The Disappearance of Taxi Drivers Continues in Cuba / Ignacio Estrada

taxi[1] By Ignacio Estrada, independent journalist

Havana, Cuba – Media collusion and police secrecy on the island have masked a very large number of disappearances of taxi drivers in both the private and public sectors.

This claim can be corroborated in different parts of the country and even in the capital itself. When getting into a taxi, passengers might notice that many of the drivers are accompanied by another person who serves as fare collector. This fare collector or co-pilot is a security precaution to make sure that monies cannot be taken from the driver of the vehicle.

If you ask drivers about the disappearances of their colleagues, many will confirm that this has happened, and will even provide information about the criminals’ modus operandi.

The official press and directors at National Revolutionary Police headquarters have made no mention of the increase in these criminal acts, nor have they alerted the population and specifically the drivers of vehicles which serve as taxis in the three areas affected.

Some drivers have begun taking security precautions such as availing themselves of mobile phone technology, bringing along another person to serve as fare collector, or carrying sharp-edged or blunt objects such as clubs or baseball bats. In the most extreme cases they will carry illegal firearms, one of the few precautions that will guarantee they return home alive.

The Cuban people do not know the total number of the missing, but what many agree on is that we are not looking at a baseless rumor.

25 February 2013