Some months ago we told you about the more than 30 Cubans who were caught illegally in Belize and were suspected to be part of a human trafficking ring passing through Belize with their final destination being the US. Since August of last year the Cubans have been stranded at the Belize Central prison in a sort of limbo state since their own country doesn’t want them back and they cannot be set free here in Belize so at this time they are still in prison for no reason other than GOB doesn’t have anywhere else to put them.
After over six months of outcry from the detained Cubans to be set free, today, via a report carried out by Cuban Newspaper ‘El Nuevo Herald’ Newspaper, one of the Cubans that are currently at the Belize Central prison spoke about how they ended up in Belize. The Cuban states Quote “Fuimos víctimas del tráfico humano. Solo nos dijeron que debíamos cruzar un río pero nos detuvieron. No pensábamos que nos iba a pasar esto porque en los demás países nos entregábamos y nos daban un salvo-conducto, pero este país es la excepción” end quote.
According to the Cuban immigrants, after they were detained they were told that they needed to pay an amount of $1,005 Belize dollars or by default spend six months in prison. The Cubans claim they paid the amount but were not released instead they were remanded to the Belize Central Prison. The detained immigrants also accuse Belizean authorities of mistreating them and reported that they have been staying in deplorable conditions in prison. “Las condiciones son terribles, nos bañamos con agua salda porque no hay agua dulce. Tuvimos que pagar nuestras sabanas y colchones porque no habia. Estamos junto a asesinos, violadores, y peronas con enfermedades.” Stated the Cubans.
According to the report, families of the detained Cubans have been making every effort to get their loved ones released by Belizean authorities or given a special pass to continue on their way. They have been sending letters to several organizations including the Immigration Department and the Government of Belize but they have not yet gotten any response on the status of their loved ones.
In a report done by7 news some weeks ago, they spoke to Acting CEO at the Kolbe Foundation Virgilio Murrillo who told them that they have not received anything official from the Government of Belize on the situation of the Cubans, he also added that the Magistracy or the Supreme Court would have to issue a removal order for the detained Cubans to be released and at that time they had not received anything.
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