Colombia: Officials said that a car bomb exploded on a military base in the Colombian city of Cucuta on Tuesday, injuring 36 people, and blamed ELN guerrillas for the attack.
The initial theory is that members of the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s last recognized guerrilla group, were behind the attack, Defense minister Diego Molano said, as he condemned the “terrorist act.”
The minister added that the participation of the FARC guerrillas, which refused to sign the 2016 peace agreement with the government, was also “a matter of investigation”.
The Defense Department said in a statement that on Tuesday afternoon, an unidentified person drove a white Toyota van into the base, posing as a public official.
Then they caused two explosions in the car.
Colombian President Ivan Duque said on Twitter that he went to the explosion site to “directly monitor the situation.”
In 2019, Duke interrupted the ELN negotiations after a car bomb attack at a student school in southern Bogotá killed 22 students.
Cúcuta is located in northeastern Colombia near the Venezuelan border. It is the capital of Santander Norte Province. In this area, ELN is active with former FARC fighters, demobilized Maoist insurgent remnants and numerous criminal groups.
The various armed groups battle for control of 41,000 hectares of coca leaf in the region, as well as control of an important smuggling route to Venezuela and the Caribbean.
Colombia is in the midst of its worst outbreak of violence since the signing of the peace deal with FARC, which was Latin America’s most powerful insurgency.
The country continues to consider this conflict, which has caused more than 9 million lives, disappearances and displacements in the past 60 years.