“We have not had peace”: family of victims repudiates the release of a convict for the Trujillo Alto massacre of 1989

“We have not had peace”: family of victims repudiates the release of a convict for the Trujillo Alto massacre of 1989

For the family of Haydee Maymi Rodriguez and his two children, cruelly murdered in 1989, time has not passed. In every moment of life, the sadness for what was taken from them and the longing for what could be is present; Eduardofive years old, dreamed of being a Major League pitcher, and Melissathree, wanted to be a dancer.

Now, 34 years after the so-called Trujillo Alto massacre, they have to live once again everything that happened, after the senior federal district judge Francisco Besosa ordered, on Friday, the release of Antonio Ramos Cruzone of the two convicted of the crime.

“It’s a bucket of cold water because, even if you don’t want it, you relive everything you’ve been through, everything you lost,” he lamented. Nilsa Maymisister of the victim. “My sister and I were very close and I miss her every day of my life… just like my nephews. And more so in very important moments in my life, such as the day I got married, the day I became a mother for the first time.”

To Nilsa, as well as to Eduardo Morales, the victim’s husband, has a hard time holding back tears when talking about Haydee and her two children. Mrs Haydee Rodriguez She looks more composed, but that does not mean that she suffers less from the loss of her daughter and her two grandchildren, who now accompany her in an album of photographs, some of them faded by the passage of time.

“We have not had peace. (…) What I think is that my grandchildren’s lives fell through the cracks. That future of theirs remained in the pipeline, it never came out of there. That is the reality, because of those who took their lives. And that judge (Besosa) must rectify twenty million times for what he has done,” said Rodriguez.

Haydee’s body was found in the bathtub of her residence in Trujillo Alto, and the bodies of Eduardo and Melissa were found in the refrigerator and freezer, respectively. The bodies had stab wounds. Months after the crime, the Police focused their investigation on Ramos Cruz – who was a neighbor of the victim – and Juan Carlos Melendez Serrano.

The convicts – sentenced to 297 years in prison in 1992 – have maintained their innocence at all times. In 2020, Ramos Cruz presented to the Federal Court for the District of Puerto Rico a case of habeas corpusa resource that allows you to investigate whether a person is illegally deprived of their freedom.

Nilsa Maymi is distressed to relive again the violent circumstances in which her sister, Haydee Maymi Rodriguez, and her nephews died 34 years ago. (Nahira Montcourt)

For several years, they have raised the existence of “DNA evidence that is exculpatory”as Ramos Cruz himself alleged in an interview this week with The new day. However, this has not been successful in any local judicial forum.

The relatives of the victims refuse to see them free and demand that they serve their sentence.

“I couldn’t be a grandfather, they took away the privilege of being a father, I didn’t see them grow up, they didn’t give me the opportunity,” said Eduardo. “(The convicts) have their lives, they can enjoy their children, they go to see them in prison. “I cannot stand in front of my children’s grave and ask Father God for a pass, because it will not exist.”

The order for the immediate release of Ramos Cruz was given after the Justice Department reported that it did not have an exact date to comply with a directive to submit to the Federal Court the translation of the transcripts of the trial, which lasted 10 days.

The district attorney Yamil Juarbewho several years ago led the case against the request for a new trial for the convicts, told The new day that the translations requested by Besosa could cost the State about $200,000.

Justice presented, on Thursday, a motion in aid of jurisdiction through the Attorney General so that he Boston First Circuit of Appeals stopped the judge’s order, but it was denied. The agency will also appeal to the First Circuit Besosa’s decision to condition Ramos Cruz’s release on translations.

“That (the order) is unreasonable, irrational. We do not think it is an action worthy of a court,” Juarbe said. “Our hope is that the Appeal will revoke the judge’s (Besosa) decision because it is an abuse of discretion. (…) This case (habeas corpus) has not been seen in its merits.”

While the case is being elucidated, the victims’ family sleeps restlessly. And, for Nilsa, the anxiety is greater, since she indicated that the convict lives about 10 minutes by car from his home.

“In all these years, one learns to live with pain. There is nothing that replaces the love of my sister, nor of my nephews, no one replaces that, but one learns to live with that pain. But all these years we have to relive and relive again. And now we’re reliving all of this again. And, really, I feel tired. Tired of all this”said Haydee’s sister.

Juan Carlos Melendez (right) and Antonio Ramos Cruz (left), convicted of the murder of Haydee Maymi and her two children, in 1989.
Juan Carlos Melendez (right) and Antonio Ramos Cruz (left), convicted of the murder of Haydee Maymi and her two children, in 1989. (Archive)
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