Machismo Continues to Kill in Cuba

Irina Echarry

Leydi Laura Garcia went missing at noon last Saturday. Her body was found three days later on the side of road, the latest feminicide in Cuba, where such crimes are not registered as such.

HAVANA TIMES – Leydi Laura Garcia Lugo lived in La Esperanza, she was in the fourth year of her medical career at the University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara. She was only 24 years old with a whole life ahead of her.

From noon on Saturday, March 30, her family and friends did not know of her whereabouts; She had disappeared on the road while making the trip back home, after finishing her shift at the Mariana Grajales Gyneco-Obstetric Hospital.

The last time anyone saw her, she was in the town of Los Trompos, trying to stop a vehicle that would give her a ride. On Tuesday, April 2, her body was found on the side of the Ranchuelo highway, in the same province.

The independent magazine Tremenda Nota released the news on social networks, and the Ministry of the Interior published a note explaining that it “prioritizes” an investigation into the case and, once the facts are clarified, the results will be announced “through the media.”

The media commotion will not bring Leydi Laura back to life, but it will serve to recognize the true motive of that crime, to think better about the society in which we live and speak openly about violence against women.

Friends of the young woman, in dismay, have expressed their pain in social networks and warned that her body was the victim of extreme violence. It is still not confirmed if she was raped, the marks of blows and strangulation could be seen in a video posted on the internet, made at the time her body was found.

Cuba does not appear to suffer the wave of femicides of other countries, but they do occur and should not be minimized. One cannot even speak with precision about the issue because the figures of murders of women, just because they are women, are not made public. The fact is not recognized officially and therefore no public policies are undertaken to eradicate it.

In April of last year, in Perico, a town in the province of Matanzas, a boy set fire to the house where his ex-girlfriend was supposedly sleeping; luckily she was not there, the flames destroyed almost the whole block. That was reported simply as another fire.

Times have changed, before it was more difficult to delve into these terrible stories that were transmitted by word of mouth. Now, through articles, comments or publications on social networks, in addition to street rumors, we have known of several murders of women in Cuba; Most of the time by ex-partners.

Some come to light with names and surnames, others remain anonymous and then we talk about “the girl from Regla” or “the one of San Miguel del Padron”, or “the woman who had just given birth who was stabbed at the Maternity hospital”.

Thus, those who intend to register the figures will encounter many doubts and the eternal uncertainty of knowing the difference between pure morbid fiction or a real occurrence. Other times the family itself does not want to disclose the details and they must be respected.

Machismo kills. I wasn’t born a woman to die for being one.  Photo:

In recent times some names have been known: Taimara Gomez Macias (29), from Cardenas in the province of Matanzas at the end of 2016; Misleydis Gonzales Garcia (47), in Ciego de Avila, 2017; Yulismeidys María Loyola Fernandez, a young woman from Sancti Spíritus murdered in an attempted rape in 2018. De Cienfuegos: Daylin Najarro Cause (36) and her mother Tomasa Cause Fabat (64), murdered last year.

Before, in 2017, another event had broken the silence on the subject in the official media: Leidy Maura Pacheco (18), was raped and murdered by three men. The September 5 provincial newspaper not only gave the news but followed the case until the trial. Thus we learned that two of the guilty were sentenced to life imprisonment and the third, to 30 years in prison.

Now it was the turn of Leydi Laura, from the La Esperanza neighborhood, in Remedios, Villa Clara. A young woman who dreamed of healing, but we have already learned that to heal bodies, we must heal the soul, and society as a whole suffers from a serious illness that expresses itself in different ways and sometimes overlaps between everyday life: machismo.

Irina Echarry

Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

8 thoughts on “Machismo Continues to Kill in Cuba

  • April 11, 2019 at 11:43 am

    WoW! It’s been many years since I have heard such disinformation. Less crime in Cuba than in the U.S. and other countries? Try having the Cuban government document and tell the truth for once in 60 years… Criminals there stay in jail real long times? Try telling that to the 19 year old girl who was almost killed in Pinar del Rio by her cousin two years ago just to get her house money (60 stitches all over her face). He got 12 years and will out in 3. How about the 18 year old boy who got stabbed in Pinar del Rio also two years ago and his murderer will be leaving jail in 4 years.

    Is there anything the Cuban government has not lied about in 60 years for propaganda sake?

