CubitaNOW write ~ Thursday, May 11, 2023
Mario Sergio González is 29 years old and is from Puerto Esperanza, Pinar del Rio. He has no criminal record and has never been in a fight.
On November 17, 2022, I was playing dominoes at my cousin’s house. Just three weeks ago, he broke up with his girlfriend.
“We had a few drinks and they started giving me a dog because she was with someone else… The damsel continued and one of my partners called her on the phone. The person who answered the call was Leodan, her current partner. Then my friend started talking about some clothes they were selling to change the subject.” As Mario told CubitaNow.
“He seemed to have a complex after the call and sent a message shortly after. I didn’t even read what was said but my cousin called the boy’s brother (Lazaro) and I picked up the phone to explain what had happened. I even told him that I was no longer interested in that girl and that I didn’t want to get in trouble with a woman.” But he got upset and we got into an argument. He asked me where I was and went there.”
A short time passes and her ex-partner’s boyfriend arrives at the scene with a knife in his hand. “He was standing about two meters away from me, I picked up a stone to defend myself but his brother attacked me from the side.”
It all happened so fast that Mario doesn’t even know how it could have ended this way. When they separated them, he was on the floor with cuts on his hand and back. “During the struggle, Lazaro also ended up getting cut on his leg. I don’t know how that happened because I never held a knife.”
Mario was sentenced to a year in prison with internment in a labor camp in Pinar del Rio.
“A number of grievances have been committed in this case, as my parents and I still do not understand what happened,” he says.
When the young man reached the infirmary, he was taken to the hospital. He spent more than four hours in the operating room. “The doctors told my father they would do their best not to amputate my hand but the injuries are very serious.”
In the photos he shared with CubitaNow, you can see the injuries he had on his back and on one side.
On the day of the trial, one of the key witnesses (his ex-girlfriend and current partner of the co-defendant) did not show up to testify. “The judge didn’t take that into account and said his written statement was enough,” he says.
“While reading the statement, the testimony changed because that girl never said she saw me with the knife,” he says.
They fined me 500 pesos and I did not accept. It wasn’t for money, just how am I going to pay a fine for a crime I didn’t commit? For this reason he was put on trial for causing injury to the brother of the boy who participated in the fighting.
Last week, he and the person who carried the knife received the same sentence: one year in prison.
Mario demands justice. He explains that the process was not transparent and that the investigation violated many steps.
The police never searched for the knife. They didn’t even bother to pick him up after the fight.
All this happened about ten meters from the kiosk where they sell beer, where there were three people. They have seen it all and were not called to testify.”
“They didn’t take my cousin’s statement into account either…the authorities kept the version of events given by Lázaro and Leodan,” he says.
This week, Mario’s sister wrote to the CubitaNOW newsroom desperate.
“My family and I are in great distress. How can the attacker and his victim get the same punishment?” he wondered.
He explains: “My brother was stabbed 6 times, tried to grab the knife, and broke his hand.”
The young woman maintains that due process has been violated because the brothers’ family has ties to the authorities.
“The attackers are under the care of the Deputy Governor of Pinar del Rio Province… How can one of them escape unharmed while the other receives the same punishment as my brother. We need help.”
Mario appeals the verdict.
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