Cecilia Cruz: «they couldn’t turn off my voice despite the threats inside the prison»
The released political prisoner acknowledges that her rights were violated by having been in a prison for men.
The activist and trans woman Celia Cruz was released on April 25, after spending a year and five days in prison, a situation that qualifies as «traumatic», but does not stop her to continue demanding the departure of the regime. assures the released political prisoner.
In an interview with La Lupa, Cruz narrates the hardest episodes that she had to live in prison, the hours that preceded her release from prison and her commitment to Nicaragua.
In the space of the hours that I have been free I feel super good, happy, I still do not believe it. I have experienced countless strange ailments and it must be due to exposure to the sun and the air, so I have to undergo a medical check-up that they denied me there in prison.
The day they freed us, for me it was something super strange, although I had confidence, I never lost faith, I know that one day they were going to call me to tell me that I was free, but I did not expect it to be that Sunday.
In my mind I was in a vague dream and I said that they were going to release me in May for Mother’s Day, because there is speculation within the system that they will release a release on May 20, maybe all politicians or half of all of them and on May 25 it is speculated that it will be a massive pardon of common criminals.
I never imagined that my ticket was already paid and that my plane was ready in advance.
That Sunday I got up later, because it was Sunday and the gallery is a little calmer, with fewer employees. I bathed and did not paint myself that day, but after I finished making breakfast I was going to take a break, but my scare is that when I go to lie down someone yelled that the guard was coming and a boy told me, if I’m not mistaken, it seems that they are coming for you, I hope you go free, he told me.
The head of Gallery One came up, Mr. Alexis Cruz, deputy chief of Gallery One, was accompanied by six more officers, he arrived and told me, please collect all your things and I was surprised and asked him, but where am I going? .
The first thing I imagined is that they were going to transfer me to 300, because it is the recipe that they give for all politicians who partially break the rules by exalting ourselves and asking that our rights be respected and I from the beginning, since I always arrived I did the same and it had already saved me on two occasions from being sent to 300, but if I have not done anything, I said.
We left the gallery, and for the fourth time I asked again where they were taking me, they told me to walk and didn’t ask. When I ask for the fifth time, he touches my shoulder and says, walk, now you will understand.
They took us to the prison director’s office and when they open the office door my scare is that Jeancarlos, Yubran, Engel and Edwin are there, my other colleagues and one of them writes me with his hand, the language of the prisoners, and He tells me that we are going free, I am surprised.
The sub-prefect of the prison, Venancio Alanís, welcomes me and tells me not to scare me and that they were going to formalize an act of surrender, because we were going free. I thanked God infinitely, and he told us to wait for our relatives to arrive.
Faith has not been lost and we all have hope, we had, we have those who are there that we are going to leave, because in some way or another we found out through the media.
The common prisoner is always waiting for the political prisoner to figure out how to bring them news of what is happening on the street.
In the gallery that was there is television for common prisoners, but they are forbidden to put channels other than the official ones, but we know that they seek information. So the common people listen to the news and they send it to us, somehow they manage and make it get to where the political prisoners are.
I think that the opposition should not lower its guard, it has to continue demanding the departure of all those who are still locked up, but I personally think that there is no need to be afraid, but neither should we expose ourselves and not fall for the provocations of the fans of the Government and maximum of the repressive body that is the Ortega Police.
Yes, many times, because the officers, whenever they made searches or took us to medical attention, they told us that we’d better be quiet, not to comment on anything, because if they didn’t they were going to send us to 300.
I was the victim of punishment on December 31, it is the worst end of the year of my life, even for being protesting, for a call I made and I was also a victim during the searches, of physical, verbal and psychological aggression, because inside the prison It is more vulgar, more common, more disrespectful. Bullying comes more from the officials than from the prisoner.
The truth was few, but they said to thank God that we were in «La Modelo» and that we had not been shot and thrown like dogs in some riverbed or ravine.
We began to think that we were better there alive than to be like many disappeared people and others who do not appear today.
In the gallery where I was, we only looked at each other. With the other galleries it was difficult for us, because in September of last year they took more repression against us, because they began to take off our clothes and left us with only the uniforms of the prison, which is how political prisoners still leave today.
They took everything away from us and we just looked at each other when we went to the medical consultations that they do every three days and they have us divided into three groups, as we met in groups of seven or fifteen to take the medical check-up and the act of rebellion was altogether they took us out individually or two by two, we did not could meet, apart from the fact that the vigilance was extreme.
Human rights organizations denounced that you should not have been in a men’s prison, because your rights were violated.
I shared with the International Red Cross that there was a violation of my rights which, in my case, I think that since I had the use and reason of my sexual inclination I have identified myself as a trans girl and living among so many men, a further lack of respect of the officers, although among the prisoners there are always disrespectful people.
For me, it was traumatic, because you don’t expect to expose yourself both physically and mentally, because no one is prepared.
It was the most comical trial that I have seen in the history of my life, I believe that a drug dealer is not prosecuted in that way as we were because of the secrecy they maintained.
It was like a movie of my life, like they were in front of drug dealers, murderers, highly dangerous criminals, a ridiculous trial.
For me it was a pride to raise my voice and that is what bothers them, because they say that I became a voice of encouragement and hope for the entire island.
I was always the leading voice in the loudspeakers to shout the slogans, to encourage people to leave their homes. In my childhood I never threw triquitracas and then I learned to throw mortars, to train the boys when we went to the marches at the time that the Police wanted to enter the island and when the Government people wanted to intercept us, then for me it was something great encourage and feel that so many people said: Here comes Celia Cruz! This trans woman is brave!
And today that I have returned, those same people give me more encouragement and more hope, because they say that it was possible, that I have courage and I am a pride.
My voice has not been able to turn off since 2018, I was an obstacle and I continue to be an obstacle for the Government of the day. My only crime is to demand equal rights, democracy for our country, freedom for our political prisoners and above all a total change in our country and that in a few words is to challenge the dictatorship.
I am firmer and more dignified than ever, I have more strength than ever, because God has lent it to me.
On the Sunday that I returned I was intercepted by all the anti-riot forces and the police captain arrived to personally warn me that he will remember that I had been on probation and that there was no repetition of the criminal acts of which they accuse me and that I cannot threaten to undermine the peace and quiet of the city.
I always said being within the «La Modelo» system and I continue to say that unity is necessary, joint unity is going to be the only thing that will help us remove this dictatorship from power where they have clung.
I say to most of the candidates that they do not put the personal interests of each one first, that they put in favor the joint interests of a country that needs a change that is tired of the same thing.
If there is not a single unit, a single box, a single party, a single candidate, it is not going to be worthed having fought so much and exposing ourselves so much, we know that we are dealing with a criminal, a despot who wants to cling to power in the way that be.
Right now I am arranging ideas, I have to find a way to reorganize myself and see if I try to start the business again to try to get ahead.
The people love me and they have shown it to me, they appreciate me very much, people tell me that I have to get ahead and I think I will need it, and thank God, friendly hands have already been pronounced that in one way or another they will help me to get ahead.