Kevin’s family and friends fight against time to prevent him from being taken to prison

Kevin Rivas, 25, was taken from his home and arrested by members of the National Civil Police on Friday 15 April. It was 10:30 a.m. when Kevin woke up with a loud knock and quickly opened the door when he saw it was the police. His neighbors, who were also outside their homes, testified that at no point did he object. Kevin, like much of his neighbours, lived all his life at that point of urbanization in Montes de San Bartolo, in Soyapango. He has been living alone since his family left for the United States.

Without giving further explanations or reasons, they took him along with two other neighbours.

Since then, Kevin’s family and friends have been fighting against time to get him released before he is taken to prison.

Kevin’s loved ones are sure that they did everything right: they obtained papers proving that he had a job, that he was a student at the Mónica Herrera School of Communication, in other words, everything that was reflected in the words of officials and religious pastors on numerous occasions accompanied by the phrase “Who does not He owes nothing and fears nothing.” However, more than 24 hours after their arrest, at 6:21 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, they were not yet able to cross the bridge that would allow them to release Kevin.

Even then, they were in a state of uncertainty from not knowing for sure Kevin’s whereabouts.

From the United States, the family tried to move and communicate with Kevin, but they were unsuccessful. The attorney they appointed was able to obtain brief information that he would be sent from the Santa Eduvige delegation to the Ilopango delegation and that he would likely be transferred with the rest of the detainees to Izalco Prison in Sonsonate.

Kevin’s friends, as well as his mother and sister, have taken to Twitter to hear the president, Neb Bokel, hear their case.

“We need the immediate release of my son, his only sin is to live in a conflict zone,” his mother wrote.

Kevin, 25, is a young man with a passion for cameras and art. His Instagram account reflects his love for photography and details. His passion also became one of his main livelihood.

“The only thing he seeks is bettering himself, he has done that through communication, art and photography. You can tell that you are someone who is trying to survive,” said one of his closest friends, who asked not to be named.

His friends pointed out that Kevin was able to study at Monica Herrera School thanks to a scholarship from the Forever Foundation and that he also worked to get more scholarships and projects that support youth and children in the area where he lives.

Kevin has worked in audiovisual, musical and documentaries. I am currently working on the Hablemos de Cine project that seeks to document Salvadoran cinema.

The Principal of Monica Herrera School, Federico Harrison, shared on his Twitter account that he was Kevin’s teacher. “I remember him as a smart, serious and hardworking young man. It is frustrating that young people who live in the areas most affected by crime have lost the right to dream and work for a better future.”

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