters who took to the streets on July 11. Since he was arrested, his family has been among the most active in defending political prisoners and freedom of expression, and have repeatedly denounced the harassment of State Security.

On January 19, they addressed a letter to the governor of Villa Clara, Alberto López Díaz, to denounce the “damages and harm” caused by the “systematic harassment” to which they are subjected.

Signed by Roxana García Lorenzo, Andy’s sister, her partner, Jonatán López Alonso, his parents, Pedro Osvaldo López Mesa and Yenia Alonso Melgarejo, the letter, to which 14ymedio had access, was based on the “right to complain” consecrated in article 61 of the Constitution, “and as the first step to an eventual lawsuit and supervening access to competent human rights organizations.”

Days earlier, Roxana García signed a missive, submitted by Cuban Prisoners Defenders (CPD) to 32 diplomatic delegations present on the Island, in which she denounced that her brother, “detained under forced disappearance” and “prisoner of conscience,” has been subjected to “torture, beatings, threats of up to a 30-year sentence and of being executed if he does not retract his position of conscience.”

In the text, she also detailed how her family is harassed. For having created a “civic initiative with which we obtain support for prisoners’ families via food distribution,” she said, “we’ve been detained, myself as well as my husband, Jonatan López Alonso, and his father, Pedro López Mesa, and we also fear for our physical integrity.”

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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