Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | August 19, 2010

Last Week’s Car Bomb in Bogotá: Who dunno it?

THE FACTS:

A week ago, at 5:27 am, 110 pounds of explosives detonated from a grey Chevrolet Swift at the intersection of Bogotá’s Seventh Avenue and 67th Street. Nine people were injured; no fatalities were reported. The car was parked in front of the studios of Caracol Radio, and a few blocks from the Stock Exchange and EFE, the international press agency.

There was no structural damage to nearby buildings though it did blow out 1,100 windows, including those of branches of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. and Bancolombia S.A. By 8 am, residents were helping to sweep the broken glass while helicopters flew overhead and soldiers in fatigues patrolled the cordoned off streets.

THE CLUES:

1) The predawn hour of the explosion was strategic to cause the least amount of harm as few people circulate these streets at this time. This is not a FARC trademark: in 2003, the FARC detonated a car bomb in El Nogal Club, killing 37 people and injuring 200. The FARC are about amassing the most amount of casualties.

2) Santos has said the door is “not locked” to peace talks with the FARC. Further, two days prior to the bomb, diplomatic relations between the government of Juan Manuel Santos and Hugo Chavez were restored, having surpassed, somewhat, the episode of FARC camps in Venezuela. The two presidents agreed to beef up patrols along the border and revive trade.

Who wants to sabotage any rapprochment to the FARC?

ONE FURTHER CLUE:

A military man reported the car stolen in late July. This prompts the mind to make the leaps: There is a historical collusion between the military and right-wing groups.

WHO DUNNO IT?

Far-right-wing groups, of course.

But which ones? The splinter groups that have surfaced after the supposed demobilization of the AUC, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, are not entirely clear—not yet, at least; until now, the Black Eagles have been the most public. In Nariño, one man told Human Rights Watch: “The Black Eagles interrogate us, with the police 20 meters away… You can’t trust the army or the police because they’re practically with the guys.”

Until now, these far-right-wing gangs had shown their presence in Medellín, Chocó, Meta and Nariño. Little is yet known about the political tendencies, if any besides anti-FARC, of these groups.

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