Writing CubitaNOW ~ Thursday May 11, 2023
Mario Sergio González is 29 years old and from Puerto Esperanza, Pinar del Rio. He has no criminal background and has never been involved in a fight before.
On November 17, 2022, I was playing dominoes at a relative’s house. He broke up with his girlfriend three weeks ago.
“We had a few drinks and they started giving me a dog because she was with someone else… The squatting continued and one of my partners called her on the phone. The person who answered the call was his current partner Leotan. Then to change the subject my friend started talking about some clothes they were selling”, Mario tells CupidNow.
“He had a problem after the call and apparently left a message after a while. I didn’t read what it said but my cousin called the guy’s brother (Lazaro) and I picked up the phone to explain what happened. I’m not interested in that girl anymore, a girl. I even told him not to make trouble but he got upset and we had an argument. He asked me where I was and went there”.
Some time passed and her ex-partner’s boyfriend arrived on the scene with a knife in hand. “He was standing two meters away from me and I picked up a stone to defend myself, but his brother attacked me from the side.”
Everything happened so fast that Mario didn’t know how it ended. When they were separated, he was lying on the ground with injuries to his arm and back. “During the fight, Lazaro also received a cut on his leg. I don’t know how it happened because I didn’t have a knife,” he says.
Mario is sentenced to one year in a labor camp in Pinar del Rio.
“So many injustices have been done in this case that my family and I still don’t understand what happened,” he says.
When the young man arrived at the polyclinic, he was taken to the hospital. He spent more than four hours in the operating room. “The doctors told my parents that they would do everything they could not to amputate my arm, but the injuries were too serious.”
In the pictures he shared with CubitaNow, you can see injuries on his back and one side.
On the day of the trial, one of the key witnesses did not appear to testify (his ex-girlfriend and current partner of the other defendant). “The judge didn’t take that into account, he said a written statement was enough,” he says.
“When reading the report, the testimony changed because the woman never said she saw me with the knife,” he says.
“They fined me 500 pesos, which I didn’t accept. It’s not about money, how am I going to pay a fine for a crime I didn’t commit? That’s why the brother of the protesting boy was charged with causing injury.
Last week he and the knife-wielder received the same sentence: a year in prison.
Mario demands justice. He explains that the process was not transparent and the investigation involved several steps.
“The police never looked for the knife. They never bothered to take him away after the fight.
“All this happened ten meters away from a kiosk where three people were selling beer. They saw everything and were not called to testify.
“They didn’t even take my cousin’s statement into account… the authorities kept the version of events given by Lazaro and Leotan,” he says.
This week Mario’s sister wrote to the CubitaNOW newsroom in frustration.
“My family and I are in complete agony. “How is it possible that an aggressor and his victim get the same punishment”, he questioned.
“He stabbed my brother 6 times, he tried to grab the knife and broke his arm,” he explains.
The young woman asserts that due process is being violated as both the brothers’ families have relations with the authorities.
“The attackers are sponsored by the lieutenant governor of Pinar del Rio province… how is it possible for one to escape unscathed and the other to receive the same sentence as my brother. We need help,” he said.
Mario is appealing the conviction.