Leave it to Miami to shock even a reality-TV film crew. The crew was shooting footage in and around Miami International Airport when customs agents found a pair of human fetuses in the luggage of two women returning from Havana.
The fetuses were to be delivered to someone in Miami and used in a ritual for one of the mixtures of Christian and African religions that are practiced in Cuba, according to two people knowledgeable about the case.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this,” said Pat Diaz, who retired two years ago after 25 years on the homicide squad of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
The incident went unreported for more than a month. The crew for an upcoming show called MIA was at the airport but did not film the incident. El Nuevo Herald learned of it independently, and MDPD spokesman Roy Rutland confirmed it on Thursday.
The fetuses, a male and a female, were found Jan. 30 in the luggage of two Cuban American women — one in her 60s and the other who looked to be in her 70s.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents spotted one of the fetuses when they X-rayed a sealed jar. A second was discovered when the jar was opened, according to Rutland. —Juan O. Tamayo, Miami Herald, March 22, 2012.
After 32 years at the Miami Herald, veteran staff writer Juan O. Tamayo will spend his last day at the paper this Wednesday.
Tamayo broke the news Sunday in a Facebook post to his colleagues:
Folks, It’s been a great ride, but after 42 years in journalism and 32 at the Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald I am retiring. I leave with amazing memories of people who enriched my professional life – co-workers, editors, friends, contacts, etc – and places that enriched me and my family – Bridgeport, Hartford, NYC, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, Cambridge, Europe and Russia, the Andean region and Cuba. My last day at 1 Herald Plaza (to me, that will always be the Herald's address) will be Sept. 3. I will then devote more time to Spanish-to-English translations, to organizing my 4,000+- files for the Tamayo family tree, to travel, yard work, the gym and no doubt the many projects that Grace no doubt will think up.
Cheahs to all
NORIEGA, THE KEEPER OF SECRETS, EYES ASCENT TO POWER IN PANAMA
by Juan Tamayo
Miami Herald, Aug. 15, 1982
The most feared man in Panama is a National Guard colonel who has close ties to Havana and Washington, who invited to lunch a man he jailed three times and who discerns the vintage of a wine as easily as he pegs the provenance of a Communist.
After 12 years at the head of the guard's intelligence division, it's impossible to tell how much of what Panamanians mutter privately about Col. Manuel Antonio Noriega is true, and how much is myth.
The only certainty is that Noriega is expected to become head of the 10,000-man guard, the nation's only military force and the arbiter of the political process. And at its head, Noriega would be, in fact if not in name, the ultimate source of political power in Panama.
At 5 feet 7 and a solid 150 pounds, sleepy eyes set far apart on a moonish face, the 42-year-old Noriega is an enigmatic man who has shown little of himself while keeping the nation's secrets.
He is a friend of Cuban President Fidel Castro who warned Havana to keep its mitts off Central America, and he is a U.S. contact who resents President Reagan's use of El Salvador as the focus of an East-West confrontation.