The businessman Pedro Gomez Barrero has passed away this Friday at the age of 94. Builder of the Unicentro shopping center, the first in Bogota, he was recognized for all kinds of activities: from promoting educational programs to efforts as ambassador to Venezuela during the corvette crisis. Caldas in 1987. Political figures from various parties and members of civil society have mourned his death.
Gomez’s childhood was far from the hustle and bustle and urban dynamism that marked his career as a businessman in Bogota. He always proudly mentioned his origins in the countryside, in the town of Cucunuba, an hour and a half from the capital. “[Soy] a Colombian more than the millions who have lived parts [de nuestras vidas] in the field, especially in childhood. And that we have later developed our youth and maturity in Bogota, with great luck, ”he declared a few years ago at a tribute from the Universidad del Rosario.
Many believed that Gomez’s profession was an architect, but he was actually a lawyer. He had been trained at the School of Jurisprudence of the traditional Universidad del Rosario, while working as a security guard at the Ministry of Labor at night. He was a municipal and circuit civil judge in Bogota and Facatativa. He always remained close to his alma mater, which awarded him the Fray Cristobal de Torres Founder’s Medal in 2019. “[Fue] a testimony of Rosarista values and what the search for the common good means”, has declared this Friday the rector, Alejandro Cheyne.
Gomez was also recognized for his work in Fundacion Compartir, which he founded together with other businessmen in 1980. The initial objective was to provide aid to populations affected by natural disasters, but it soon mutated to the construction of low-cost housing and the promotion of educational activities. The foundation has built dozens of schools and has been responsible for the Compartir Award, dedicated to recognizing the best teachers in the country.
Various personalities have mourned the death of the builder and businessman. Former President Alvaro Uribe has defined Gomez’s life as one “of service to Colombia”, while his successor, Juan Manuel Santos, has declared that the builder was “a great Colombian and a great friend.”
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