Dedication set for Terry Freitas cafe

Terry Freitas
Terry Freitas
A dedication ceremony is set for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, September 20 for the Terry Freitas Cafe at Colleges Nine and Ten on the UC Santa Cruz campus.

The popular student cafe is being renamed to honor Crown College alumnus Terence (Terry) Freitas who was kidnapped and killed in 1999 at age 24 while working with the U'wa people in Colombia. Freitas' grandparents, Dr. Joseph and Ethel Shelly, made a generous gift to the colleges in their grandson's honor.

Freitas graduated in 1997 with a degree in biology and environmental studies. He was working to preserve the culture of the U'wa, an indigenous group in the Columbian Amazon, when he and two colleagues were kidnapped. Their bodies were found just across the border in Venezuela a few days later. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) later admitted the killings but said they were a mistake.

Freitas and the others had been working to halt plans by Occidental Petroleum to drill in U'wa territory and helped establish the U'wa Defense Working Group, a coalition of several environmental organizations.

In January 2000, Freitas was honored posthumously with the UCSC Alumni Association Achievement Award. In 2001, the Terence Freitas Award in Environmental Studies was established to support to undergraduates majoring in environmental studies.