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SMS > Alertamerica.org > News
In the News

The Yesterday and Today of an Admirable Young Man
by Jorge Cepeda (*)
June 10, 2011

At an age when adolescents are dreaming, and enjoying the loud bursts and noises surrounding the Christmas festivities, Edwin Uriel can’t help but be tormented. For these noises remind him of the tragic event that changed his life forever...

A few days before his sixteenth birthday, Edwin lost both of his hands, his right eye, and the majority of the vision in his left eye. One evening when Edwin was in search of a flashlight, he came across a strange and foreign artifact lying on his kitchen table. Abandoning his search for a flashlight, he focused his attention on this seemingly inconspicuous item.

From that fateful moment he only remembers taking the artifact in his hands, trying to open it, feeling a rush of fear from what he was holding, trying to put it on the floor and wanting to run away… but it was too late… like so many others that have lost their futures and lives that mine took another victim… Edwin fell unconscious, and when he awoke he was in the hospital… he no longer had his hands nor his vision.

Edgar, is the oldest of five brothers and the hope of his widowed mother, Luisa Amada, a woman both confident and steadfast, strong and capable and with a deep love of her family… she always dreamed that her oldest son, Edwin, a bright child, articulate and determined, would help her educate his four younger siblings… but with the deafening noise of January 13, the future of this struggling family changed forever.

Since he could not join into the neighborhood games, where the boys his age were out in the streets playing baseball and soccer, Edwin, with patience, perseverance and faith, took advantage of the support of the Organization of American States. Through the OAS he received medical assistance, psychosocial support, and the arrangement for prosthesis to give him new arms and new hands… but remembering his mother's dreams and future of his brothers, Edwin always knew that he wanted to continue studying computers...

A little more than six years have passed since that fateful day, and now Edwin is packing his bags and spreading his wings… With the help of a scholarship, he will cross the Atlantic and attend the Red Cross Nordic United World College where he will have the opportunity to share his story and experiences with peers of different nationalities, cultures and religions...

Those who know the story of Edwin and his mother, knows that they are real life examples of strength, conviction, faith, hope and optimism. They are virtues that all humans who have not lived through the magnitude of their hardships would have.

Today, without a doubt, we can say that the greatness of one life, like Edwin’s, can be measured by the magnitude of the difficulties one has faced, and the triumphant achievements in overcoming hardship…

(*) Ship of the line Captain (R)
Office Action against Antipersonnel Mines
Department of Public Security
Organization of American States


OAS Training Institutes of Foreign Affairs on Trafficking in Persons in Kingston, Jamaica

Report on two day conference held in St. Kitts & Nevis entitled “Confronting the Challenges of Youth Crime and Violence in Society: Defining a Multi-Sectoral Response.”

June 24, 2009
Press Releases

» UN supports anti-crime action plan of OAS
People’s Daily Online (China) - June 8th

» OAS alert the Americas on Public Safety.
The Americas Post (USA) - June 6th

Selected publications
Alertamerica.org: Report on Citizen Security 2011
PDF,  10 MB
Documentos Claves de la OEA sobre Seguridad. Volumen II
PDF,  1.5 MB
La Seguridad
Pública en las Américas: Retos y Oportunidades
La Cárcel: Problemas y Desafíos para las Américas
PDF, 7.4 MB
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