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Terrorist Attack In Bogota, Colombia Leaves Three Dead
By admin June 22, 2017

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On Saturday, June 17th, a bomb was set off in one of Colombia’s largest malls located in Bogotá. Bogota’s Mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, has called this a “cowardly terrorist bombing.” President Juan Manuel Santos has launched an investigation and announced a USD $35,000 reward for information that may lead to the arrest of the culprits of the bombing.

The bomb was set off despite various security measures imposed at the Centro Andino shopping center, including bomb detecting dogs and security guards positioned throughout the mall. The bomb was sparked in a women’s bathroom on the second floor. Police say the bomb was possibly made of ammonium nitrate, one of the most commonly used explosives. One of the deceased victims reported was a Frenchwoman that volunteered at a school in an impoverished neighborhood in the capital city. The day after President Santos said:

“In the face of cowardly acts like yesterday’s, Colombians must unite and be supportive. We will not allow what has been achieved so far to be stopped by a handful of extremists, cowards or those who do not want the reconciliation of the Colombian people.”

According to CBC News, the President made this announcement shortly before embarking on his previously planned trip to Europe.

The international community has expressed its solidarity with the victims and support for Colombia. Countries including the US, France, Mexico, and Canada have released these messages to the Colombian government and condemned the terrorist action.

Although no one or organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, President Santos blames the National Liberation Army, or ELN, calling it a “terrorist attack.” The communist rebel group has had similar incidents in the past including a recent bombing in Bogotá that killed one police officer and injured about 20 others. Albeit its history of violence, the ELN has responded by stating that they do not commit or condone actions targeting civilians.

The ELN is currently engaged in peace talks with the government. This leads analysts to believe that the ELN uses violence to leverage their negotiations. The government has already achieved an agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the largest rebel group in the country. The attack occurred only three days before the FARC’s disarmament deadline. Turmoil has lead skeptics to have less faith in the government’s security capabilities.

A closer look at the current political situation reveals more complications. According to the former US Ambassador, a group of Colombian officials are pressuring President Santos to change promises made under the peace agreement with the FARC. One of the most pressing issues is the transitional justice system: the trial of thousands of state officials for war crimes. This has also led to speculation of corrupt soldiers as suspects.

There are (possibly illegitimate) audios proving that government officials are bribing FARC leaders to abandon the peace process. If this is true, which FARC leaders have attested to, it implicates the government for sabotaging the transitional justice system, peace in Colombia, and FARC involvement in programs like cocoa crop substitution and land mine removal.

Read more:

Colombian Police Suspect ELN Rebels Behind Bullring Explosion

Colombia Offers Reward in Deadly Shopping Mall Bombing

|Shopping Center Blast in Colombia Kills 3 and Injures 9

Colombia mall bombing kills three women

Bombing at mall in Colombia kills 3 women

Just some likely suspects for the Bogota shopping mall bombing

Foreign countries express solidarity with Colombia after Bogota bomb attack

Bomb In Upscale Mall Kills 3, Injures 9 In Colombia


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