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Randall Davis Barfield

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John and Juan: Colombia's Facebook Killers
by Randall Davis Barfield   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, May 06, 2010
Posted: Saturday, May 01, 2010

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John and Juan:  Colombia’s “Facebook” Killers



Her name was Ana Maria Chavez, a 19-year-old architecture student at the prestigious Javeriana University in the Colombian capital, Bogota.  Ana Maria was found dead in her apartment on September 17, 2009.  Her young killers, John Anderson Sierra and Juan Sebastian Obando, were 19 and 20 years old, respectively, and had traveled from Colombia’s second-largest city, Medellin, to meet this aspiring singer, actress and model who had numerous “friends” on Facebook.

Ana Maria “met” the two guys on Facebook and, after chatting with them a day or two, invited them to her apartment in the capital city. These youngsters traveled the roughly eight hours from Medellin to Bogota where, according to security cameras in Ana Maria’s apartment building, she welcomed them with a kiss and took them to her apartment.

Ana’s brother, Juan Camilo, lived with her in the apartment but had traveled to the U.S. for a semester to study English. According to some accounts, he was still in the U.S. on the day of the murder.

The same day that the young men arrived at Ana Maria’s address was the day they robbed her then suffocated her with a pillow. Also, robbery was the motive established by the police for the crime.

After some frustration due to his belief that the police were not acting quickly and efficiently in regard to Ana Maria’s death, Juan Camilo arranged meetings with Ana’s friends and they all began scrutinizing her numerous Facebook “friends” (over 2,000 by some accounts) to discover who the killers were. When they found one of them, they had to get his Colombian ID card number for the police. That was possible through consulting Google, fortunately. Now police had a suspect and identification and set out to capture one of Ana’s killers. When police captured Sierra at the main bus terminal in Bogota (he was planning to fly off to Spain), he remarked: “I thought you would never find me.”

Sierra’s brother, in an attempt to “save” or at least help his detained brother, basically told of Obando’s whereabouts. Police were able to capture this second killer at an Internet shop in Medellin. Obando, at the time, was wearing a white jacket that had belonged to Ana Maria! Both killers, thanks to Colombian police, were captured in October, 2009.

Juan Camilo, Ana’s brother, then received a threat on his life someone had sent to his Facebook page. He suspected Sierra’s brother, who had given police the information which helped them find second killer Obando.

Approximately five months later, a trial or “public audience” was held for the two accused and each received a prison sentence of 25 years. Originally, fifty to sixty years had been the expected length, but as a result of both killers’ acceptance of the different charges against them and their confessions, they received a sentence reduction of approximately 50 percent, which resulted in the 25 years for each.

Ana Maria’s family plans to challenge the sentences as being too short or insufficient. Ana Maria had medium-length, light brown hair, an oval face, expressive eyes and a very attractive smile.

The killers are known in Colombia as the “Facebook” killers, but, as we all know, Ana Maria could have made “friends” and given them her address at a restaurant, a bar, a house party or any number of other places that have nothing to do with a social networking site on the Internet such as Facebook. Everyone makes mistakes; fortunately for most people, they rarely turn out to be fatal.






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