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A car bomb attack further agitates the instability in Colombia: the ELN, in the crosshairs

2021-06-21T01:05:27.729Z

The attack is disturbing in a country that believed it had left violence behind with the dissolution of the FARC.



Robert Mur

06/17/2021 10:23 AM

  • Clarín.com

  • World

Updated 06/17/2021 10:30

The car bomb attack on a military base in Cúcuta

sows more instability in Colombia

, amid the social outbreak.

Authorities on Wednesday insisted on targeting the National Liberation Army (ELN) as the main suspect, but this guerrilla had not claimed responsibility for the action until Wednesday night.

The explosion raises unknowns in a country that believed it had left political violence behind with the dissolution of the FARC in 2016. But it seems difficult for Colombia to achieve total pacification while producing cocaine.

The ease with which the perpetrators of the attack

accessed the barracks

or the choice of target, a compound where there are

US soldiers

and a unit to combat drug trafficking, increase suspicions.

Destroys in the attacked military base in Cúcuta.

Photo: Reuters

Despite Colombia's experience in the fight against terrorism, the two unknown persons who entered with a vehicle loaded with explosives early Tuesday afternoon to Brigade 30 of Cúcuta, capital of the Norte de Santander region.

They did it

without major problems

.

First, it was said that the terrorists identified themselves as members of the Prosecutor's Office, which was denied by the Public Ministry.

The SUV

exploded five minutes after

being parked in front of the dispensary of La Baso, very close to the battalion of operations against drug trafficking and the facilities that house a number of US military personnel who

provide advice to Colombian troops

in the fight. against drugs.

v1.6

Car bomb attack on military base

Infographic:

Clarín

After a first blast, two minutes later there was

a second

blast

.

There were no deaths, but 36 people were injured - two of them civilians - three seriously, and none of the Americans were affected.

The ELN, the first hypothesis

The military base houses US troops and a battalion to fight drug trafficking.

Although the investigators - who

are being assisted by the FBI

- do not rule out a group of FARC dissidents linked to drug trafficking,

the first hypothesis is the ELN

, as reiterated by Defense Minister Diego Molano, who traveled to Cúcuta shortly after the attack.

“Terrorists cannot continue

posing as peacekeepers abroad

, while they commit heinous acts against our soldiers and Colombians.

All the collaboration with the Prosecutor's Office to clarify the attack on Brigade 30. The ELN would be responsible, ”Molano tweeted.

We sympathize with the soldiers wounded in the attack in Cúcuta and with their families.

I spoke with Corporal López and other soldiers who expressed their commitment to the country.

Heroes of the homeland who have the support of Colombians.

Admiration and gratitude.

pic.twitter.com/XE2gPem93U

- Diego Molano Aponte (@Diego_Molano) June 16, 2021

Peace negotiations

The minister was referring to the contacts that the ELN has maintained with the government

to initiate peace negotiations

.

Although some guerrilla leaders take refuge in Venezuela, the interlocutors with the Executive are

in Cuba.

In the last two years, both parties have had

some thirty contacts

- directly or through foreign diplomats, representatives of the UN or members of the Catholic Church, who act as mediators - and the dialogue

has fluctuated

depending on the guerrilla activity.

A turning point was the attack perpetrated by the ELN on January 17, 2019 at a military school in Bogotá where 22 cadets died and 67 people were injured.

A car bomb attack,

very similar to that of Monday in Cúcuta.

Explosion at the General Santander Cadet School, in the south of Bogotá, in 2019. Photo: EFE

The attack took place a few hours after the National Unemployment Committee (CNP) announced

a temporary cessation of protests

against the conservative government of Iván Duque that have caused serious disturbances throughout the country since April 28.

The leaders of the Committee assure that the negotiations with the Government remain

stalled

and are betting to present their demands before Congress while the dialogue is rebuilt.

Precisely, Molano has passed

two confidence motions

in Parliament

in recent weeks

, avoiding his dismissal, since the CNP blames him directly for the fifty deaths caused in the repression of protests by the riot police of the National Police, a body that Despite being a civilian, it depends on the Ministry of Defense.

The remains of the car bomb.

Photo: Reuters

Duque also traveled to Cúcuta on Tuesday night, described the attack as

"insane"

and announced a reward - in exchange - of about

112,000 euros

for information on the perpetrators.

On Wednesday, the president inaugurated the

Anato Tourism Showcase

in Bogotá

, the country's main tourism fair, which is once again being held in person despite the fact that Colombia is now one of the main global sources of covid contagion.

After the dissolution of the FARC, the Government

dreamed of receiving millions of foreign tourists

to an idyllic pacified Caribbean destination.

Despite the street revolt and the persistent violence of drug trafficking or the guerrillas, Duque continues to have that dream.

CASES


0.000.00000.000


per million inhab.

Xxxxx

DEATHS


00,0000,000


per million inhab.

Source:

Johns Hopkins

Chart:

Flourish

|

Infographic:

Clarín

The author is a journalist for La Vanguardia

Look also

Protests in Colombia: young people without fear, the spearhead in the demonstrations against Ivan Duque

Protests in Colombia: mobilizations suspended until July 20

Source: clarin

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