Ailynn Torres Santana

Ailynn Torres Santana

Académica y militante feminista. Investigadora postdoctoral del International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC) de la Fundación Rosa Luxemburgo, investigadora asociada de FLACSO Ecuador y parte de la Red “El Futuro es Feminista” de la Fundación Friedrich Ebert. Doctora en Ciencias Sociales por FLACSO Ecuador.

Photo taken in Caibarién, during the burial of the child Carlos Duviel, murdered by his father. Photo: Pedro Manuel González Reinoso/Cubanet.

To kill and let die

The last few weeks have brought to the forefront of Cuban public opinion two acts of extreme violence: the murders of a young woman and a ten-year-old boy. Both events, independent of each other, occurred in the province of Villa Clara. The child was murdered by his father, who has a record of violence against the child's mother (including physical assault and attempted murder) and he had assured her that she would not see her son alive again. The name of Leydi Laura García Lugo lengthens a list of women with the same fate. In 2018, official media followed the killing of Leidy Maura Pacheco Mur, in Cienfuegos. For the first time official coverage was given to the murder (after kidnapping and rape) of a woman. The fact shocked the province and the country. Alternative means of communication and citizens’ denunciations have been registered in other cases: Misleydis González García (Ciego de Ávila, 2018); Daylín Najarro Causse and Tomasa Causse Fabat (Cienfuegos, 2018); Delia Hecheverría Blanc (Santiago de Cuba, 2017, whose daughter was also assaulted and hospitalized); a 18-year-old woman in the municipality of Florida (Camagüey, 2017), another one in San Miguel del Padrón (Havana, 2018); and still another in...

Illustration: Alina Najlis.

The year of the dispute over the Magna Carta

In Cuba, 2018 went by between tests of Internet connection and meetings to consult the draft constitution. If the years are continued to be given names in Cuba, that could have been the "Year of the dispute over the Magna Carta and the wait for mobile data." The flour or deodorant crisis, the return of doctors from the Brazilian mission, and even the inauguration of the current president, were situations. Some, vital; but still situations. Internet on cell phones is already a fact (at least for those who enjoy 3G, 900mz phones and money to pay similar or higher packages in cost to those of other parts of the world, expensive for Cuban pockets). The Constitution still isn’t. The full text will be taken to a referendum on February 24. The answer to the question "Do you ratify the new Constitution of the Republic?" will put an end to 2018, which has not yet finished pending this last gesture. That moment will give a turn to the hourglass. It will start by discounting the time that the rest of the Cuban legal network has to respond to the new standard. Up to two years is the established time. According to...

Photo: Kaloian

The Cuba novel

Sometimes I think I left. But I have not left. At least not completely. I have stayed, at times entirely. And sometimes only in body, while the rest of me is in other places. Or my body has been anywhere, but I've been here. Some parts of me have gone and they have not come back anymore. It happens to many people. Not only to those born in Cuba. It happens to nine out of 10 people who are or have been emigres; even if it is for a while, even if they don’t feel completely emigres, even if they have dreamed of migrating or are convinced that this was the best way, or the only way. What doesn’t happen to anyone is the estrangement with respect to the point of departure. If someone tells you a story about the country that runs through your veins and you do not recognize it, did you lose your homeland? The vision of Cuba is captured by the fatalism of the poles. You hate or love, friend or enemy, inside or outside, with me or against me, immaculate Cuba or rotten Cuba. That polar system is politically interested, and this is not necessarily...

Illustration: Alina Najlis.

It was femicide, and that matters

It was not one more homicide: it was femicide. After this precision, Leidy Maura Pacheco Mur will continue dead; her son, an orphan; her family, torn apart; Cienfuegos, dismayed. However, it is important to specify this. Leidy Maura On September 26, 2017, Leidy Maura was murdered. She had gone to the Commerce enterprise interested in a course, she had visited friends, she had lunch with her husband and gotten on a bus and then on a van. She had gotten home. But she was kidnapped. Then she was raped. Lastly, she was murdered. On September 27, the whole city – including one of the alleged murderers – mobilized to search for the missing woman. Two suspects were initially identified and a few days ago three of them were tried. At least one of them has antecedents of rape. Irael Enrique Campos, aged 32, was sentenced to life imprisonment; Darián Gómez Chaviano, 25, was also sentenced to life imprisonment. In the case of Henry Hanoi Tamayo Hernández, 19, a minor before the law, he was sentenced to a prison term of 30 years. It hasn’t just been Leidy Maura. We don’t have figures, but the cases are made known by word...

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