Medical Negligence in Holguin

14 Mar

Text: Luis Felipe Rojas R. / Photos: Caridad Caballero Batista

My colleague Caridad Caballero Batista put this story in my hand.  She gave me the photos with an anxious heart because the case is an emergency.

In 2005 Alberto Laguero Castro was buying a case of beer at a kiosk at the Holguin carnival. Since then his life has been an odyssey that is shown here at his request and in these images. The policemen Hector Luis Perez Osorio and Frank Ochoa Angulo beat him along with many others in the mob scene to buy beer, and took him into custody at the police station know as “The Ring” before it was the First Unit located at Martí and Narciso López, Holguín. Within a few hours he started screaming from the severe pain but they paid him no mind, until the pain increased and at his insistence decided to take him to the Lenin Hospital in the same city.

Alberto, now 31, was then working as a custodian at the Security and Protection company, said that they confirmed he had an injury to the spinal cord. He was hospitalized for six months until his parents took him to Havana for treatment for more competent specialists. His mother complains, “My son was tortured by these thugs and still today they’ve done nothing, the Council of State wrote to me saying the police are not guilty, they were acquitted at trial, nothing happened.”

Some time later they built a small room with a bath but his mother says, “The social workers don’t come here, the doctors don’t come,” and she adds “I have had to nurse him, go looking for drugs at the clinic, and bring him to the hospital because they never send an ambulance.”

On top of this, Carmen Luis Castro Masabó, the mother of the young man who was tortured, has mentally retarded twins whom she has had to send to live with her ex-husband because she has to go to work and leave Alberto alone. “He is on his own the whole day because I am a special education teacher and I had to go back to work because I get no help from the State and if we go on like this we are going to die of hunger,” she says, and concludes, “I hope that if there is no justice from the government at least God will send justice for this terrible thing that has been inflicted on my son, no one deserves this. I am completely desperate, there is absolute impunity.”


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