Medellin authorities said Monday that they have arrested a local crime lord held responsible for a 2001 bombing that killed nine and injured 133 in Colombia’s second largest city. Henry Santiago Serna, alias “Henry,” is due to serve a 40-year sentence for the bomb attack in Medellin’s Parque Lleras which killed nine people and injured 133 more. Serna, who at the time was the leader of the urban “La Terraza” militia has been hunted down by authorities since a Medellin court sentenced him to 40 years imprisonment, a fine and a 10-year ban from exercising public rights and public office. A second suspect was condemned alongside Serna for physically placing the explosives, while Serna was the intellectual author of the crime. In a press conference, General Jose Angel Mendoza Guzman, commander of the Medellin police department which carried out the arrest, stated that although the authorities have been on his tail since 2008, Serna’s whereabouts were only recently discovered to be in the San Diego neighborhood in the east of Medellin. Following more than two months of investigations into his residence and frequent hangouts, he was finally arrested in a shopping center in the area. The bombing for which Serna will be serving time occurred at 10:05PM on May 17, 2001 in Parque Lleras, a park in the affluent Medellin neighborhood of El Poblado. The car bomb was positioned outside the square’s Orlean’s restaurant using 20 kilos of explosives and causing, along with eight fatalities and more than a hundred wounded, significant material damage spanning a 300 meter radius. The bombing is thought to have been an act of retaliation by La Terraza against security forces for actions carried out by the authorities against the group. Serna’s band of criminals, which had international connections, was known for committing acts of terrorism such as car bomb and package bomb attacks, commissioning murders and kidnappings, and forced disappearances. When captured, the 47-year old was allegedly still heavily involved in criminal activities such as the trading of narcotics and extortion in the business and public transport sectors.
- Police press release
- 40 años de cárcel a terrorista del Lleras (El Mundo)
- Capturado alias ‘Henry, responsable de atentado en Medellín en 2001 (Caracol Radio)
- Capturan a responsable de carrobomba en Medellín en el 2001 (El País)