The poet and writer matancero Luis Marimón Tápanes,
speculates with the police plot that wraps to the
girl's disappearance Cecilia in an unpublished book
that titles the girl's seven deaths Cecilia" (Marimón,
1984). Next to Marimón played me to revise many periodic
matanceros of the time during study sessions in the
Biblioteca Eusebio Guiteras and the Provincial File
go until after the publication in Cuba of the book
the girl's crime Cecilia of Ernesto Chávez
Álvarez (Chávez, 1987) that to the historian's of
San Carlos' cemetery instances, Mario Vitier, decided
to return on the topic. In 1995 the forensic doctor Ercilio Garcia
Vento who is at the moment Vice-president of the Sociedad
Espeleológica of Cuba, proceeded to open Cecilia's
tomb and to examine its remains with objective of
determining the identity and the circumstances in
that the girl died.
Vento counts us that when retiring the sepulchral
flagstone of the vault it constituted a remarkable
surprise to find two raíls of railroad line crossed
traversely, below the bricked construction of the
sepulcher. To about 15 centimeters the grave was sealed
by a thick iron iron, also placed below the masonry;
in other words, it leaves of the funeral construction
it was manufactured after having placed these obstacles
with the evident purpose that under any circumstance
any eventual investigation could not descend to the
interior of the tomb."
When cutting with acetylene an end of the iron, so
that you could descend to the interior, a new surprise
awaited the investigators: the three caskets were
buried under a thick earth layer, unusual procedure
being a vault."
The wall on the vault conserves the following inscription:
girl Cecilia Dalcourt lies killed for the sorcerers
June 22 of
1919 to the
age and the brave
I punish for
and Armando Arbelo
of 23 and
25 years respectively
covered from glory to the one
to be died
by the garnish of the Castle San Severino
night of June 29
The Impartial published on Tuesday 24
of June of 1919 in Matanzas that all the inhabitants
of this learned city are exactly alarmed, being feared
that it can be a tremendous crime perpetrated by the
sorcerers, since Matanzas (it is) unfortunately favorable
burrow for this unworthy mob of the African underworld."
(The Impartial one, 1919)
Luis Marimón mentions numerous sources to illustrate
that that clearly seems to have happened for agreement
between the police authority and the press: the hunt
of sorcerers and persecution of the Bantu town council
of the family Kings in Matanzas.
Two men orchestrated the public opinion until the
climax of the amotinamiento: Captain Tomás F. you
Harden, boss of the Secret Police of Matanzas and
Ovidio Santana, journalist of The Impartial one
whose articles the front page holders headed on
the case of the girl Cecilia.
A correspondent of the newspaper The Discussion
of the Havana reported that the Captain's persistent
and skilled work Hardens, it has culminated in a frank
success, the discovery of the horrendous murder made
by the black sorcerers in the girl's Cecilia Dalcourt
person being achieved finally."
José Claro has admitted of plane his crime and overdraft
to the accomplices of the crime that are Benito Oliva
(alias) Chacho, Luis Gálvez, Francisco Parra, Marcos
Rodríguez and Ricardo Villegas.
to the confession made by the black José Claro, Luis
Gálvez it was the one that the victim needed to cure
a midwife that was for time sick. This Gálvez, que
is the boss of the sorcerers of Bolondrón, it commissioned
to the Vine, which captured the girl (...) Inside
a sack it drove her to the place of the fact, undressing
it on a table, where between Vine and Gálvez, they
opened him the chest and they extracted him the viscera,
placing them in a Tartar, in which you/they seasoned
them with garlics, onions and ajonjolí. Seasoned they
were served this way to the table, where took place
a cannibal banquet, of which participated besides
those mentioned, the mother's midwife of Clear, call
The Conga and the mentioned mother that calls himself
Facunda" ( The Discussion, Saturday 28 of June
the ceremonies of the Rule Palo Monte that we have
witnessed it is common that they are carried out sacrifices
of animals to the animist deities that brings the
dead that lives in the foundation (nganga) that the
tata nkisi (priest of Stick) or the yayi (mother nkisi)
they should feed with menga (it bleeds).
concluding the ceremonies is habit that all the engueyos
(initiate siblings) they join with other companies
and eat the meat of the animal ofrendados during the
ritual. In the versions that we find documenting the
police and journalistic investigations of the time,
the town council of the family Kings seems to have
been making traditional ceremonies of Stick it Mounts
in its house-temple of the streets Velarde and San
Gabriel. The only difference among these rites and
those that we have witnessed in Matanzas resides in
attributing to a girl like supposed offering.
