Kevin Julián León was 16 and dreamed of becoming an architect. He was well known in Kennedy, the neighbourhood where he lived in Medellín, for his simple and friendly personality and because, despite his young age, he was an important social leader in his community. Since 2017, he promoted peace talks for young people in his community. He invited them to meet, to talk, to explain to them the value of tolerance, to tell them that there were better paths to take instead of having vices and getting involved in delinquency.
But Kevin was murdered on 21 July 2018. Two men on a motorbike shot him dead as he was walking to his English class in Kennedy.
Kevin was a member of the Heroes and Heroines of Love Corporation, an organization that works in his neighbourhood. Since 2010, this organization has been dedicated to the defence of human rights, especially the rights of women, children and teenagers, in a context of violence and insecurity. The corporation has programmes which focus on decreasing inter-family violence and urban conflict. The organization has also promoted peace.
Heroes and Heroines of Love is also involved in training young leaders so that they will be actively involved in neighbourhood processes of restoration, communal living and asserting human rights in the area. Kevin was part of this initiative and was responsible for getting other young people involved. According to Carlos Arcila, undersecretary for human rights in Medellín, who had worked in the community, Kevin was being trained to be a social leader and he was already well known for his work.
According to one of his close friends, “Kevin was a simple person, and he stood out because he was so helpful and thoughtful towards others. He loved football and he was always willing to help others, for example he helped children and young people not to develop vices and not to get involved in problems”. “He was an example for the community and for the family to follow”, said Pilar León, his aunt.