Suicidal Solidarity

In order to survive in prison, it is necessary to be talented.  Any jail cell of maximum strictness is truly a time bomb.  This past 26th of January, the penal director of Canaletas in Ciego de Avila ordered to relocate the common recluses Reinier Dickerson Martinez, Pedro Jesus Matamoros Cerguera, and Josbel Orama Soto to different detachments.

They had all previously been in Detachment 3 due their label of “Half Severe”.  The interesting thing of this story is that neither of them had committed any indisciplinary actions, so they did not understand the actions against them.  They also did not want to end up in the section where the “Severe” phase recluses reside. 

After 30 minutes of receiving the news through word of mouth from the educator Joel Prado Cervantes, the second chief of Interior Order, Omar Laudinot Malleta, appeared with the intention of completing the order given to him by the superiors of his military grade and directive charge.  And then the odyssey began.  According to eyewitness sources, Reinier Dickerson decided to go to an isolation cell but Jesus Matamoros was taken to Detachment 9 and upon opening the steel door, he began to furiously beat it along with the first man he saw infront of his path.

Josbel Orama did something similar in number 10.  A soldier with the last name Tejeda would give Orama Soto a beating with the stick carried by the functionaries of the Order of the Interior.  After the incident, both young men were taken to the punishment cell.

For whoever is imprisoned in Cuba, such an event is normal.  Those who rule within the Order of Interior do and undo whatever they feel like and are not met with any consequences.  I remember that it used to affect me when Eduardo Martinez Rodriguez, friend of the unfortunates, tied a plastic glove on his right hand and sliced his veins.  So much blood dripped from his arm that I even got goosebumps.  5  minutes after Michel Torres Gomez followed his example.

Sometimes I try to understand the soul of some of these soldiers.  It does not fit in my head that Marayobles preferred to continue giving lunch to Detachments 4 and 5 than to persuade Eduardo Martinez to not cut himself.  In fact, many prisoners here would scream at the top of their lungs and yet he remained static, unyielding.

I should point out that Martinez Rodriguez has the weight of an adolescent, barely 48 kg.  While I write these lines I get chills.  After spilling all the blood that he possibly could, while he held on with all his strength, Martinez Rodriguez fell to the ground like an agonized animal suffering from a mortal wound.  The inmates that were in the hallway helped move him to the penal hospital.

The identical situation occurred with Michel Torres Gomez.  The hallway looked like a place where they sacrificed animals; the blood was all over the place.  The most sinister part of all this was that Reinier, Pedro Jesus, and Josbel were all removed from Detachment 3 because, according to incoming information, they practice games that are prohibited and are bullies.

Within three hours of the events I went to speak to the three protagonists of the narration.  They informed me that upon reaching their cell, they were forced to strip naked and stand with their backs towards the soldiers; They were forced to squat down in the nude.  The humiliation had to be one of a kind.  From what I have understood, the re-educator of Detachment 9, Eugenio de la Cruz Canto, attempted to beat Pedro Jesus when he held the shackles in his hands; A very brave attitude on behalf of an official of re-education.

I really don’t know if it is a coincidence or just an idea of mine, but the three of these affected men are black and very loved by their infortunate companions.  I have understood that Reinier Dickerson was taken to Detachment 2 but that Jesus Matamoros is residing in number 4 and Josbel Oramas in the 5th.  Even though, according to them, the police promised them that they would investigate in depth all the information given to them by a very astute snitch who, thanks to his tongue, lives in this prison of Canaleta like a privilged sir, without reminding himself that his time is nearly here.

During the hours of the night, the lieutenant Colonel Reinerio Diaz Betancourt, the unit’s second chief Orlando Fernandez Fernandez, and an official of the superior guard all showed up in Detachment 3.  All of them were investiagating what had happened on that same afternoon. 

 

Pablo Pacheco, political prisoner in Canaleta Prison in Ciego de Avila, Cuba.

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