FARC Car Bomb Kills Two Colombian Police Officers; Separate Attack Kills Two More

An aerial view of the Rio Cauca, Colombia.
An aerial view of the Rio Cauca, Colombia.
An aerial view of the Rio Cauca, Colombia.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — A car bomb believed to have been planted by Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) guerrillas killed three police officers and left two civilians wounded in the southwestern department of Cauca.

Regional police commander Gen. Orlando Pineda said that the bomb exploded Tuesday night outside the police station in the small town of Jambalo, with the FARC rebels attacking the post with homemade mortars soon after. Along with the police station, fifteen adjoining homes were also damaged.

Besides the three police officers killed, a woman and her seven-year-old child were injured in the fighting, but both are in stable condition.

It is unknown whether any FARC rebels were injured or killed in the fighting, but Colombian officials said that the army and air force have secured the town to prevent any other attacks.

Further north in Colombia’s Chocó department, two police officers were also killed by alleged members of the FARC during a raid early Wednesday morning. Two other officers were injured in the attack.

The guerrillas fled after the attack and the town is safe for residents, according to Martín Marmolejo, communications chief for the Medio San Juan municipality. The attack was the first such assault on a police station in the area in recent memory, he added.

The attacks by the FARC  in the region are revenge attacks for a number of operations by the security forces in the area, during which they seized tons of marijuana and cocaine, Regional police commander Gen. Orlando Pineda said.

Colombian security forces have recently been pursuing FARC guerrillas into the nearby mountains  and have killed many FARC leaders over the past year, and arrested  others. Last September, during an army bombing raid, FARC military commander Jorge Briceño, better known as Mono Jojoy, was killed.

The FARC are the last remaining guerrilla army in Latin America and have been fighting the Colombian government since 1964. Over the past decade their size and capabilities have been reduced as Colombia’s government launched a military offensive first under former-President Álvaro Uribe and continued under current President Juan Manuel Santos.

In March, the Colombian military killed the head of security for FARC commander Alfonso Cano.

However, according to Colombia’s Semana newspapaer, the recent attacks and kidnapping by the FARC show a resurgence in the group.

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Image: Eutoxeres @ Flickr.

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