Mandy Junco, son of Camaguey writer Pedro Junco, murdered by a street gang.
Pedro Junco López* (Café Fuerte)
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.