'Dumpster divers' targeted in Havana
In an unusual admission, the Communist Party daily Granma on Tuesday
reported the existence of garbage pickers on the streets of Havana and
the punishment meted to them by the city government. More than 350
persons were detained and charged with scanvenging through "garbage
dumps, trash cans, and the public streets for food, bottles, plastic,
metal and other objects for profit or commercialization," the paper
said, without specifying the time frame for the arrests. Their "illegal
collection of solid refuse" was punished by "fines, exposure to the
communities where they live, and sentences to correctional labor without
imprisonment." Scavengers who came from other provinces were expelled
from the capital, the paper said.
Describing the violators as trash "divers," Granma said that the city
agencies had "intensified the actions of prophylaxis and confrontation
against those individuals." Trash2_2 The paper blamed the inefficiency
of the city's waste removal services for the proliferation of scavengers
and praised the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution for their
watchfulness. To read the article (in Spanish only), click here.
—Renato Pérez Pizarro.
June 10, 2008