Two Women Shot Dead in the Middle of the Street in Santiago de Cuba

After the incident, dozens of people gathered around the bus stop in the Micro 9 neighborhood in the city of Santiago de Cuba. (Twitter)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 November 2020 — Around eight in the morning on Saturday a man shot two women who were at a bus stop in the Micro 9 neighborhood in the city of Santiago de Cuba. One of the victims died at the scene and the other died while undergoing surgery at the Saturnino Lora Provincial Hospital, according to a note from the Interior Ministry.

“In the José Martí urban center, in the city, a citizen approached two women who were there and pulled out a firearm, shooting both of them, one was left dead in the street and the other was taken to the hospital and they proceeded to operate on her and she died,” details the report released by the Santiago television website.

“The perpetrator fled, so a police patrol was immediately deployed throughout the area and a few minutes later he was arrested as he was fleeing, and they seized the murder weapon,” adds the note from the Interior Ministry.

“This citizen had a family relationship with the two deceased, his wife and daughter. A multidisciplinary ministerial group is investigating the events,” the text states. Several neighbors said on social networks that the mother worked in the anti-vector campaign against the Aedes aegypti mosquito and the daughter was an employee of the Ministry of Education.

On social networks, local residents showed their indignation and rejection of the events, at the same time that they sent a message of condolence to the relatives of the murdered women. The comments also showed alarm at the growing wave of violence in the streets of the country.

“What is happening is sad. Lately we can no longer say that we are safe in our country, they assault, rape, kill, even in our own homes we are not safe,” lamented Danniellis Sarmiento, an Internet user who expressed her opinion about what happened on the Facebook  page of El Chago, a local freelance journalist.

“It is unfortunate, all very sad, to see this dead lady and the Micro 9 bus stop covered in blood, as if it were a movie; but no, it was real,” said a neighborhood resident who passed near the scene of the incident shortly after hearing the shots. There were dozens of voices demanding justice and information transparency on the networks shortly after what happened.

The Government of the Island has always been very hermetic with the statistics of femicide, even when these murders are very frequent in society and gender violence, very common. So far this year, at least 17 femicides have been registered, according to data from independent organizations.

The most current official figures were released in 2019 to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), but in reality they belonged to 2016. In that report, which sought to draw up guidelines to implement the 2030 Agenda for Development, it reported that the rate of femicides was 0.99 per 100,000 women aged 15 years and over.

Last August, the official newspaper Granma, faced with complaints on social networks of violent murders of women in 2020, devoted itself to criticizing the publications and blamed them on “the media machinery financed by the United States” which is “one of the the most exploited resources” in the “communication war directed at Cuban society.” But it did not give updated data, only those of 2016 and those outdated figures were compared with those of several countries.

At the beginning of last October, the Defense Network for Women’s Affairs reported to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights the lack of reliable information in Cuba on femicides and on human rights in general. Activist Sara Cuba lamented that there is no specific law on violence against women that protects women from discrimination for political reasons, gender and race.


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