Today in 1989 in a remote area of northwest Colombia, Tierra Alta, in the province of Córdoba, Fr Sergio Restrepo SJ was killed by paramilitaries. He had worked in the area for ten years and gained the trust of the people. He worked mainly with the Zenu Indian People, who had struggled to survive after Spanish Colonisation - suffering excessive taxation, forced labour and western diseases. Famous for their intricate gold working - they were a big attraction for colonialists, their language disappeared 200 years ago. Recently they fought for the restoration of an original reserve, and in 1990 San Andrés de Sotavento was restored as a Zenú reserve with a land area of 10,000 hectares (later 23,000). Here a community of approximately 33,000 inhabitants holds on to centuries-old traditions.
It is claimed that the order for Restrepo's assassination was given by Fidel Castaño Gil, a right-wing Colombian drug lord and paramilitary who was among the founders of Los Pepes and the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Cordoba and Uraba, a paramilitary group which ultimately became a member of the larger United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). Gil is also the brother of Vicente Castaño, the presumed chief of the narco-paramilitary group Águilas Negras'', The Castanos have admitted that it was a mistake to kill the bystanders who were outside the church.
In Restrepo's memory a community radio station is named.after him link . Recent work that they have been involved in includes cleaning up a stream that used to be a garbage dump and restocking it with fish, or helping demobilised far-right paramilitaries reintegrate into society by returning to school. The projects in his memory are called “Con-vivencias al dial: Radios para el encuentro” (roughly, “tuning in to shared experiences: radio stations bringing people together). The situation in Tierra Alta has improved now since an agreement for the demobilisation of paramilitary groups, negotiated by the government of president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and paramilitary commanders. They hope to get rid of the remaining tension by developing educational and employment programmes, especially for young people.