domingo, 3 de septiembre de 2017

CID delegate arrested to prevent him from being elected

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, at 11:45 a.m., journalist and Cuba Independiente y Democrática (CID) party delegate Lázaro Luis Ruiz Echevarría was arbitrarily arrested. His sister reports that the previous evening State Security agent Juan Pérez and another policeman arrived at his house and ordered him to report the following day to the municipal police unit in Pinar del Río and see its second in command.

Lázaro Luis Echevarría with Defensores del Pueblo (People’s Defenders) evaluating and supporting a social case

When Lázaro arrived at the unit he was immediately led to a cell, and the only thing the instructor told his family was that he was going to be under investigation under charges of document forgery. It is about a recognition issued by the Banco de Sangre (Blood Bank) for being a frequent donor.

Lázaro with his son, who has also been a victim of abuse

His friends and people’s defenders in Pinar del Río say the arrest aims at preventing Lázaro to launch his nomination as a candidate to the municipal assemblies, which will begin next week. He is an appreciated and popular man within the population because of his honesty and good conduct and for helping destitute personas. His arrest is a move by the government to open an investigation and place him in a legal limbo to invalidate his participation in the elections.

This is proof of the regime’s fear that young persons like Lázaro be elected by their neighbors as means to seek leadership alternatives before social situations that are too critical, which the government has not been able to solve. The government is afraid that persons nominated by the people be capable to face up to the regime and defend the communities which are increasingly deteriorated each day.

Neighbors had already gone to his house telling his mother, Norma Urra Echevarría, that Lázaro is very good and he should be alert because the Delegado de la Circunscripción (District Delegate), along with the Comité de Defensa de la Revolución (Revolution Defense Committee) President, on orders by State Security officer Juan Pérez, were going to frame him so he would not be present at the nomination of candidates, thus preventing him from being elected.

His sister says that some weeks ago, when Lázaro and herself were headed for Atención a la Ciudadanía del Ministerio del Interior (Interior Ministry Citizen Service), they were arrested and taken to the police unit where Lázaro was threatened and beaten on the stomach by a repressive agent, prompting him to fight before the other policemen, but Lázaro replied he knew they wanted to prosecute him for a crime, and that he was not going to please them.

By Defensoría del Pueblo (People’s Defense) lawyers in Pinar del Río: Rigoberto González Vigoa, José Ernesto Morales Estrada, Ada González Pérez and Calixto E. Miranda Landeiro.

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