Colombia: priest shot dead in mining town

Date of publication: 
4 September 2011

A young priest from the mining town of Marmato, in the department of Caldas in the west of Colombia, Father Jose Reinel Restrepo Idairraga, was killed by unknown assailants, according to information given to the local press by the Secretary of the Government in that region, Henry Murillo.

In a report in the newspaper El Tiempo Murillo said that the priest was killed on Thursday, 1 September on a road from Mistrato in Bethlehem of Umbria, in the neighboring department of Risaralda (west of Colombia about 200km from Bogota. Murillo said that the priest was riding a motorcycle when strangers stopped him and shot him dead. The assailants escaped taking the motorcycle with them. This was later was found by the police along and some other belongings.

Father Restrepo was 36 years, he was born in Viterbo and since 2009 was pastor in Marmato, where he was appreciated and respected by the locals because of his commitment to the poor.

The authorities have begun investigating the case to determine whether the reason for the priest’s killing was mugging or if there is any other reason. This area of Colombia is well- known because about 80 percent of the population of Marmato works in gold mining.

Source: Fides