Free translation from “El Tiempo” April 10, 2015
By: ALEJANDRA GUZMAN P. SERRANO
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Until a couple of weeks ago, Steven, aged 42 and an architect by profession, was fully involved in the construction of a home for displacement victims in the neighbourhood Vista Hermosa (Ciudad Bolívar). This was being done alongside various other projects. But the dream of creating a place for people to start a new life was interrupted on Sunday morning 29 March, when, after having his bike stolen Steven was left for dead.
Steven & his girlfriend were forced at gunpoint to hand over their belongings. They were then forced to enter the forest, located in the town of San Francisco (Cundinamarca). Fearing what was going to happen, Steven panicked and began to ask for help. That was when he was wounded in his leg and left to die. His girlfriend was forced to keep walking.
“One of the guys stayed with him. Steven’s girlfriend was tied up with shoelaces, left in the forest and told not to worry, that nothing would happen… he knew they were going for more than a robbery”, said Alan Wagenberg, a friend of Steven.
Some five hours later, his girlfriend managed to free herself and found his lifeless body. Steven had died. At six o’clock in the afternoon, she was finally able to call for help.
Earlier, they had planned to have lunch and visit the thermal waters in the area.
“Everyone is devastated. Steven was a great person; all happened in an untimely manner” said Alan. His death, besides being unexpected, produced a sense of concern among the inhabitants of San Francisco, Cundinamarca, a municipality located on the outskirts of Bogotá.
Juan Ramón Giraldo, a resident of the area, said it is not the first time that this sort of thing has happened. “It’s a very nice area, but we feel it is abandoned. We ask you to help us”.
The authorities, meanwhile, claimed that criminals left the bikes while they fled.
Who was Steven?
Remembered by several of his relatives and friends as a good man, who alongside his profession, spent much of his life doing charity work, Ciudad Bolivar was just one of many. He had helped indigenous people through the foundation “Entre Parentesis”, so that with their creations, they could have a better life. He even brought water to the drought-affected Guajira.
Steven came back to Colombia five years ago after living abroad. First he came to La Candelaria, in the centre of the city, and a few months before his murder he finished remodelling the apartment where he lived with his partner in the north of the city. In addition, he was a lover of bikes, he had two of them, he used them to visit some of the works from his office or, as in the last episode, for an excursion. Although, according to the draft that the authorities have about what motivated the offenders to take his life, he had already given his bike when the criminals insisted they entered the forest. ” He had never lost his life for something so insignificant,” concluded Alan.
ת נ צ ב ה
“May his memory be a blessing”
Friends and family have started a page in Steven’s memory
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