I Don’t Know What They’re Accusing Me Of
I Don’t Know What They’re Accusing Me Of / Lilianne Ruiz, Gorki Aguila
Posted on October 9, 2013
Gorki Águila, leader of the punk rock band Porno para Ricardo, was
released on bail a week ago, after a People’s Revolutionary Police (PNR)
patrol stopped him in the early morning of Sunday, 29 September, and
found in his backpack two tablets of a medication for epilepsy, an
illness Águila has suffered from since he was a teenager.
What’s your legal situation now?
I’m out on bail now, waiting for a trial with no date. What I have, if I
have something, are two pills in a backpack. I made the mistake of
signing the bond with the full offense. After they released me, the
legal assistance from the Cuban Law Association (AJC) helped to
understand what I signed, in order to be set free, I should have
written, “for an alleged crime, that has not been proved.”
The crime they put in there was the whole nine yards of the penal code.
The full paragraph referring to drugs. But at the time I signed, I
didn’t have legal advice, because even though I asked for it, they
didn’t let me see a lawyer. If I made a mistake signing those papers so
they would release me, it was because I was under a lot or pressure with
a violent migraine, I wanted to go home and without legal advice, I did it.
The instructor/investigator told me to sign, that the crime he put (“so
this is how it should be put,” he said) didn’t mean they would accuse me
of all that, that he was going to wait to see how things were evolving
to tell me the crime I would be charged with. That is, they put the full
paragraph to choose what crime they were going to put or if they were
going to put a crime.
Those are my fears, that now I can’t be sure of what they’re accusing me
with. The instructor also told me, “It could be that all this goes in
the file and the prosecutor doesn’t approve it. Because if you bring the
papers, at best, nothing will happen.” He also told me that it’s
possible they’ll take it to the prosecutor and then tell me what crime
I’m accused of. I’m in limbo, without any definition of the crime nor a
date for the trial.”
Do you have all the medical documentation?
I already scanned the document from the doctor in Mexico who prescribed
the Tradea. My family sent it to me, but my family doesn’t know the full
process, since the document isn’t legal until it passes through a notary
and then through the Ministry of the Interior in Mexico. And ultimately
it has to go to the Cuban consulate. To send proof to Cuba that the
doctor exists and the notary exists. And then the Cuban Consulate will
say that “the whole world exists,” because it has legal force. I’m in
this process, but I’m worried, because I don’t have a trial date, they
could summon me tomorrow without my yet having the documents that would
be my defense.
The legal document says that I am taking Tradea on a medical
prescription. Basically, in a normal country, that eliminates the crime
they are inventing of “trafficking and possession,” in two epilepsy
pills, for a disease I’ve suffered from since I was a teenager.
I also went to the doctor here to get a clinical medical history where
it explains why I take Carbamazepina. In Mexico they prescribed me
Tradea, but here in Cuba it’s on record that I’ve been epileptic since
high school. The pills are for epileptic seizures that I don’t get very
often. And Carbamazepina and Tradea (metilfinidato) are similar.
How did the police authorities treat you?
The arrest followed the classic treatment you get in those places. They
started out by threatening me: “Now you’re going to roast. Are you the
guy in Los Adeanos*? You’re being tracked by your Committee for the
Defense of the Revolution (CDR)…” I told them that in this country
everyone is tracked by the CDR. [*Translator's note: Gorki is not in Los
From the beginning, I started to ask for my medication, but they
wouldn’t give it to me. Although my girlfriend brought it for me, they
didn’t want to give it to me.
I was detained from early Sunday morning — for us it was Saturday night
because it was a little after midnight — until 4:30 Monday morning. And
I can’t describe the lack of hygiene in a Cuban jail cell. The jail
bathroom looks like hell, not to mention there’s no water, you can’t
flush. You are constantly breathing a stink of shit and piss. The
cockroaches crawl all over everything, the filth of the floor is never
cleaned. When a cell is filled with 4 people, everyone is sweating and
breathing in the heat, it gets more and more uncomfortable and it makes
you anxious to get out of that place.
There was something in particular that made me feel very humiliated. I
was sitting on the floor, because I hadn’t eaten. I didn’t want to get
dizzy and I had a bear of a headache. And one of them took out his
cellphone and shouted at me, “Hey, look over here,” to take my picture.
They wanted to do a urinalysis. Looking not only for “evidence” of the
two Tradeo tablets, but also the supposed drugs in my bloodstream. I
would never agree to this. They even threatened me, “We’re going to give
you 8 years for contempt because this is an order and you have to
comply.” I told them, “I’m not going to give you any urine, because I
don’t know what you’re going to put in it.”
And then they said, “That’s defamation.” Every time I spoke it was more
years… I told them, “Look, if you notice, this medication is sold in
Cuba, but not with this trade name. Tradea is metilfinidato. That is
It’s the same medication, purchased outside, by medical prescription. I
have Mexican residence, I have the right to have my pills. The police
told me, “Ah, that’s international trafficking.”
What were the circumstances of your arrest?
We were seated, Renay (the drummer) and I, on the wall of the Obrera
Maternity Hospital, in Marianao. It was the night of Saturday, 28
September, “CDR Day.” Before that we had an open-air interview with a
journalist, an American university student, in La Puntilla, on the beach
in front of the Commercial Center. We talked as a group, about our
music, about all the censorship our band has suffered.
I’m not sure if this had something to do with the arrest. We left there,
partly by bus and partly walking, to get to the party of a friend. We
were relaxing sitting there and suddenly we saw the patrol that stopped
dramatically. The police got out, asked for my ID, and told me to show
them the entire contents of my backpack. We didn’t have anything to
hide, I showed them my things and said, “And this is my medication.” The
only thing they have as evidence of a supposed crime they’re trying to
involve me in are two “fucking” pills.
Supposedly the police present the facts, not valuations or judgments,
because that’s would make them a Court.
Do you think the pressure exerted by the media was crucial in your being
released on bail?
I think so. Pressure from the medial is crucial. I thank my friends, the
media in Miami, who always respond to this kind of abuse. Every time the
media exposes the helpless position of a detainee, they limit the spaces
of impunity in the behavior of the repressive bodies. I thank them from
my soul. The first thing I advise is to lodge the complaint.
After all those hours locked up, it was Monday and they came to my cell
and asked, “Do you have something there to call your family?” I told
them, “No, but I need to, because among other things I need
Carbamazepina, and you won’t give it to me.”
The police even gave me a card to use the public phone, and told me they
were going to “bail me out.” I was surprised, because that right is not
usually recognized by the police. I asked, “Did my friends already get
me a lawyer,” and they said, “No, we decided among ourselves.” I think
it was from the pressure of some of the media, thanks to the journalist
Reinaldo Escobar, who was the first to make it known.
But I think they might be waiting to drop everything that has taken
shape in the media and at a specific time, when it’s no longer being
talked about, they’ll summon me to court and do what they please without
any coverage or scandal.
Or, in the event that they see they have very little to arrest me for,
and it’s going nowhere, they’ll wait until they have a kilo of cocaine
to accuse me with because for two pills they’re going to make the same
mistake again, “We know that with two pills we’re not going to put him
in prison, let’s put a side of beef in the refrigerator.”
8 October 2013
Source: “I Don’t Know What They’re Accusing Me Of / Lilianne Ruiz, Gorki
Aguila | Translating Cuba” –