Independent Reporters Arrested Are Threatened With Trial / Cubanet


cubanet square logoCubanet, Vladimir Turró Páez, Havana, 3 December 2016 — The independent journalists Manuel Guerra Pérez and Lisbey Lora, arrested this last Monday by the United Territorial Investigations of the San Jose Police in the province of Mayabeque, have been threatened with going to trial, according to information from their families.

The two reporters were arrested by State Security when they made a tour of the town of San Jose, searching for stories to publish in the “Mayabeque Cimarron” bulletin, which they work for.

Paula Perez Leiva, Manuel’s mother, said that her son told her during a ten-minute visit to the police station that they would be brought to court for exercising their work as reporters.

“He told me, that the authorities, in addition to wanting to send them to prison, are demanding they turn over the laptop and printer they use to produce the bulletin,” said Perez Leiva.

Manuel and Lisbey are the principle managers of the independent bulletin, “Mayabeque Cimarron,” supported by the Cuban Institute for the Freedom of Expression and the Press (ICLEP). The bulletin is distributed free in the province, in a four-page format, with stories about the events of the place.

The journalist Rosa Aviles, who accompanied Manuel Guerra’s mother on the visit, said that the two arrestees are very pale because they are kept locked in a cell without any drinkable water and no sunlight.

The reporter warned that the ICLEP correspondents were well known by the town officials and had already been arrested previously on several occasions for distributing the newsletter in the area.

“This is the third time they arrested them, and in particular Manuel, whom they even wanted to beat up,” she explained.