Shock in a Santiago de Cuba Town Over Murder of a 15-Year-Old Girl

Dorka Velázquez Casal, victim of a horrendous femicide. (Social networks)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 December 2023 —  The murder of Dorka Velázquez Casal, age 15, has shocked the rural town of Aguacate, belonging to the municipality of Palma Soriano, in Santiago de Cuba. The platforms monitoring femicides also reported this Friday the death of Beatriz García, murdered in Bayamo, which brings the number of victims of misogynistic violence in Cuba to 79 in 2023.

According to user Jeissy Borrell Gámez, one of the Facebook profiles cited by Yo Sí Te Creo en Cuba (YSTC) to verify Velázquez’s death, the minor was raped and her throat was slit with a knife. Likewise, Borrell published a photo of the alleged murderer, also a resident of Aguacate, whom he identifies with the nickname Pipito, who, he claims, has already been arrested by the Police.

YSTC also confirmed the femicide of Beatriz García, committed on November 22, in her home, in the town of El Horno, Bayamo, in the province of Granma, at the hands of her ex-partner, who then committed suicide. The victim is survived by three children, two adults and one minor.

In a message published on the social network X this December 1, YSTC warns “once again of the horrendous consequences of the State’s inaction with regards to the prevention of misogynistic violence.

According to the most recent Latin American Map of Femicide released within the framework of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Cuba is the country with the greatest increase in the number of femicides, exceeding 20 cases in the first half of 2022, versus 50 in the same period of 2023, that is, 150% more.

Paula Spagnoletti, one of the coordinators of the Mapa, in conversation with the media Télam, explained that according to YSTC and the Observatory of the Cuban feminist magazine, Alas Tensas, “there is an increase in verifications and not in the number of femicides, since there is an official base and updated figure available that sets a benchmark.”

The Cuban Government does not produce reports, which implies that the organizations are in charge of verifying femicides due to their management and, furthermore, the government does not have data to compare. Added to this is the silence of the official press, which barely publishes these events and in most cases does not classify them as femicides.

Although recently the official media Girón and 26, from Matanzas and Las Tunas, respectively, broke their silence on the matter. Girón acknowledged that seven women were murdered in the province in the first half of 2023. The victims were between ages 20 and 57, and the most recurrent causes of death were wounds caused by knives.

For its part, 26 published that the Las Tunas Prosecutor’s Office, during this year, has opened more than 200 legal proceedings for “threats, injuries, sexual assaults and murders” of women and girls.

Both media recognize that femicides are “sadly increasing” due to the indifference of the authorities and the silence of the official press.


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