Ten Months After the Crime, the Murderers of a Teacher in Cuba Receive Life Imprisonment

Santiago Morgado’s body was found days after he went missing. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, June 2, 2023 — Two of the murderers of Professor Santiago Morgado, whose body was found in a well in July last year, in Sancti Spíritus, have been sentenced to life imprisonment. This was confirmed by activist Néstor Estévez, the victim’s relatives and witnesses to the trial.

A third person involved in the crime received a sentence of 30 years in prison, and two others received, respectively, two and one year in prison. The latter are involved in the sale of the Suzuki motorcycle that Morgado was riding, and which, according to the investigation, was the motive for the homicide. The vehicle was taken to Camagüey, where it was sold in desperation for 200,000 pesos.

Estévez tells this newspaper that on Wednesday, when the sentence was handed down, “the city was completely militarized,” and many of Morgado’s relatives were “rounded up” by State Security. “Maybe they thought they were going to appear in court to take a photo or a video,” ventures the activist, resident in the United States, who manages a page with independent information about Sancti Spíritus. In addition, he says that the relatives have not communicated with him again, despite his attempts, so he suspects that they may be threatened by the agents.

The official press, for the moment, has not reported the news. At the end of 2022, Escambray published that one of the five detainees was released on bail (presumably the one who received the lowest sentence).

Shortly after Morgado’s body was found, the provincial newspaper revealed in a report that two of those involved had been the material perpetrators of his violent death and that one of them knew him well. The first of the murderers led Morgado to El Capitolio, a town of the Banao People’s Council, where, hidden in the undergrowth, his companion was waiting.

The attackers used a stick and a stone, in addition to two pieces of agricultural machinery, to submerge the teacher’s body in the well.

As for the rest of those involved, one of them rode 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. Finally, the fifth detainee was the intermediary of the sale.

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, from which it follows that the crimes occurred in places they knew well.

Morgado’s acquaintances were the ones who placed the most emphasis on the search for the body, since the police, as usual in these cases, took their time to join the investigation.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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