My Son Was Murdered in Camaguey, Cuba

Mandy Junco, son of Camaguey writer Pedro Junco, murdered by a street gang.

Pedro Junco López*   (Café Fuerte)

Pedro Armando “Mandy” Junco Torres

HAVANA TIMES — It is very hard for me to write these lines. I ask all mothers and fathers reading this to step into my shoes for a moment. Just for a minute, imagine it was your son who was stabbed to death on the street by four murderers who didn’t even know him, who didn’t even want to rob him or settle accounts with him.

Imagine their motive was the sheer pleasure of killing. Put yourselves in my position for a moment and then try to process what you feel in your hearts. That is what I’ve been enduring and will endure to the end of my days.

I write to thank the many people who, in Cuba and abroad, have been by my side these days, during the cruelest days I have experienced in the course of my long life. I also write for the sake of the many friends who haven’t yet heard the news.

On Saturday, May 16, between 2:40 and 3 in the morning, my young, beautiful, intelligent and kind-hearted 28-year-old son was ambushed by a gang of sadistic murderers who, with no other aim other than killing, beat and stabbed him to death. Forensic doctors found 46 contusions on the body of my dear son.

Mandy was a jovial rocker who was always smiling. He had no enemies. He was adored by the prettiest girls in town. He was coming home from a rock festival, where he was scheduled to perform, as a guitarist, with his band the following night. Minutes before his murder, he talked with friends about his projects, the success he’d already enjoyed and his hopes of improving his skills more and more every day, as he was already a professional musician.

I want to write what I’m feeling at this moment. As I told a priest yesterday, I am angry at God. I ask: where were you, all-powerful Lord, when you let that terrible injustice take place? Were you sleeping and could not go in my son’s aid? What debt did you wish to settle with me? I believe in you, all-powerful Lord, for I see evidence of you, but I doubt your kindness and your justice.

To those who govern this country and dictate its laws, to the members of the courts that claim to dispense justice, how long will we have to wait until acts of violence such as this one are met with punishments that make examples of the perpetrators? Those responsible for violent crimes spend their time in prison as though in a boarding school. Once inside, they are offered an education, enjoy conjugal visits, are granted regular passes and, halfway through their sentence, are offered “parole” for good behavior, a parole many take advantage of to kill with impunity once again, as the death sentence is no longer applied in Cuba.

The city of Camaguey has been chilled by this incident. My son was the third victim of the gang that carried out yet another crime that early morning. We hear of cases like this almost every day, but the press, tied hand and foot, isn’t authorized to report them – and concealing the truth is the most sordid way of lying.

The distress weighing on me today will not leave me as long as I live. But, from this day on, I will fight with all of my strength to make the streets safe for our young, whose horrified parents today lock them up at home. It was me today, but the next victim could well be one of your kids.

Let us all demand true justice; let us make examples of these criminals.

I have always been an ardent defender of the right to life. But if applying capital punishment helps save innocent people, let it be applied, I say.

Editors Note: The Ministro of Interior informed that five suspects are being held in connection with the murder.

*Camaguey-born writer and blogger. In 1987, his La furia de los vientos (“The Fury of the Winds”) received the Testimony Award at the David literary contest. His testimony attests to the murder of his son, Pedro Armando Junco Torres, guitarist for the band Strike Back, which participated in the Sonidas de la Ciudad (“City Sounds”) Rock Festival held in Camaguey. This post appeared on his blog La furia de los vientos.


11 thoughts on “My Son Was Murdered in Camaguey, Cuba

  • Praise God beautifully said, my heart goes out to his family.

  • I’m sorry this happened to you . But I can tell you it is NOT Gods fault . This world is full of crazy people influenced by the Devil and his demons. No matter where you go the Devil governs in this world where there is injustice.And these things happen. Unfortunately. The word of God says ““I have told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!””
    ??John? ?16:33? ?ERV?? . He is telling us We will have afflictions . There is no doubt. but be brave he says
    Look for Jesus he is the only one that can give you peace in this situation. He is the prince of peace.( Don’t look for a religion) look for him and only him, He’s word also says ““I leave you peace. It is my own peace I give you. I give you peace in a different way than the WORLD does. So don’t be troubled. Don’t be afraid.”
    ??John? ?14:27? ?ERV??.
    En Cristo semos mas que vencedores. We are more than conquerors in Christ.

  • and for those trying to flee by commandeering a ferry.

  • Cuba still has the death penalty for murder and crimes of treason. Remember that General Ochoa was executed in 1989.

  • Where are your condolences for the victim and for the father who lost his son? This particular article is about the gang murder of a young man, so perhaps we should all recognize that? The pro and anti death penalty proponents should develop some respect for the deceased victim. Time to make amends Mark!

  • Please bring back the death penalty everyware where there is crime and not government in their power of changing and establishing laws that call for peace do anything . it is everywhere, in Canada, in the US, others corners of the world and those like you guys and me will just have to live with the pain of once loosing somenbody we love. Cry and write because nothing will either bring back your son or justice. It won’t get better out here as human being are being motivated and celebrated to commit the most horrendous crimes with out being apponished.

  • What? And kill some more people?

  • I can relate to that unfortunately,I am just a tourist and travel to Cuba every year with my dance school,one night,around 9 pm between the Malecon and the Hotel Nacional and with people around me and my friends,all tourists, witnessed a murder about 5 or 6 metres away from us,a young man stabbed a woman as he seemed to embrace her,she just fell down slowly without a single sound and her white clothes filled with lots of blood within seconds.My husband always carries a whistle and used it strait away,within a few seconds many plain clothes policemen arrived on the scene and declared her dead just before the killer had walked away slowly and only when he was 10 metres away he started to run.We saw everything and started to talk to the police describing what just happened,but they shooed us away saying they didn’t need our testimony.We were absolutely shocked as you can imagine not only by seeing so clearly such a crime,but to the reaction of the police that were almost annoyed with us because we were witnesses and wanted to help with the investigation.Years before the Viazul bus going to Trinidad crushed and killed many tourists,we missed that bus thank God and only found out what happened because on the bus there was a Trinitarian that lived abroad that was going to visit his family and the commotion and the cries of some people in a small town like Trinidad could not go unnoticed even though locals near my casa were whispering.Very sad

  • As a father, ones heart bleeds for Pedro Junco Lopez. Such mindless crimes occur world wide, they are not peculiar to Cuba. As one who has listened to many hours of music at the Trova in Camaguey and upon exiting passing the statue of Agramonte it is difficult to imagine such violent crime in those peaceful streets.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. And for the public silence about your son’s killing.

    In 2001, a Cuban friend of mine in Havana, a professor at the university, was stabbed to death in his own home. Nothing was ever reported in the Cuban press about the murder of this man. It still pains me.

  • bring back the death penalty in Cuba . my condolences .

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