Police Raid the House of Activist Belkis Cantillo in Palmarito Del Cauto
14ymedio, Havana, 14 January 2017 — At six on Saturday morning the
police raided the house of Belkis Cantillo, leader of the Citizens for
Democracy movement in Palmarito del Cauto, Santiago de Cuba. The
officers showed up a few hours after about a dozen women of the
organization walked to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, as
reported to 14ymedio by Jose Daniel Ferrer, coordinator of the Patriotic
Union of Cuba (UNPACU).
The opposition leader said that on Friday the activists arrived at the
church consecrated to the Virgin of Charity, patroness of Cuba, "with
the intention of reclaiming the space that the political police have
taken away from us in the Sanctuary." This morning the police entered
Cantillo's house in the municipality Mella "where elderly people and
children live," says Ferrer.
"Several witnesses report that the political police arrested a
19-year-old girl who is six months pregnant, Martha Beatriz Ferrer
Cantillo," said Ferrer, former prisoner of the Black Spring. He adds
that "the telephones of family members have been siezed, so it has
become impossible to communicate with them."
Citizens for Democracy is a group formed by women and founded in
September 2014. Its members are residents in the towns of Palma Soriano,
Palmarito del Cauto and the city of Santiago de Cuba. The fundamental
demands of the organization focus on respect for human rights and civic
Last year, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National
Reconciliation (CCDHRN) documented a total of 9,940 arbitrary arrests in
the country, a figure that "puts the Government of Cuba in first place
in all of Latin America," said the report of the independent organization.
Source: Police Raid the House of Activist Belkis Cantillo in Palmarito
Del Cauto / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -