A report by the NGO Archive Cuba revealed that “in the last few months” at least six suicides have occurred in Cuban jails without the State having reported them, and points out the “poor living conditions within the prison, punishments as causes. excessive and in many occasions excessive “.
“We have always suspected that many unreported deaths of people in custody occur in Cuba. These are forgotten people whom nobody looks at because they are not classified as political or conscientious prisoners,” said María Werlau, director of the NGO.
The document prepared by Archivo Cuba from reports provided by the opposition organization Alianza Democrática Orienta, refers to a database that documents extrajudicial killings in Cuba and suicide deaths not officially declared since 1959.
The Cuba Archive, based in Miami, has documented 1,111 suicides in Cuban jails. Of the six suicides that occurred “in the last few months,” four occurred in the Typical Provincial Prison of Las Tunas.
The deceased were Jorge Rodríguez Pérez, 27, who according to this source woke up hanging in a corridor, and Wilder Carrasco Téllez, Armando García Álvarez and Luis Miguel Sánchez Carrero. These last three, whose age is not indicated, were hanged in a punishment cell.
Also reported is the suicide of Alfredo Borges Barrera, alias “La Manta”, in the Combinado de Guantánamo provincial prison, “allegedly” due to an overdose of medications, and that of Lázaro Bruzón Formental in the Kilo 8 Prison in Camagüey after a beating at hands of a military man, according to Archivo Cuba.
According to the document, “this valuable information was collected by brave human rights activists within Cuba in phone calls with prisoners at those facilities.”
The document details that “because all calls are monitored, inmates who reported the death of their fellow inmates were severely punished with 21 days in solitary confinement cells and restricted family visits,” among other punishments.
“This is a problem that has existed for a long time and I am very dismayed. A large part of the inmates who die in Cuban prisons are black and no one talks about them,” explains Werlau.
According to the Cuban-American activist, these people “go to prison because they do not have a job and are accused of ‘pre-criminal social dangerousness’, which in itself is a political issue as well as an aberration.”
Werlau linked these cases with other common prisoners who, he said, have served “up to 15 years in prison for killing a cow on their property.”
According to the Free Society Project website, also known as Archivo Cuba, this is “a non-profit organization incorporated in Washington, DC in 2001 to promote human rights through studies and publications.”