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Family, friends, community mourn loss of Gonzalo Vizcardo Chiesi

Miami activist shot, killed near his Little Haiti home, shooter remains at-large

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Gonzalo Vizcardo Chiesi was supposed to turn 30 on Thursday.

Instead of celebrating the end to his 20s, family and friends will share stories and memories of a life cut short to a heinous act of gun violence.

Last Thursday around 1 a.m., Vizcardo was fatally shot near Northeast Miami Place and 55th Street just blocks from his Little Haiti home, Miami-Dade police officers said.

Prior to the incident, Vizcardo was out having drinks with friends at the New Yorker Patio Bar off of Biscayne Boulevard, friends said.

"He was showing off maps about data and zoning, and we were talking about the intersection of data and policy," friend Gustavo Perez said. "Half an hour later, he was just gone." 

Vizcardo moved to Boca Raton in 2001 from his native Venezuela. He attended Florida Atlantic University and received a degree in anthropology and economics. As a student at FAU, Vizcardo gained notoriety for his activism on campus. 

"He was already slaying dragons at just 23," Jorge Damian de la Paz said during a eulogy for one of his closest friends. "Six years ago, he led a student campaign that resulted in the rightful expulsion of FAU's president."

Vizcardo's stamp on the community has prompted a groundswell of love and support from the many political and civic groups he belonged to or supported, from Miami-Dade Democratic Executive committee to Engage Miami.

"(Gonzalo) worked thoughtfully and lovingly for a just world and brought so much to Miami and the world at large for many years," officials with Engage Miami wrote on its Facebook page. "We honor and celebrate his life, mourn his passing, and will continue working to bring the values he fought for into the world."

Vizcardo is survived by his parents and two older sisters.

Miami-Dade police officers are offering a $3,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of his shooter.

In addition to a GoFundMe donation page set up in his honor, family and friends have organized an event for Thursday at 6 p.m. to honor his memory at: 

Villian Theater
5865 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, Florida 33137