A 32-year-old Cuban man threw himself on Thursday from the eighth floor of a building in Marianao, in Havanaa fact that has been made known on social networks.
The suicide occurred in the building known as “eight floors” near 114th Street, in the Marianao municipalitywhen the young man climbed to the roof and jumped from there, according to a Facebook post by Eliana Alarcón López.
Residents of the area who knew the victim identified him as Alexander Pascual., according to the comments shared in the post. They assured that she lived in the alley of 47A between 74 and 76, near the Cabaret Tropicana.
The victim was described as a tall, black-skinned man who lived with his mother and had schizophrenia.
In the video shared by Alarcón, it is heard that the local residents could not prevent the boy’s suicide and that they notified the police and the Public Health authorities. The body is seen covered by black nylon and a perimeter tape around it to protect the scene. Also, a white Legal Medicine vehicle and uniformed people.
Suicide is the tenth cause of death in Cuba, with 13 deaths per 100,000 inhabitantsaccording to official figures, but the way the government treats it leads to distrust of that statistic.
In 2014, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) named Cuba as the country in the Americas with the highest suicide rate, with 16.3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants., followed by Guyana (16), Suriname (14.8), Trinidad and Tobago (12.4), Canada (12.0) and the USA (11.4). In the 1980s, the suicide rate on the Island exceeded 21 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Last year, two Cuban specialists told DIARIO DE CUBA about their experiences facing suicide, which showed the precariousness with which psychiatrists work on the island.
“The periods of social, financial, economic, food crisis” favor this type of behavior, pointed out Dr. Emilio Arteaga Pérez. However, the tenured professor of Psychiatry Sergio Andrés Pérez Barrero, founder of the Suicide Section of the World Psychiatric Association and the World Network of Suicide Doctors, and author of several books and articles, now deceased, clarified to DIARIO DE CUBA that the high rates of suicide in Cuba “are not post 1959”.
“Cuba was one of the countries with the highest suicide rates in the 19th century,” said Pérez Barrero. Rates were also “very high because of Chinese immigrants,” he added.