Zoraida, a tailor, and her family lived on the second floor of a multifamily apartment building in old Havana. The city sent her a notice in 2013 saying that the units on the second floor would be demolished because they were structurally unsound; the order was later revised to apply to the entire building.

Before work began, the ceiling in her bathroom fell in, killing her infant granddaughter. The family relocated to an empty warehouse. As of November 2015, the city had not begun demolition work.