Authorities in Havana Deny Youth Deaths in Violent Brawl at Finca de los Monos

Sunday, June 9, 2024 by Michael Hernandez

On Sunday, the Havana Government denied the deaths of young people during a large-scale brawl that took place on Saturday evening around the recreational area known as Finca de los Monos, located in the Cerro municipality.

Hours after the news went viral on social media and in the absence of a response from official media outlets, the government entity decided to publish a statement on its Facebook page. The statement labeled the reports of youth deaths as false and explained that "the incident is related to an unauthorized activity, where there was a disturbance during the movement to the external areas of the facility."

"Unfortunately, the incident resulted in two injuries, both of whom received immediate medical attention and are not in life-threatening condition. There are no fatalities," the statement continued, asserting that the "authorities of the Government and the National Revolutionary Police intervened appropriately to restore order."

The statement also criticized media outlets and social media profiles that reported the event: "Once again, the unscrupulous behavior of individuals and media attempting to discredit our society with falsehoods is exposed." However, the reality not mentioned by the Havana Government is that the brawl produced horrifying images of gangs armed with machetes and other sharp objects, highlighting the high level of violence in a country experiencing the largest migration wave in its history and enduring frequent power outages amid various shortages.

On Facebook, a user identified as Edmundo Dantes Jr. provided details of the unfortunate altercation: "Young people from different gangs gathered at Finca de los Monos, where the start of summer was being celebrated, organized by the Union of Young Communists (UJC)."

"According to reports, the incidents were due to a 'settling of scores.' I can't share the most graphic videos. It didn't end well; at least five didn't survive, though I'm told the number has reached 12, but this isn't confirmed and false photos are circulating. Many others are in serious condition, including children aged 13 to 15," the user added.

According to his information, the large-scale brawl reportedly resulted in youth fatalities. Rumors suggested a dozen deaths and an unspecified number of injuries. Videos recorded and shared on social media depicted an unusual outbreak of violence, involving hundreds of young people, many of them teenagers and minors.

One of the videos captured police officers loading a wounded young person into a patrol car for transport to the hospital. "To the Pediatric Hospital in Central Havana," a police officer is heard instructing the driver of the police vehicle.

The unrest appeared to extend over time and space, as other videos showed scenes of fights at night and in different streets of the city. The trigger for such an eruption of violence remains unclear, though gang rivalries are mentioned.

Questions and Answers About the Incident at Finca de los Monos

Given the viral nature of the incident and the conflicting reports, here are some frequently asked questions and answers to clarify the situation:

What was the cause of the brawl at Finca de los Monos?

According to reports, the brawl was due to a 'settling of scores' among different youth gangs gathered for an unauthorized activity.

Were there any fatalities reported?

The Havana Government has denied any fatalities, stating that there were only two injuries. However, social media reports suggest there may have been up to 12 deaths.

How did the authorities respond to the incident?

Authorities from the Government and the National Revolutionary Police intervened to restore order and provided immediate medical attention to the injured.

What does this incident indicate about the level of violence in Cuba?

The incident highlights a high level of violence in Cuba, exacerbated by the country's current socio-economic challenges, including the largest migration wave in its history and frequent power outages.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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