Who Provoked the Riot in the Guatao Women’s Prison? / Dania Virgen Garcia

Havana women’s jail. Photo: Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate

Havana, Cuba, July 25, 2013, Dania Virgen Garcia / www.cubanet.org.  A reliable source who asked to remain anonymous for reasons of safety — it is clear that this source is not political prisoner Sonia Garro, illegally confined in that prison — said that those who provoked the riot in the Guatao women’s prison west of Havana this last May 26 were male and female officers of internal order.  These had been transferred to other prisons without being prosecuted for incitement to commit crime, among other crimes that were sanctioned by military laws.

The source blames the riot on the first petty officer of internal order, Yunieski Figueredo Garcia; Yasnay Velez Hariarte, Chief of Re-Education, transferred to prison 1580 in San Miguel del Padron, a municipality where they conferred on her an apartment near this prison; Ismari Torres Pexidor, re-educator of detachment 3; and the chief of internal order, Rosaidi Osorio Palmero, alias “Iron Lady,” who was transferred to the prison Valle Grande.

All those mentioned maintained strong corruption with the so-called White Collars.

The deputy warden of the prison, officer Betty, was transferred to the National Direction of Jails and Prisons, located at 15 and K, El Vedado, in Havana.

The six prisoners who initiated the riot, most very young, still are in the Manto Negro women’s prison.

According to the source, “They sent the worst management team from MININT (Ministry of the Interior).”

The new head of the prison, Major Sara, was previously the second.  She arrived sanctioned by another prison. Until she serves out the sanction, Lieutenant Colonel Diaz is standing in for her.

Yunieski Figueredo, alias El Negro, husband of the chief of internal order, Rosaidi Osorio, still continues in the prison as if nothing had happened.  This deputy receives the new inmates.  He is accustomed to harassing the prisoners to force them to have sex with him.

The source alluded to the fact that the White Collar prisoners, who run the economy and finances in the prison, were prohibited from exercising their duty and were replaced by officers who had no experience in the matter.

One group of prisoners who worked in the “Luis Ramirez Perdigon” military school dealt with the location of prisoners in the penitentiaries as well as other military details.

Now, the White Collars are located as cleaning helpers in different Havana hospitals, like the Surgical Clinic, the Pediatric “Juan Manuel Marquez,” Calixto Garcia and the Oncology Hospital.

A racist jail

The Guatao prison hosts more than 100 prisoners for economic crimes, embezzlement, corruption and theft in customs packages, among others.  Every week women with these crimes enter.

“Lieutenant Colonel Diaz is racist,” assured the source.  She refers to fact that the jailers who direct the leading platoon, who are mostly black, were replaced by white jailers, which has inconvenienced the officials.

She said that the prisoners who are pregnant or have recently given birth, who are in the galleries of the Manto Negro prison, live in extremely deplorable conditions. The galleries are very humid due to the seepages in the walls and roofs.

She indicated that in the Guatao prison there are two jailers who belong to the repressive rapid response body that put down the Ladies in White; their names are Yarelis Hernandez Herrera and Maria Pedroso Herrera, both deputies.

The former director of the Manto Negro women’s prison, Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes Luna, was promoted a couple of years ago to the National Directorate of Jails and Prisons (15 and K).  Now she is serving on an international mission in the Republic of Angola.


Translated by mlk

3 August 2013