Two More Femicides, and the Official Federation of Cuban Women Remains Silent

Rosmery Ponce Peña was murdered in Güines, Mayabeque, by her ex-partner, who shot her in the head. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 13 July 2023 — The independent feminist platform Yo Sí Te Creo en Cuba [Yes I Do Believe You] (YSTC) confirmed on Thursday the murder of two women, with which the number of femicides so far this year rises to 52. The new cases have triggered the alarms of the gender observatories because, with a growth of 52.9%, they already threaten to double those of 2022.

The organization verified the murder of Rosmery Ponce Peña, 23, perpetrated on July 10 in the municipality of Güines, Mayabeque. The second case is that of Adela Verdecia, 30, who was murdered in Jovellanos, Matanzas, on June 26. Both women were victims of their ex-partners, whose identities are still unknown, as is whether they have been arrested by the authorities.

On his social networks, independent journalist Alberto Arego had reported on Wednesday about the death of Ponce, the mother of a two-year-old boy. According to sources consulted by Arego, the woman was in her home in the company of some friends when her ex-partner, a 50-year-old man, shot her from the window.

“A single shot straight to the head. Nobody saw the person, but it is believed that he was her ex-partner and the father of her child because he constantly threatened to beat her up,” said one of the sources who also declared his support for the approval of the death penalty against “abusive and murderous men.”

The victim’s aunt, Yesmely Peña, warned on social media about the alleged murderer. According to her account, Rosmery Ponce denounced her aggressor on several occasions to the police, but “they never did anything to him and look what happened: he killed my niece.”

“We draw attention to the previous complaints made by Rosmery and neglected by the Güines Police, in addition to the use of a homemade firearm in this irreparable crime,” YSTC wrote in a publication that was also shared by Alas Tensas [Tense Wings].

According to the record of femicides compiled by observatories and independent media, at least 13 women were murdered in June, making it the most violent month of the whole year. In most cases, the culprit is a spouse or a former life partner, from whom the victims had separated for mistreatment and had complained to the authorities.

The feminist platforms also record two attempts at femicide this year, in addition to four cases in which access to police investigations has been requested without result. YSTC said that it closely follows the death of Anna Hernández, known as Teudy, a Cuban trans woman who took refuge in Atenas, whose murder has fueled the struggle of the LGTBI community.

While the number of femicides skyrockets, the Cuban government assures that the crimes do not go unpunished, and even the official Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) presented its own Cuban Observatory on Gender Equality last June. This new unit would be responsible for keeping the statistics of “women who have been victims of intentional homicide as a result of gender violence in the last 12 months,” but to date it has not made anything public.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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