Fifty-five year old Alirio de Jesús Serna Sierra was a community leader in Antioquia who over the years had been involved in many development projects to improve living standards for the community.
His wife, Bertha Monroy, was president of the Junta de Acción Comunal, (Community Action Board), of vereda La Esperanza, in the village of San José in the municipality of Andes. They had worked together on many projects to help the community including a campaign to demand clean water for the villages.
On 17 December, 2020, armed men burst into his home and shot him dead. His wife was absent at the time but a ninety-seven year old man was injured in the attack. There are no reports of him previously receiving threats.
Local people have called on the government to declare a state of emergency in Bajo Cauca because of the upsurge of violence in the department. According to them the situation in the municipalities of Cáceres, Caucasia, El Bagre, Nechí, Tarazá and Zaragoza is critical.
There has been widespread criticism of the authorities for their failure to take action to deal with paramilitary activity.