In July 2021, Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo, a Protestant Christian and pastor of the Monte de Sion Independent Church in Palma Soriano, and members of his church, participated in peaceful protests in Palma Soriano. When police and the military tried to block protestors from marching, PastorLorenzo and his son David Lorenzo Rosales Carballo were detained and separated. His son was released on July 17. 2021.
Pastor Lorenzo was initially held for a month in a state security facility in Santiago. During his transfer there, he was reportedly severely beaten which caused him to lose a tooth, and guards also urinated on him. He was reportedly charged with disrespect, public disorder, incitement and assault. He was held incommunicado for most of his detention, and his family were repeatedly denied contact with him.
On August 7, 2021, Pastor Lorenzo’s wife, Maridilegnis Carballo was finally allowed to speak with him for a three minute phone call. On August 9, 2021 Pastor Lorenzo was transferred to the Boniato Maximum Security Prison outside Santiago de Cuba.
On an unspecified date, following his trial on December 20 and 21, 2021, Pastor Lorenzo was sentenced to eight years in prison. In May 2022, it was reported that his sentence was reduced by a year to seven years in prison.
He appealed his sentence in June 2022, but it was rejected. His wife has been threatened with imprisonment if she continues to speak out publicly about her husband’s case. Pastor Lorenzo Rosales has been targeted by the government for over a decade because of his leadership of an unregistered church in the city of Palma Soriano.