The town council of the Kings seems to have belonged
to the branch Brillumba that has its geographical
origins in Matanzas. This way can find elements of
the old variants: Kimbisa or Mayombe in sincretismo
with elements of the Rule of Ocha and the Crossed
spiritism. The guide of the brillumberos is Sarabanda
(Oggún/San Pedro) to the one whothey only offer male
Although the traditions speak dramatically of the
destructive power that possess the ngangas (pans)
Jews and the sorcerers that work with the forces endoke,
of the wrong (Goatherd, 1954); what we have observed
is that oneself Christian pan that channels the forces
of the good, can be good to make or to undo " damages
", going according to its owner to Nzambi (God / Christ)
it is for well or to Lukankasi (Lucifer) to work with
the wrong (Bolivar & Gonzáles, 1998).
According to the article that we mention the unhappy
girl's body was locked in a drawer of candles and
buried to about five meters from the entrance door
to the house."
Captain Hardens it took to the witness to the place
of the fact, so that it showed the exact place of
the burial. José Claro could not determine the exact
place of the burial, affirming that in the night
of the fact it was drunk, the same as his accomplices.
But it asked him to be taken to the property Ricardo
Villegas that he received the box of candles with
the girl's body to bury him in union of Vine."
of knees in the place, declared that it was innocent
and it ignored everything. But José Clearing's stability
that threatened it as man to that said the truth,
since everything was known, forced him to admit their
participation in the fact. As this test it was made
at six in the afternoon, and there was no longer light
to make an excavation, remembered to continue her
tomorrow 28 at first hour" (Weekly publication The
Havana, Saturday 28 of June of 1919).
But the following day the cadaver that appeared was
that of the presumed accused Ricardo Villegas hung
with its own belt in the Castle of San Severino (Newspaper
Havana, Tuesday 1 of July of 1919) (Newspaper The
Matanzas, Saturday 28 of June and July 1 1919). It
is necessary to score as they didn't take in this
occasion the elementary cautions of routine that consist
on retiring any detainee their belt and the cords
of their shoes to avoid any suicide intent.
During these days The Impartial one didn't stop
to publish news on about 17 frustrated intents of
white children's kidnappings at the hands of black.
"Last night, with a boy's reason del frustrated
kidnapping in the Beach, the town of Matanzas discharged
its indignation on the guilty fellow. They mangled
the criminal, on their body they fell bumps, kicks,
leńazos: all the anger of the lash" (Newspaper The
Matanzas, Wednesday 25 of June of 1919).
The hauls in the town councils of Stick Mount they
continued for the whole city. Under the holder of
THE WITCHCRAFT IN SLAUGHTERS. DETENTIONS TO BULK",
The Impartial one congratulates to the police
for the moralización task that has carried out when
leveling the home number 95 of the street San Juan
of God in the neighborhood of New Town and to confiscate
cult objects, heads of rams and recipients with blood.
The newspaper publishes the names of ten detainees
so that these good fellows are known" ( The Impartial
one. Matanzas, Friday 27 of June of 1919).
girl's disappearance Cecilia was an ignominy blemish
for the matanceros if colds remain and indifferent
before the sanguinary African paw that collapses with
voluptuous deleitación in the meat of white" ( The
Matanzas, Friday 27 of June of 1919).
The Discussion, of the Havana, publishes June
28 that the savage and repellent negrada will be able
to continue making crimes unpunishedly because the
town doesn't still have the enough anger to apply
the wise and avenging Law of Linch."
