Professionals of ‘Snitching’
Professionals of ‘Snitching’ / Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera
Posted on June 21, 2015
Cubanet.org, Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro, 18 June 2015 – An old man is
going out of his house in the little village named Henequen Viejo, near
the Port of Mariel. Everyone there knows him as Alfonso. In reality, his
name is Idelfonso Estevez. At first glance he seems like an old man like
so many others.
However, the village’s inhabitants and his closest family members fear
and hate him. Alfonso is not surrounded by the protective affection of
his fellow man. The local members of the Ministry of the Interior
(MININT) take care of him. He is one of their most notorious “snitches.”
His story began years ago. He belonged to a group known as the
“Guarapitos”: Alfonso, Jesus, El Viola, Camilo and Titico Borrego. They
formed a group of auxiliaries in service to MININT at the beginning of
the 1970’s. They dedicated themselves to watching everyone in Henequen
Viejo. They gave away those who opposed the regime or anyone who annoyed
them. They turned the area into a stronghold of terror.
When the property seizures began in the early months of 1959, the
“Guarapitos” proposed ravaging a farm named La Francesa belonging to
Pedro “Pepin” Carbonell and his family. The “Guarapitos” arrived and
confiscated the largest cattle and slaughtered them for their
consumption. No one could touch them. It was futile to try to denounce
them to the authorities. They were protected by being efficient tools of
Later other individuals joined the group with the same vocation of
informing. Among them were Faustino Sanchez, Lucas Cabrera Lugo (Tatico)
and Benito Mirabal.
Benito Mirabal and the Fisherman
They nicknamed Benito Mariabal “Moustache.” For years, he was one of the
most prominent snitching characters in the region. He denounced people
trying to leave the country and also reported street vendors. He was
sent by State Security officers to watch, day and night, those named as
In the last years of his life a rare disease attacked his legs. The
doctors diagnosed it as gaseous gangrene, and they had to amputate them.
While Benito was hospitalized, the fisherman residing in the area,
friends of his family, brought good and fresh fish for his nourishment.
Several of them used to and do make their living from what they catch at
Sometime after having recovered, Moustache Mirabal asked one of his
grandsons to take him, in his wheelchair, to the nearest guard post.
Once there, he denounced those same fishermen who had fed him. He
accused them of illegal fishing. Several of the fishermen lost their
licenses, had their boats confiscated or were fined.
Alfonso is capable of snitching even on his mother if she were resurrected
Certainly Idelfonso Estevez may seem like just another old man when he
goes out of his house. But right now he is known as the “greatest
trumpet” (biggest informer) in Henequen Viejo.
So that no one may doubt his unlimited commitment to the regime, he has
placed on the fence around his house several pro-government signs. One
of them alludes to a sentence of Raul Castro and the other advertises
the “process” (sic) for strengthening the Committee in Defense of the
A family source who asked to remain anonymous told us that during the
Special Period, this man’s refrigerator was all eaten away with salt
residue, and he needed it fixed. A nephew, who did this kind of work
informally, restored it for him at no charge. Two blocks away lived
Ricardo, brother of Idelfonso. He had a little chain saw with which he
did carpenter work. Neighbors commissioned broomsticks, knife handles,
and things of that sort.
Two weeks later there appeared in the area two inspectors. They came
checking on who had private jobs without being licensed and paying
taxes. They went to see Idelfonso, and he, without thinking twice,
denounced his nephew and his brother. Idelfonso, “The Guarapitos” and
all the guys that are like him, would “snitch” even on his mother if she
were resurrected, he said.
Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro
Source: Professionals of ‘Snitching’ / Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera |
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