José Luis Domínguez Velázquez, the alleged murderer of 23-year-old Rosmery Ponce Peña, turned himself in to the Güines police, Mayabeque province, this Saturday night. The arrest of the man, who had been on the run since July 10, has put an end to the terror experienced by the victim’s relatives, threatened with death for the alleged murderer.
Yesmely Peña Rondón, aunt of Rosmery Ponce, tells 14ymedio that they learned the news of the arrest of Domínguez Velázquez this Monday “through a call from a neighbor.” Hearing the rumors, the family called the Güines police station and was informed that the man was being processed at the San José de las Lajas Provincial Criminal Investigation and Operations Unit.
Peña Rondón criticized the officers for not informing them of the arrest. “They did not give me any explanation as to why they did not notify us and they have made us live these two days of terror, fearing that at any moment he would enter through that door and kill us,” laments the woman. The police also did not provide details to the family about the current situation of the alleged murderer.
The aunt, with her sister [la madre de Rosmery Ponce]her mother and her nephew tried to stay alive locked up in a room in their house, near the Amistad sugar mill, and, despite their claims, received no police protection in the more than two weeks between the murder of the young man and the arrest of Domínguez Velázquez.
“They did not give me any explanation as to why they did not notify us and they have made us live these two days of terror, fearing that at any moment he would enter through that door and kill us.”
“My sister received the news of the arrest today with relief, she began to cry and scream, she wants to go to the place where he is detained, but we are preparing her for that moment,” Peña Rondón told this newspaper. Rosmery’s son also experiences difficult days: “He is very restless, he does not want to sleep and all the time he looks for his mother because he was also still breastfeeding.”
“We hope that they don’t give him 20 or 30 years in prison, but that they sentence him to life imprisonment,” demands the aunt. “He has to pay,” she claims. “Today was the first day that I was able to go out on the streets after many days. We are calmer but we continue to demand justice for having taken the life of such a young girl, with a future ahead of her and a son she adored.”
The family denounced that the man coldly calculated the crime, waited until Ponce Peña was visiting a friend to shoot her in the head through a window. “She arrived at the hospital alive, but she was no longer conscious,” her aunt said at the time.
Although they do not know the details of the weapon used to kill Rosmery, the family has heard rumors that it is a shotgun owned by Domínguez Velázquez. The day she was murdered, the two-year-old boy “was not with her because he stayed with his grandmother. He has many problems, when he wants to attract attention he hits his head on the ground and doesn’t speak. We believe he is traumatized for the abuses he experienced with his father”.
Tired of the beatings and mistreatment, the young woman decided to break the relationship and called her family to get her out of the abuser’s house. Before they left that place, José Luis Domínguez Velázquez threatened them: “don’t worry, I’m going to kill you all.”
“We hope that they don’t give him 20 or 30 years in jail, but that they sentence him to life imprisonment”
Rosmery Ponce Peña dreamed of “rebuilding her life,” recalls her aunt. “She was looking for work, she hoped to work in a picnic area,” she details. She “wanted to focus on her son” despite the fact that the abuser had warned her that without him “she would never be happy.”
The man had close relationships with local police officers, which he strutted about in public. Several reports, compiled from relatives and neighbors, point to Domínguez Velázquez as a “snitch” who reported on what the residents of the area were doing.
Before that fateful Monday, Rosmery Ponce Peña dreamed of giving her son what she never had. “She wanted to be happy because she could never be happy with that man, during the three years they were together. He didn’t even let her contact her family, he pushed her away,” denounces the aunt. “They met at a party in the park in the town. At first it seemed like it was good, but it turned out to be nothing good.”
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