THE IMPARTIAL one IN NAME OF THE TOWN ASKS THAT
THE CAPTAIN HARDENS he doesn't STOP to ACT A SINGLE
MOMENT IN THIS CAUSE, it published the periodic
matancero June 26; while other sources wrote down
the irregularities of the process where the Captain
Hardens he had not given bill of the detentions
made to the Judicial Power, in spite of the fact
that the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba 1901
establishes that all detainee will be put in freedom
or given to the Judge o competent Tribunal in the
first 24 following hours to the detention act."
The Marina Newspaper published June 30 correspondent
Santiago Gonzáles's article affirming that the investigations
carried out up to now, they have not been satisfactory
in spite of the public rumor (and this doesn't pass
of being rumor) that José Claro was admitted joint
author of the hideous crime.
Until these moments, neither José Claro
neither none of the detainees as presumed authors
of the fact has lent declaration officially some.
The Judge of instruction Doctor Sousa only knows Francisco
López's detention (to) ' Pelota', processed yesterday
without one has antecedents neither performance some
of those carried out by the Captain you Harden of
Captain Harden it continued to cargo of the investigation
and after bootblack Villegas's suicide in their cell
of the Castle of San Severino the police-journalistic
investigation recaptured the course of the boy's initial
declarations Octavio Antolín Reyes nine years old.
Octavio, according to the Captain Hardens, had observed
as its uncle, the registered José Claro, it participated
in the infanticide and then it buried the body of
the crime among the remains of children buried in
the well-known area as Choir of Ángeles in San Carlos'
Cemetery, where José Claro worked as gravedigger.
Octavio was grandson of Facunda Reyes, José Clearing's
mother. With them three also lived in the town council
The Conga, María of the Cruz Rodríguez that was then
99 completed years old and had been born in the Congo,
of where they brought it to Cuba like slave.
Knew Octavio later 56 years, when he become the Testimoniante
number one of the book that Luis Marimón prepared.
He had a dray with which loaded furniture in the movings
of the neighbors or it cleaned of garbages the lots,
he spoke compulsive and incoherently and next to the
junks that it loaded for the city it also dragged
the terrible memories of those days when their declarations
finished condemning to their own family.
the tumult of people congregated in the cemetery a
quick and moving ocular inspection served so that
the victim's father, Casimiro Dalcourt, recognizes
its daughter before breaking in cry next to the mother
and requested to the concurrence that was dispersed
to be able to proceed with the autopsy of the cadaver.
So that doctors Filomeno Rodríguez and Antonio Font,
they recognized the remains, checking that had the
tied hands, the parietal bones ripped to blows, the
occipital one removed and the divided frontal", lacking
the language, the brains and the heart, according
to the columnist of the Marina Newspaper (Havana,
Monday 30 of June).
The Captain Hardens he offered a press conference
there same, in the cemetery, after they were the remains.
It left to glitter a white robe where he wrapped up
the cadaver and that supposedly it belonged to Josefa
Toledo, relative of Villegas also detainee, to which
had been wanted to cure with the ceremonies that wrapped
the ritual homicide.
For the city rotated comments and anonymous steering
wheels then affirming that Cecilia's sacrifice had
been good to save the sister of the mayor of the city,
Armando Carnot, and that the letters embroidered in
the marras robe had the initial J.C. by Juana Carnot.
If the initials were " J.T ". or they were " J.C ".
and if the robe could have come from the trousseau
of an or another woman is something that gets lost
in the land of the conjectures.
Mayor Carnot was a politician of grateful honesty
in his public position, the respect of the masses
was won until being recognized popularly as The Doctor
of the Poor by its habit of not charging to the needful
when it offered its medical services and the critic
of its political enemies won for its apparent liberalism
toward the Afro-Cuban citizens. Benito (Chacho) Olive,
one of the detainees in connection with Cecilia's
disappearance, era Porter of the City council of Matanzas
and fungía like driver peculiar of the mayor. José
Claro took care of his horses.
The events of June of 1919 became a political
offensive against mayor Armando Carnot's public administration
and against their liberal politics since it was elect