A farmer from northeastern Colombia was arrested in a military operation on Wednesday on charges he participated in a car bomb attack that killed 22 people in the capital Bogota earlier this week.
The suspect, Wilson Arebalo, had voluntarily reported himself to authorities in the town of Arauca a few days ago after hearing he had been linked to the purchase of the car that was used in the January 17 attack by an alleged ELN guerrilla, his mother told Caracol Radio.
The milk farmer was allegedly let go after leaving testimony and returned to his farm in Arauquita, but was captured early Wednesday morning in a major military operation on charges he would an ELN guerrilla called “Chaco.”
Arebalo is the second arrested suspect linked to the attack. A third detainee who was initially blamed for involvement in the terrorist attack turned out to have been arrested on unrelated charges.
The first arrest was made less than 24 hours after the worst terrorist attack in Colombia since 2003, but there are doubts about the suspect’s guilt.
The investigation into the ELN attack has been marred by irregularities, and both chief prosecutor Nestor Humberto Martinez and Defense Minister Guillermo have been caught lying to the public in their apparent attempt to deliver quick results.
President Ivan Duque, who said who wouldn’t resume peace talks the day after the attack, has gotten himself into a diplomatic fix after refusing to recognize international agreements related to ending peace talks.
Instead of allowing rebel peace negotiators to reunite with their troops, the president called on host country Cuba to arrest and extradite the guerrilla chiefs.
Social organizations and moderate politicians have called on Duque to continue talks, but this call has fallen on deaf ears; the president has refused to talk since taking office last year.