Thursday, August 5

Camila Acosta will not be able to make her first call until Monday


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“I’ve already found my daughter Camila,” says Orlando Acosta on the other end of the phone, with a slight tone of relief. It is 10 p.m. on Wednesday night in Cuba (four in the morning on Thursday in Spain), and the journalist’s father, who was arrested on Monday after covering the protests for ABC and the independent media Cubanet, has spent the entire day from one side of Havana to the other looking for her. “He is at the 10 de Octubre police station,” says Orlando, who had been told a few hours earlier that his daughter was in another detention center, the feared and questioned 100 and Aldabó, where she had supposedly been transferred from the police station in Infanta and Manglar, where she was taken after her arrest.

This was what the agents of the center had notified him when he tried on Wednesday, for the second day in a row, to see Camila and send her some personal belongings. “They lied to me,” denounces Orlando, who after moving to the new address had to wait several hours until they told him something about his daughter’s true whereabouts. Remember that the scene that was found there was more typical “of the Second World War” than of the 21st century. “There were many tables, many lists where the names were wrong. If they had told me, I would not have believed it. At least now I know where my daughter is, “he told ABC somewhat calmer after days of anguish. She relates that when she got to the center, she asked for her daughter’s name, and it did not appear. The chaos was so great. It seemed that they were playing with me. Their order, as they later confessed, “was to say that she was not there.”

The surreal and desperate situation led Orlando to confront the agents and tell them that if they did not tell him where his daughter was, he would “report that she was missing.” After issuing this ultimatum, he headed for the exit and began his return by car. “Then they sent me several patrol cars to intercept us. They took me to the center and told me that they could tell me where Camila was ». The Cuban independent journalist had been transferred to the 10 de Octubre police station, one of the centers – along with the Capri, Vivac and 100 station and Aldabó, headquarters of the Technical Directorate of the National Police – where dozens of arrested this week.

Orlando got back into the car again and headed for this new destination, “where they were already waiting for me, as if they knew me.” They treated him better there, he admits. “They allowed me to leave the objects I was carrying for my daughter, although I was missing some, such as flip-flops,” she laments. However, he could not see her. The family has not had any communication with the journalist since her arrest. Acosta will be able to make his first phone call next Monday, according to what the father was told. “They’ll let him talk for five minutes.” That day will mark a week since the arrest and open investigation against her, in which she has been accused of “contempt” and “public disorder” for recording the protests that took place in Havana last Sunday.

Consulted Prisoners Defenders (PD), an NGO that is monitoring the arrests and disappearances during the demonstrations, Camila would, however, be in the condition of disappeared “as long as the family does not receive an official notification of her whereabouts,” its president explains to ABC. Javier Larrondo. The UN committee on forced disappearances yesterday accepted as valid a PD report that documents 187 forced disappearances as a result of the regime’s repression to silence this historic social outbreak.

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