Inconformity amongst prisoners after announcement of ‘pardons’
Report by Caridad Caballero Batista
Lady in White, independent journalist
From the ‘El Tipco’ Prison of Manzanillo, Granma, the dissident prisoner Rafael Sosa Gomez reported about the inconformity and violent reaction of the prisoners after the process of the manipulated releases (pardons) from prison. According to Rafael, from the morning hours of December 24th, when the chiefs of the prisons took around 20 prisoners to be released to their offices, one could hear the first protests by other prisoners, upon hearing the news that highly dangerous delinquents and prisoners at the service of the dictatorship would be released. Once the deceitful words were transmitted through state television and newspaper in regards to the release process, ‘El Tipico’ looked more like an insane asylum than a penitentiary, with massive protests and self-inflictions. In Detachment # 2, prisoner Angel Estrada stabbed himself twice in the stomach and later sewed his lips shut. In the same vein, the prisoner Carlos Villafane Martinez set himself on fire, causing serious burns on both his legs. Similarly, Luis Matos Tamayo, Nixon Casino Puerta, and other prisoners began a hunger strike.
The dissident prisoner Robert Torres denounced from Canaletas Prison in Ciego de Avila that there were at least 5 deaths caused by violence on behalf of the prison guards and from severe violation of human rights. According to Torres, in this penitentiary all basic freedoms and rights are violated . If any prisoner protests, then they are beaten, tortured, and victims of blackmail until they are killed or they reach the point that they opt for suicide. Torres cited some of the cases (some of which have happened throughout the year, some just now):
- On March 10th, 2011, 30 year old Lacuba, Ciego de Avila native Eliciarsi Nunez Garcia was found dead in his cell number 19. The previous day, Garcia had been victim of a brutal beating at the hands of the prison guards.
- On October 10th, after receiving a horrible beating by uniformed officials on the previous day, Yosvany London, was found hung in Cell # 24, in the torture zone. He was 30 years old and also a native of Ciego de Avila.
- Also from Ciego de Avila, Miguel Ángel Chávez, 29 years of age, was found dead on November 10th after a very violent beating on November 8th.
- On December 11th, the young prisoner Daynier Casolas, who was only 24, was also found hung in cell # 19. Daynier chose death after a functionary from the Order of the Interior- lieutenant colonel Ricardo Perez Diaz- sentenced him under a new cause.
- On December 14th, Eduardo López Consuegra, native of Moron, died of kidney failure after having been denied medical attention on countless occasions. His mother took him to the intensive care unit of the local Hospital where he died on the spot.