Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013: Nineteen years after the massacre; still no justice

 37 identified victims of the July 13, 1994 "13 de Marzo" Tugboat Massacre

July 13, 1994 at three in the morning three extended Cuban families set out for a better life aboard the "13 de Marzo" tugboat from Havana, Cuba and were massacred in a heinous crime committed by the Cuban government. The most extensive international report on the the events that took place was prepared by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. A Cuban women who lost 14 relatives, including her 10 year old son, Juan Mario Gutiérrez García described what she experienced.

María Victoria García Suarez and her son Juan Mario
 María Victoria García SuarezNo, they never told us to stop.  Then what they did was to shoot water at us.  Then the time came when we saw that we could not go on because it was going to be fatal and we stopped because the water was getting in.  Then we stopped and we told them:  "Look, we're turning back, we have already stopped, and they saw that we had stopped, and it was then that they split the side and turned the boat  around."  When they turned you around, what happened to you?  Those of  us on deck, we all went under and the boat sank immediately, but those of us in the water tried to get to the surface.  It was very deep.  I was carrying my son, I was holding him, I did not let go of him and then I pulled him up, but I don't know how to swim, then I came up but I went under again.  Then when I came up there was a woman who had drowned, she was floating beside me, then I grabbed her and carried my son--the waves were high--then  I could­n't... I couldn't, he had already drowned... 
The Victims

Hellen Martínez Enriquez. Age: 5 Months 
Xicdy Rodríguez Fernández. Age: 2 
Angel René Abreu Ruíz. Age: 3 
José Carlos Nicle Anaya. Age: 3 
Giselle Borges Alvarez. Age: 4 
Caridad Leyva Tacoronte. Age: 5 
Juan Mario Gutiérrez García. Age: 10 
Yousell Eugenio Pérez Tacoronte. Age: 11 
Yasser Perodín Almanza. Age: 11 
Eliécer Suárez Plasencia. Age: 12 
Mayulis Méndez Tacoronte. Age: 17 
Miladys Sanabria Leal. Age: 19 
Joel García Suárez. Age: 20 
Odalys Muñoz García. Age: 21 
Yaltamira Anaya Carrasco. Age: 22 
Luliana Enríquez Carrazana. Age: 22 
Jorge Gregorio Balmaseda Castillo. Age: 24 
Lissett María Alvarez Guerra. Age: 24 
Ernesto Alfonso Loureiro. Age: 25 
María Miralis Fernández Rodríguez. Age: 27 
Leonardo Notario Góngora. Age: 28 
Jorge Arquímedes Levrígido Flores. Age: 28 
Pilar Almanza Romero. Age: 31 
Rigoberto Feu González. Age: 31 
Omar Rodríguez Suárez. Age: 33 
Lázaro Enrique Borges Briel. Age: 34 
Julia Caridad Ruíz Blanco. Age: 35 
Martha Caridad Tacoronte Vega. Age: 35 
Eduardo Suárez Esquivel. Age: 38 
Martha Mirilla Carrasco Sanabria. Age: 45 
Augusto Guillermo Guerra Martínez. Age: 45 
Rosa María Alcalde Puig. Age: 47 
Estrella Suárez Esquivel. Age: 48 
Reynaldo Joaquín Marrero Alamo. Age: 48 
Amado González Raices. Age: 50 
Fidencio Ramel Prieto Hernández. Age: 51 
Manuel Cayol. Age: 56

This atrocity is not an aberration of the Cuban dictatorship but part of its totalitarian DNA. The men responsible for giving the orders and carrying them out 19 years later have still not had to answer for this crime.  Today, let us remember those who died, their names and how many were just children and youth who never got to live out their lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment