A National Revolutionary Police (PNR) official shot a 24 year old male to death in the municipality of San German, Holguin province, during the morning hours of this past 5th of June. The young Cuban was Eliesmer Acosta Rodriguez who was riding a horse at the moment and eventually had a confrontation with the agent. Cases like these are not rare, according to the Holguin activist Eliecer Palma.
The dissident explains that although the young Acosta Rodriguez was known for his “disorderly conduct“, his death was still a crime- a crime which has been happening with much more frequency in San German.
“San German continues to have a high rate of murders, whether it be by gun or with machete attacks… it’s actually very worrying, and the locals are starting to reflect this worry“, said Palma, who affirms that many neighbors have visited him to communicate their state of insecurity. They trust that he will publish their denouncements through alternative mediums in other parts of the island and abroad.
The sharp climb of crime rates seems to also be accompanied by a certain state of impunity seeing as, most of the time, the culprits belong to official organs.
“There are often cases where justice is not served“, affirms the activist, member of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, “for example, one citizen confirmed to me that he was a witness of an assassination where a PNR official from Havana, who had a girlfriend in this Eastern zone, arrived one day dressed in civilian clothing and carrying a gun. He had an argument with two workers and he shot each of them. They both died on the spot. As of today, there has been no justice. There was never a trial and the families of the victims are completely destroyed“.
Palma adds that, in his investigations, he found that “the parents of the person who shot are high ranking officers of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) and when the events took place he was returned to Havana and the case just stayed like that…no other actions were taken“.
A number of years have passed since that incident. In the meantime, San German has seen the rise of these murders.
In another more recent case, the pro-freedom activist recounts that “a 30 year old male who worked as a guard in one of ETECSA’s antennas got a gun and went to the Educational Direction of San German and shot one of the workers to death“.
In this specific case, the assassin was detained but he still has not been sentenced.
Meanwhile, this past 16th of June there was a “brawl” between PNR officials and various citizens in the Nocturnal Cabaret of San German, said the activist.
“There was a confrontation between 3 police agents and various citizens who were in a party. Supposedly, the PNR was looking to capture a criminal, but upon arriving to the Cabaret the Second Chief named Leonardo started to attack all the people with tear gas“, he says, “and this led to an argument and then a rather large and violent confrontation with the officials“.
Robberies have also skyrocketed in the municipality, many times carried out by the very own police agents, assures Palma.
In addition, criminals are used by police forces to keep vigilance over and harass human rights activists in that area, whether it be out on the streets or during arbitrary detentions in police units.
“I had the uncomfortable experiencing of sharing a dungeon for 5 days with a man who attacked a lady with machetes when I was recently detained in San German“, recounts Eliecer.
These tactics are frequently employed against members of the Cuban opposition.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Eliecer Palma – Cell Phone: +52-771-487 / Twitter: @eliecerpalma1