  • April 10, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    It is sad to hear. But I believe Cuba is imploding . A lot of reactionary agents are in the ministry of interior. I just had a very recent experience with my wife where one agent brutalized her and hit her head against the wall. All of this because we asked for political asylum. These agents were worse than the people we were fleeing from. My wife told me about it afterwards since they detained her seperately. I would have died if it happened in my presence. Fidel and Che did not fight for these reactionaries, certainly not. To hit a woman with such brutality is really a stain on the revolution. About Lydia, the minister of interior promised an investigation, but unless they investigate themselves, we will never know. The brutality against my wife happened very recently. 2019! And yes it did. We were surrounded by a bunch of machismo raising their fingers at us and speaking loud. I’m not sure if it was more a brand of racism or machismo or a combination of the two. And they have no respect for commandante Raoul Castro. When I asked to speak to him they responded with such disdain that Raoul does not control their unit. They couldn’t be more than 35 to 40s old for the most. They know nothing of the sacrifices of revolutionaries and they most seem to want to travel to the States. What a shame!

  • April 6, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Ahh cuba ….where the men are macho and the young girls have babies to prove it!!!!

  • April 6, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    I live in Chile and can say that situation happens here. Those crimes are dubbed “femicidios” (a despective way to refer to feminicides). On the Women International day (March 8), there were massives rallies all along Chile.

  • April 6, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Yes violence happens in Cuba. It is not considered news as no crimes are made available in publications for entertainment as in Canada, where I come from, for example. Also the murder rate for men and women is less in Cuba than the United States. So maybe it makes sense to advise our own countries to follow some of Cuba’s lead on public safety. It is the safest country I have ever been to but there is evil here too. Fortunately, most of the criminals are in jail. Violent offenders stay there. Again, in Canada and the U.S. too many repeaters are returned to the streets. And too many people are put in jail for non-violent crimes. The macho in Cuba is still less dangerous than the estimated 2,000 serial killers free to predate the population in the U.S. Certainly with Cuba’s excellent
    crime control it will continue to provide a wide margin better safety than the United States. Seeking bloody photos to sensationalize murder is something that used to be for sleazy crime magazines. Now sleazy websites use them in place of valid journalism. Very sad state of affairs such talent wasted writing such ineffective drivel. Just my opinion.

  • April 6, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    “Times have changed, before it was more difficult to delve into these terrible stories that were transmitted by word of mouth. Now, through articles, comments or publications on social networks, in addition to street rumors, we have known of several murders of women in Cuba; ”
    I want to know where is the links to Those “several murders of women in Cuba” where is all that source?? Is just how you try to use this case (by the way extremely sad) to talk about this topic. “Machismo” is not the root of the problem. Men most time express they jealous is crazy way, the sad is a lot of woman accept it… regardless the family and friends want to give a support to her….lot of cases the woman accept the fact that the man treat her like a shit and she didn’t want to change the life…is thousand and thousand of cases in Cuba that family demand the man who attacks, but the woman turn against the family because “THAT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS.” she no need help she love the man like that and then family is the big enemy for trying to help….(I use to be a police man in Habana) I can tell you that murder like this is not relevant comparing to the hundreds of cases of woman being attacked for her couple that I registered per month in “El Cerro” is serious when you see the numbers in Havana, but most serious is that close to 98 % the woman still living with the aggressor…”nothing happens is just a simple discussion” I heard that one and once…as a police we can’t do nothing if you as a woman accept that your couple mashup you face for nothing, and if you refuse to cooperate with the police to punish the man.

  • April 6, 2019 at 10:53 am

    I am from London and am very sad to learn of all this – it is a Spiritual scar on Cuban Honour – Leydi’s Soul will remain as a curse on those responsible AND those responsible for turning a blind eye. The Ghost of Che Guevara appears to me and his own Soul, as he forewarned from Bolivia, still exists – to complete the misson of Time. He saw a lot going on in Cuba Administration from the top-with which he did not agree-so he had to take the long road out of all that. Machismo culure was not his scene either. Thankyou for sharing this information on Leydi and the other Murdered people’s behalf-my Soul is embracing the sadness of these facts. We will not forget nor abandaon the cause for Justice in reality. Eve Guevara-Sansom – London UK.

  • April 6, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Thank you for reporting this. It is only when peoples eyes are opened and problems recognized that improving things can begin.

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