Today in Latin America
Top Story — A car bomb exploded outside a prominent radio station early Thursday morning in Bogotá, Colombia, in what authorities suspect was a terrorist attack.
No one was killed in the bombing, but at least nine people were injured and several buildings were damaged along the capital’s 7th avenue, a main thoroughfare.
“This is a terrorist attack” said President Juan Manuel Santos, according to a report by Reuters, though it was not clear who had planned the bombing or why.
Police have located the owner of the exploded car, but did not reveal the person’s identity, The Miami Herald reports.
Bombings were once a common occurrence in Bogotá, the capital of a country that has been locked in a state of perpetual, low-grade civil war for roughly half a century. In recent years, however, bombings have become infrequent, due largely to a major military offensive against leftist guerrillas launched in 2002 by then-President Álvaro Uribe.
The attack occurred less than a week after President Santos’ inauguration. Santos has pledged to continue Uribe’s security policies, but has also alluded to the possibility of opening a dialogue with insurgents.
Images of the bombings were captured by a security camera and can be viewed in the video below.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- As politicians debate the possibility of changing the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to all those born in this country, the Pew Hispanic Center releases figures detailing the number of children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- President Obama praised a border security bill passed by the Senate on Thursday and authorized 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
- An anonymous blogger in Mexico is giving police, drug traffickers, and the public an unprecedented forum to publicize details on drug cartel violence that mainstream media outlets hesitate to report.
- A newly reinvigorated Fidel Castro is preparing to celebrate his 84th birthday, amid speculation about tensions between him and his brother Raúl.
- U.S. authorities seized about 530 pounds of cocaine from a makeshift boat heading toward Puerto Rico’s west coast.
- Wyclef Jean, a candidate in Haiti’s upcoming presidential elections, told Al Jazeera’s Riz Kahn that Haitians “don’t need a local president,” but rather “a global president, someone that can travel.”
- Honduras refused to grant asylum to a former Guatemalan prison director now being sought for his role in the extra-judicial killing of prisoners during a riot in 2006.
- Nicaraguan Supreme Court judges who had been boycotting court sessions for ten months were replaced with seven judges from the Sandinista party Wednesday.
- A prosecutor in Panama faces either a fine or 6 months jail time for wiretapping the home of a colleague suspected of accepting bribes.
- A group of sixteen British tourists in Costa Rica were rescued after spending a night in the mountains of Santa María de Dota when one of the climbers broke her leg.
- The Peruvian government anticipates the economy will grow more than expected, revising its prediction up to 6 percent.
- Rusoro Mining Ltd expects to quadruple its output of gold exports from Venezuela by 2013, since the government relaxed export limits.
- The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Bolivia due to massive protests in the country’s southwest.
- A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Ecuador and Peru, but the epicenter was deep underground in a remote Amazonian region, and only one injury and light damage were reported.
- A declassified U.S. State Department cable shows that the Nixon Administration urged the use of death squads to threaten Uruguayan guerillas, political dissidents and their families after a U.S. official was kidnapped in the early 1970s.
- The U.S. government praised Argentina for its role in mediating the diplomatic row between Colombia and Venezuela, which have restored ties.
- Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo must take a paternity test to prove whether he has fathered a 2 year-old boy.
- A Learjet crashed at Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont airport Thursday, but none of the three passengers were seriously injured.
Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.