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Marble (Agenzia Fides) - The priest from the mining town of Marmato, in the department of Caldas in the west of Colombia, Father Jose Reinel Restrepo Idárraga, 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 the statements to the newspaper El Tiempo, Murillo said that the priest was killed on Thursday, September 1 on a road from Mistrato in Bethlehem of Umbria, in the neighboring department of Risaralda (west of Colombia about 200km from Bogotà). 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 (which later was found by the police) and other objects belonging to the priest.
Father Restrepo was very young (36 years), he was born in Viterbo (Caldas) and since 2009 he was pastor Marmato, where in two years he was appreciated and respected by the locals thanks to his commitment in favor of the disadvantaged .
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 is dedicated to the extraction of gold. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 03/09/2011)