08/28/13 - Bahamas Tribune - Cuban Claims To Have Been 'Almost Killed' In Detention Centre Beating
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
A CUBAN man claiming to have been in custody at the Carmichael Road
Detention Centre says he was one of a group of detainees beaten so severely
"that they almost killed us".
Alexander Vazquez, 27, phoned into the radio show Desafio on 670AM - a
Miami station, where he recalled a "brutal" assault which he claimed
resulted in two broken ribs - one of which punctured his lung.
That incident, he told the show's host and Miami-based activist Ramon
Sanchez on August 19, landed him in hospital for six days, after an
Vazquez has since been repatriated to Cuba where he lives at H Street,
Colon and Maceo, number 9, Reparto Villa Josefa.
"A day and a half after getting to the Bahamas, we were sleeping at around
3am, and the guards went crazy. They told everyone to wake up and separate,
and go outside," Vazquez said.
"Myself, and two others were held in the room. They tied us up took us
outside and beat us so bad, they almost killed us."
"While the beating was taking place, a senior officer was firing shots in
"It was very, very brutal, I tell you that from the heart. I believe one of
us would have died that night. What saved us was that the sun was starting
to come up by then, if not..."
According to the Democracy Movement, Vazquez was sent back to Cuba on
Friday, August 16, with the first group of Cubans.
Vazquez went on to explain to Sanchez that he believed the officers at the
Detention Centre did not want to take them to hospital for fear of the
incident going public.
"It seems that it was the immigration officers who took us to the hospital
and when we got there. In my case, I had two broken ribs and one of them
had punctured my lung.
"We were first taken to a clinic, and they didn't want us to go to the
hospital, but the doctors they insisted. I had to have an operation and
spent five or six days in the hospital.
"It seemed that they wanted to get me out of there, I guess because of the
press was going to come there or something like that."
Sanchez said that while the beating was taking place, other officers came
over. But when they realised what was going on, they left. When these
officers first approached, one of the other Cubans said to the victims:
"Look they are coming over here, they are going to stop them beating you."
Those officers instead got into their cars and left. The guards continued
their abuse, Vazquez said.
Speaking about the conditions at the Detention Centre, he said that
children housed at the facility were forced to live in a climate of fear
all the time. This was the case because they believed that at any moment a
guard might fire shots in the air, and were always brandishing rifles and
batons, he said.
Asked to comment on claims of female detainee sexual abuse, Vazquez said he
saw no firsthand evidence of this, but that such incidents were common
knowledge among those housed there.
He said he was informed that male officers went into the female quarters at
night and raped the women. Vazquez said he also heard about terrible
beatings of Haitians some months before he got there.
Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell, who is currently travelling, would
only answer to e-mail requests for comment by saying: "You have the
government's statement on all allegations."
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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