Death threats and an alleged suicide: the story of the young Colombian exiled in Germany who was found dead in strange circumstances

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Alan Garzón requested political asylum in the European country in 2019, after being intimidated for wearing a shirt with the phrase “No to Duque- Uribe”, during a march in Medellín

Death threats and an alleged suicide: the story of the young Colombian exiled in Germany who was found dead in strange circumstances

In the image, Alan Andrés Garzón Ramírez, the young man from Antioquia who was found in strange circumstances in Germany. Photo: private file

After a month after the Police of the city of Hannover, federal state of Lower Saxony, in Germany, reported the discovery of the body lifeless by Alan Garzón -the young man from Antioquia who had to go into self-exile in European territory after being threatened with death for participating in marches against terrorism in 2019 – his family still does not believe the versions of the German authorities about his death: that it was a case of suicide.

The 21-year-old had been reported missing on September 23 by his relatives< /b>. After more than a month after his disappearance, the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed through a short statement that Alan had been found dead by the German authorities.

“Regarding With the situation of the young Colombian ALAN ANDRÉS GARZÓN RAMÍREZ, reported as missing since September 23 of this year, the Colombian Consulate in Berlin, is allowed to announce that he was reported on Thursday, October 13, by the Police of the city of Hannover, federal state of Lower Saxony, about the discovery of the lifeless body of Alan Andrés Garzón Ramírez, fully identified by the forensic service of the Police of said city”, reported the Foreign Ministry.

As hours passed, international media would reveal that the young man -a native of the city of Medellín– was actually foundon October 11 by a group of mushroom pickers, who came across his lifeless body in the middle of the Mecklenheider forest, located in the Nordhafen district.

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According to the first investigations by the German authorities, the man from Antioquia died on September 25 -two days after his disappearance-, so his lifeless body was left out in the open for almost a month.

“After an autopsy and a DNA analysis in legal medicine, it is clear that this is the 21-year-old Colombian national Alan Andrés G.R.”, was reported at the time by the German newspaper Bild.

And how did Alan Garzón die?

Death threats and an alleged suicide: the story of the young Colombian exiled in Germany who was found dead in strange circumstances

The young man had been in exile in Germany since the end of 2019, where he was given political asylum due to threats against him. Photo: Telemedellín screenshot.

More than a month after the 21-year-old's body was found lifeless, his family still has doubts about what really caused his death. According to the German authorities, Alan would have taken his own life, however, the hypothesis does not fully convince those close to him as he never stated that he felt so bad that he wanted to commit suicide.

“They told us it was suicide, so we want to see that evidence, that it was suicide. That they show us the photos to identify the corpse, so that we can clarify what has us so anguished”, Alan's cousin -whose identity she asked to reserve- told Telemedellín.

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To this, the family adds that the German authorities quickly closed the case of the young man's death before “the absence of external factors that could have contributed to the death”, the Colombian Foreign Ministry reported at the time.

Threats of death and a self-exile in Europe

Death threats and an alleged suicide: the story of the young Colombian exiled in Germany who was found dead in strange circumstances

Image of the shirt worn by Alan Andrés Garzón Ramírez during a demonstration against violence in 2019. Photo: @UldaricoChilito

Alan's death is not the only misfortune that the Antioquian family has suffered had to endure in recent years. That the young man had to settle in Germany is one of them, since he had no choice after received multiple death threats after having participated in a march in Medellín against violence, after the attack on the General Santander Police School on January 20, 2019.

'El Niño', as his relatives affectionately called him, that day he decided to wear a T-shirt that had the phrase “No to Duque-Uribe's war” printed on it. Without knowing it, these words would condemn him to exile, because during the day he was insulted and even slapped . The following days he would receive death threats.

“Take off that shirt or we'll peel you off!”, a man told the young man during the march , as recorded in a recording that went viral on networks.

Video threats against Alan Garzón marches on January 20, 2019. Video: @Marianinicheve, Twitter.

“They left her anonymous messages, and they even left a threatening note outside her house,”, one of her relatives told the newspaper El Colombiano.

That was how, when he had just turned 18, the paisa applied for asylum in Germany and, thanks to a friend, he was able to buy tickets to travel and protect his life. On November 5, 2019 he arrived on German territory and since then he has lived in the Vinnhorst neighborhood of the city of Hannover, in the state of Lower Saxony .

“They helped him there with the asylum, he worked for a year with an architect, he learned German and English in a year, it was incredible how intelligent he was”, one of his close friends told Blu Radio.

Despite the fact that Garzón Ramírez was preparing to become a chef, his heart was always in Medellín, which is why, according to his cousin told the same radio station, he wanted to return to his land hometown.

“He felt very bored, that the people were very horrible, that he couldn't take it anymore and he wanted to come to Colombia”, Alan told his cousin on September 23, the date the young man disappeared. Apparently, the paisa would have been a victim of racism, a situation that had him discouraged.

Death threats and an alleged suicide: the story of the young Colombian exiled in Germany who was found dead in strange circumstances

In the image, Alan Andrés Garzón Ramírez, the young paisa who had to go into self-exile in Germany due to death threats. Photo: private file

According to Hannover press reports, on the night of September 23, Alan would be seen for the last time by his friends, with whom he had gone out to a party. However, a friend of the young man assured his family that, five days after his supposed disappearance, she had bumped into him on the subway and, according to her version, “it showed him that she was mentally fine” .

in the Antioqueño's family for which, according to what they told El Colombiano, today they refuse to believe that 'El Niño' would have taken his own life.

< blockquote class="color_figcaption">“We still don't believe that 'the Boy' took his own life because he was very cheerful, and he really wanted to leave to help us and to get ahead. He had to go looking for a future and see what he found”, lamented the Garzón family in their dialogue with the Antioquia newspaper.

To date, the causes of death of the young man are unknown and Alan's family demands answers from the German and Colombian governments.