One of Those Involved in the Murder of a Professor in Cuba has been Released on Bail

Professor Santiago Morgado, who disappeared last July. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 21 December 2022 — One of the five people involved in the murder of Professor Santiago Morgado, whose body was found in a well in Sancti Spíritus last July, was released on bail. The other four involved in the crime remain in pretrial detention, according to the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, as told to the official newspaper Escambray.

María Esmeralda Pérez, head of the Department of Criminal Proceedings of the Sancti Spíritus Prosecutor’s Office, informed the newspaper that the criminal proceedings “are in progress” and that a DNA analysis is being carried out at the Central Criminalistics Laboratory, in Havana, to confirm that the body found in a Sancti Spíritus well, in a state of putrefaction, unequivocally corresponds to Morgado.

As for the former inmate, the authorities also prohibited him from leaving the national territory, while his colleagues remain under investigation. “The process is complex with the number of people involved and the large number of investigative proceedings, both in the province of Sancti Spíritus and in Camagüey,” Pérez said.

It was in this last province that the murderers of Morgado tried to sell the Suzuki motorcycle stolen from the teacher, after several desperate reductions, for 200,000 pesos. Pérez relieved the Prosecutor’s Office of responsibility for the delays, and alleged that, according to the Criminal Procedure Law, “the criminal investigator practices the investigative and other proceedings of the preparatory phase in the shortest possible period, which  should not exceed 90 days, but it can justifiably be extended by the prosecutor.”

The Morgado case was initiated on July 2, so the deadline for the Prosecutor’s Office to delay the process of those involved — 180 days — is close. However, Pérez specifies that even after that time, the Attorney General of the Republic can grant a new extension.

The official press, in a previous report, had revealed that two of those involved had been the material authors of the professor’s violent death and that one of them knew him well. The first of the alleged murderers led Morgado to El Capitolio, a town in the People’s Council of Banao, where, hidden among the undergrowth, he waited for his companion.

The attackers used a stick and a stone, in addition to two pieces of agricultural machinery, to immerse the teacher’s body in a well up to nine feet deep.

As for the rest of those involved, one of them drove Morgado’s motorcycle to Camagüey, where the fourth individual tried to sell it for an initial price of 800,000 pesos, which he soon had to give up on. Finally, the fifth detainee was the intermediary of the sale. The Prosecutor’s Office did not specify which of them was released, although it’s possible to intuit that it is one of the three men.

Of the five subjects, aged between 28 and 45, three are residents of Banao, one in the same town, another in El Pinto and the third in El Capitolio. The other two lived in Vertientes, which shows that the crimes occurred in places they knew well.

Morgado’s acquaintances were the ones who put the most emphasis on the search for the body, since the police, as usual in these cases, were slow to join the investigation of the event.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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