The Colleagues of the Pediatrician Murdered in Artemisa Lament the Silence of the Cuban Authorities

Padrón worked at the Comandante Pinares hospital, in San Cristóbal. (Facebook/Efrén Padrón)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 December 6, 2023 — The name of Efrén Padrón, a pediatrician murdered in his home in San Cristóbal, in Artemisa, is the most recent on the list of violent deaths that Cuban authorities rarely report on. A nebula of data surrounds the case. Depending on the source consulted and in the absence of an official version, two causes of death are indicated: asphyxiation or stabbing.

The crime scene, his house, is the only common factor in all versions of the murder. Padrón, who had recently arrived back on the island after being part of a medical mission abroad, was allegedly attacked by a young man who fled and was captured by the Police this Wednesday in Pinar del Río, according to the influencer Niover Licea. Despite sharing the same last name, the aggressor and the victim were not related.

The versions also agree that the attacker went to the doctor’s house to rob him, but ended up suffocating Padrón with a telephone cable and throwing him into a tank, to simulate a suicide. Others claim that, on the contrary, the pediatrician was stabbed. Neither the Police nor the hospital where Padrón, Commander Pinares, worked and taught, in San Cristóbal, have issued any statement regarding his death.

The versions agree that the attacker went to the doctor’s house to rob him

However, several of his colleagues at the hospital lamented his murder and published on their social media profiles the little they knew about the case. This was also done by the independent journalist Claudia Padrón Cueto, who claims to have communicated with the victim through social networks.

Other health workers, also hospital workers and those close to Padrón, commented that the “excellent pediatrician” had completed missions in countries such as Angola and Cape Verde.

The escalation of violence in Artemisa has already made headlines in the independent press. In November, this newspaper reported on the imposition of a curfew in Alquízar, where the proliferation of crimes keeps the residents of the municipality in suspense.

Contrary to the official version, which flatly denied the restriction of movement, several residents assured 14ymedio that the agents patrol the avenues and prevent citizens from leaving their homes after midnight. One of them even explained how his father, a farmer who usually returns late from the fields, ended up detained at the station for not following the rules.

Beyond the provincial borders, the situation is no different, and in large cities like the capital, news of armed robberies, assaults and violence in the streets are more frequent, although they are only reported by social networks and independent media.

In the early hours of last Thursday, a man in his 60s and of French nationality was murdered in a building on the corner of Industria and Virtudes, in Central Havana. According to what one of the building’s neighbors told this newspaper, the victim had gone up to a tourist rental apartment with two girls, who gagged and suffocated him with the alleged intention of robbing him.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.