Cuban police officer kills teenage boy in Santa Clara

Cuban exiles in Miami said they were outraged after learning a police officer had killed a 17-year-old boy in Cuba.

MIAMI – A video showing a teenage boy on the ground on Friday in Santa Clara went viral. It was recorded before the teen died.

Relatives identified the teenager as 17-year-old Zidan Batista Álvarez and said witnesses saw a uniformed police officer beat him up and fatally shot him.

Orlando Gutierrez, a member of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance in Miami, said Cubans in South Florida and on the island are outraged about the police-involved shooting.

“It is a very, very tense situation,” Gutierrez said.

Cuban officials reported Zidan has a history of violence and he was armed with a knife and a machete when he attacked a police officer who was responding to a double murder.

On Facebook, Zidan’s father, Yosvany Batista Gómez, wrote officials aren’t telling the truth because he was there when the shooting happened.

“Suddenly I feel two shots at close range and I see my son lying dead on the ground,” the father wrote in Spanish. “I was lying on the ground held down by several policemen.”

Gutierrez said the tensions over the police shooting come just as the Cuban government deals with the deaths of 23 generals and coronels in less than a year.

Last week, officials reported Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, Raul Castro’s former brother-in-law, died of a heart attack. He was 62.

5:30 p.m. report

Witnesses said a police officer shot and killed a teenage boy on Friday in Santa Clara, Cuba.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.