14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 6 October 2020 — While day after day they carry on about the arrests of re-sellers and “hoarders,” the official media maintain total silence on the rape of a 13-year-old girl by five men in Havana’s El Cotorro municipality.
Not only that, complains the victim’s mother: the Police have released three of the assailants who had been arrested. With the paralysis of many judicial processes due to the coronavirus, the case has not yet reached the courts and the detainees have not been held in pre-trial custody despite the seriousness of the alleged crime.
“It was not a cow that they killed, it was not a robbery from the State or a dealer who is in the street trying to earn for four pesos to eat,” laments the mother of the minor. “It was a girl who was raped, something that is a crime here and everywhere.”
The events occurred a month ago in that municipality in the province of Havana. According to the mother’s testimony, an adult reached his daughter through the ToDus App and threatened her, forcing her to have sex. “They were many and she was afraid that they would kill her,” the mother says.
It was the grandmother who realized, around midnight, that the girl was missing and went out to look for her. “On the way she saw some guards who were in a sentry box standing guard and she asked them,” she says, full of anger. The agents confirmed that they had seen the girl walking away with a boy. “My mother followed the path that they indicated until she reached a house where she heard music. She looked in and entered, but they hid the girl and pushed my mother out,” she says.
The girl’s grandmother immediately sought help. “I was very scared, because she came home screaming. My husband and my mother left for the scene again.”
There they met a man, whom the daughter indicated as the sixth of those who held her. “He pretended to be the person who rescued my daughter, but he is a shameless man who stared at what they did to her,” says the woman.
That same night, Legal Medicine examined the minor and the family filed a complaint. “They immediately caught three of them, but the other two, who are doing their military service and who were on the run from the unit that day, have not been touched.”
The indignation of the family was on the rise when they learned that a few days later, the three detainees were free. “I went to the Alamar Registry, where these cases are dealt with, to ask why these men are loose, and the instructor told me that they are now under a precautionary measure and that because of the Covid problem everything is paralyzed.”
“I just want justice to be done, because what they did to my daughter was a crime,” she angrily tells 14ymedio.
The mother also complains that her daughter was infected with bacteria during the attack and had to undergo a treatment with antibiotics. In addition, she has also needed psychological help. “To be calm and to be able to sleep, she has to be based on chlordiazepoxide for everything those criminals did to her.”
“I took her to the psychologist with my own resources and I took her to the doctor with my own resources as well, they have not concerned themselves about anything and those criminals are still on the street,” she insists, unable to contain her anger at the lack of interest of the authorities.
The official Cuban media seldom publish these type of crimes against women, but every day reports of this type of violence are denounced by civil society organizations and the independent press of the Island.
Just a few days ago, the Defense Network for Women’s Affairs (Redamu) denounced before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the lack of specific legislation and reliable data on femicides in Cuba.
Sexual abuse against minors grew in Cuba by 24% between 2016 and May 2019, as confirmed by a government report on the prevention and confrontation of human trafficking and the protection of victims, which indicates that every four hours a minor in Cuba suffers a sex crime. In the last of the years analyzed, from June 2018 to May 2019, sexual crimes against children were 2,350.
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