Prisoners or Paramilitaries? Testimonies From Cuban Prisons / Luis Felipe Rojas

See link to interview below.

Luis Felipe Rojas, 1 October 2018 — The recruitment of violent inmates inside Cuban prisons is a method used to reduce the need for officials to maintain internal order, the ex-political prisoner Virgilio Mantilla Arango denounced from Camagüey.

Mantilla Arango said that, “to get rid of their responsibility,” the prison officials “have given a type of authority” to the inmates he calls “paramilitaries,” since “they are more guards than the guards themselves,” he affirmed.

In an interview with Radio Martí, Mantilla Arango, leader of the opposition group Unidad Camagüeyana (Camagüeyan Unity), explained that he lived his narrative in the flesh in the prison known as Kilo 9.

“They (the violent prisoners), loyally, as if they were soldiers, are those that direct us to line up, those who put us firmly in place, those who take the prisoners to the dining room (…) and they are going to pay them 200 pesos, inside the prison, for this work,” said Mantilla Arango.

Click on this link (interview in Spanish).

Translated by Wilfredo Díaz Echevarria