14ymedio, Havana, 21 October 2023 — Cristina Ramírez Milián was murdered by her ex-partner this Wednesday in her home in Birán, a rural town in the province of Holguín where Fidel Castro was born. The death, reported in the CubaNet newspaper by the victim’s son, Miguel Hidalgo Ramírez, is the 66th femicide this year in Cuba, according to the record kept by 14ymedio based on independent sources.
Hidalgo pointed out that her mother was “threatened and harassed” by the aggressor, whose identity was not given, although the newspaper stated that he was an “informant” or “auxiliary” of the Ministry of the Interior. Ramírez, her son explained, “never went out alone out of fear.” As usual, neither the authorities nor the Police have offered their official version of the woman’s death.
At the moment, the platforms Yo Sí Te Creo Cuba and Alas Tensas – which keep track of deaths due to sexist violence on the Island – have not included Ramírez on their list, which at the beginning of the week counted 65 femicides, double the number those registered in 2022.
This Monday, both observatories denounced the murder of Lisandra Pérez Marcial, 35, who died on October 15 at the hands of her partner in her home, in Caibarién, Villa Clara. In addition, they confirmed the death of Bárbara Rodríguez Guerra, 41, who was also attacked by her partner in Manzanillo, Granma province. Rodríguez, a teacher by profession, was murdered on September 20 and is survived by two minor daughters. For his part, Pérez Marcial’s son witnessed the attack and death of his mother.
The observatories stressed that these events “leave the families bereaved and raise alerts for gender violence in the country
The observatories stressed that these events “leave the families bereaved and raise alerts for gender violence in the country.” They affirmed that their demands “are clear although ignored by the authorities” and appealed to citizens “for the prevention of something irreparable such as the unnecessary loss of life.”
Both organizations reported that they are working on four alerts of possible sexist crimes in Santiago de Cuba, in the western towns of Guanabo and Bauta, and in Guáimaro, a municipality in the province of Camagüey.
The work of these feminist groups and their dissemination in the independent media have contributed to focusing on cases of sexist murders and disappearances of Cuban women in recent years. The activists insist that a “state of emergency due to gender violence” be declared, and regret that the Government has not taken measures in this regard.
In addition, they advocate for a comprehensive law against gender violence (sexist murder is not classified in the Penal Code) and the implementation of protocols to prevent these events, as well as the creation of shelters and rescue systems for women and their children in danger.
In early June, the ruling Federation of Cuban Women presented the Cuban Observatory on Gender Equality, which includes statistics of “women who have been victims of intentional homicide as a consequence of gender violence in the last 12 months.” However, it does not record all the cases reported by independent organizations. For its part, the Supreme People’s Court (TSP) reported in mid-May that in 2022 there were 18 convictions for femicides, all with penalties – for the crime of murder – above 25 years in prison.
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