Cuba’s former prisons chief accused of human rights abuses reportedly back in US

A former Cuban prisons chief who was living in Miami and returned to the island after he was accused of human-rights abuses has reportedly returned to the United States.

El Nuevo Herald reports that Interior Ministry Col. Crescencio Marino Rivero, 71, returned to Cuba in November after six dissidents identified him as a former director of prisons in the central province of Villa Clara and accused him of abuses. But a source close to the matter on Wednesday confirmed reports last week that Rivero had returned to somewhere in the United States.

The source, who declined to comment on Rivero’s location, asked for anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Rivero’s wife, Juana Ferrer, who stayed in Miami when he returned to Cuba, insisted to an El Nuevo Herald reporter Wednesday that he remains in the island and accused the media of harassing her and her family.

Rivero’s reported return drew criticism from Miami immigration lawyers William Allen and Santiago Alpizar, whose complaints about his presence in South Florida last year eventually prompted an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“I am disappointed that it’s been months since this information has been made public, and in those months this guy returns to Cuba, returns to this country and nothing has happened,” Allen told the newspaper.

ICE and the U.S. Attorneys Office in Miami declined comment on Rivero and Ferrer.

Rivero retired in 1996 from the Interior Ministry and moved to Miami in 2010 with his wife, a former Interior Ministry passport officer who held at least the rank of captain. They moved in with a daughter, who has a young child, the newspaper reports.

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