Without Access to Justice (I)
In Case No 111 of 2009, the Havana Provincial Tribunal found Olga Lidia Ramírez Maura guilty of the crime of human trafficking. Seven years of imprisonment, the judges determined. The decision was ratified by the Board of Appeal of the Supreme Court. Her cause is not likely to be appealed.
The secretary of the Provincial Academy of Baseball in the capital, Maura Ramirez was accused of organizing, through emails, the exit from the country of a group of players. During the investigative process, the correspondence was seized and presented as proof.
The ruling states that, through electronic mail, the defendant informed Franklin Garcia Castro, a Venezuelan citizen, “that he had some of the players who had requested contact.” However, the same resolution clarifies that the proposal made by Ramírez Maura was not accepted by athletes.
García Castro traveled the country several times and was interested in young baseball players who wanted to emigrate. According to the judges, the communication between him and Maura Ramirez was not clear and precise. They assumed that, for this type of information, it was ‘logical’ that they would put things in another context and ‘in a figurative way’ to avoid being understood by a third party.
In view of the court and “after knowing the intentions” of the accused, the emails showed the background of the information sent. Maura was declared innocent, but her attorney, without consulting her, held her responsible for the crime of illegally leaving the country.
Ramírez Maura will not accept being punished for a crime she did not commit. It never crossed her mind to traffic in persons nor to get into a boat to flee the country. The idea of going to prison led her to make an attempt on her life. Her expectations have changed. She is determined to see it through to the very end, mainly because she is the mother of a teenager who is 13.
Convinced that an injustice has been committed against her, she is looking to exhaust all legal avenues possible to prove her innocence. The silence of the authorities, however, prevent her from going to the Supreme Court again. She filed complaints against her defending counsel and the officers of State Security who handled the case.
The replies in her case, would be proof of her state of helplessness in the trial and a possible basis for the review of her case. To date, she has not received any written reply, that gives her the possibility to access justice and to prove her innocence.