UC Berkeley student Alejandra Martinez dies

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DECEMBER 29, 2015

UC Berkeley junior Alejandra Martinez died Dec. 21 in a car accident. She was 20 years old.

The city of South Gate police department is conducting an ongoing investigation into the details of Martinez’s death.

Although Martinez seemed shy and soft-spoken to many, she was energetic and open to close friends and family, according to Julio Ventura, a UC Berkeley student and Martinez’s boyfriend of three years.

“She was very innocent, a child at heart,” said Ventura.

For Ventura, his girlfriend made even the most ordinary activities a joy, whether that be just going to class together or watching television at the end of a long night.

“The fact that I could tell her anything and that she would always support me whenever I was having my own personal issues was what I will miss most about her,” Ventura said.

The summer before her freshman year, Martinez partook in the campus’s Summer Bridge program. She made several close friends, including Danielle Miguel, Goka Bere and Frania Martinez.

Miguel, a campus junior studying public health, met Martinez while eating at Cafe 3. Miguel recalled how excited Martinez was to be at UC Berkeley.

“She was really excited to study here, to get to be with Julio and to experience a new place outside of LA,” Miguel said.

Miguel added that her friend was fascinated by the way people interacted with one another. According to Ventura, Martinez was drawn to the cognitive science classes at UC Berkeley and ended up choosing to major in the program.

Her interest in others also lead her to join Trenza, a group on campus that supports Chicana and Latina students, according to Ventura.

Martinez was particularly perceptive, Bere said, adding that “Alejandra was very, very smart and also very calm.”

“She could easily defend herself without ever getting angry,” Bere said.

Ventura and Bere lived in the same building during Summer Bridge. Bere and Martinez often went out to get food, watched movies and frequently had deep discussions about school and life.

“She was just easy and approachable,” Bere said. “The way she was, the way she talked and acted was very calming.”

Martinez’s interest in others’ lives and ability to listen made her a trusted confidant to Frania Martinez.

The two met in their Stats P class during Summer Bridge and became fast friends. Unfortunately, after the program, they didn’t see one another as regularly.

This past RRR Week, however, Frania Martinez ran into Alejandra Martinez as she was making her way to the RSF with Ventura.

“She was smiling, we were both smiling,” Frania Martinez said. “Life is so busy that you don’t take the time to acknowledge people, but I was just happy we both acknowledged each other.”

Corrections: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Goka Bere lived in the same building as Alejandra Martinez during Summer Bridge. In fact, Bere lived in the same building as Julio Ventura.

Contact Brenna Smith at 


JANUARY 13, 2016