14ymedio, Havana | 10 December 2022 — Miriam del Pilar Vidal Escoda, from Camagüey, is the 34th victim to die of sexist violence in Cuba so far in 2022. According to sources close to the 54-year-old woman, she was murdered by her ex-partner, from whom she had separated on several occasions.
The platforms that keep an unofficial record of sexist murders on the Island still do not confirm the death, but those close to Vidal Escoda said on social networks that it was a femicide. They even left comments on the Facebook profile of the alleged attacker, identified as José Alonso, in a post on November 7, 2022, where he had posted that he was “in a relationship.”
A source close to the victim confirmed to the newspaper ADN Cuba that the crime occurred between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, when the alleged attacker stabbed her in the chest with a knife. The source said that the subject cleaned up the blood and blocked the door with a bar.
“He left with bloody but dry hands,” the source added, heading to the house of the woman’s cousin, not far from his residence, where he gave him a cell phone with the request to give it to Vidal Escoda’s daughter. Then he went to work in a bakery, where the police captured him hours later. The source said that the same relatives of the subject alerted the police to the incident, and when they knocked down the door, they found the woman’s lifeless body.
Vidal Escoda worked as a senior gastronomy specialist for the Provincial Tourism Company in the city of Santa María, and her daughter graduated with a degree in tourism from the University of Camagüey.
This femicide joins the long list that now has 34 violent deaths in 2022, most of them brutal murders by ex-partners. The most recent case was that of Yamila Batista, in the Mantilla neighborhood, in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, who had recently moved home. Her aggressor took his own life after several days of harassment.
In terms of sexist violence, October was the bloodiest month of 2022, with six cases reported by the independent press and feminist platforms; the authorities don’t publish official records of these crimes. The only data available in state sources on gender violence come from a 2016 survey, which revealed that 26.7% of Cuban women between the ages of 15 and 74 said they had suffered some type of violence in their relationship in the twelve months prior to the study, and only 3.7% of those assaulted asked for institutional help.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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