Colombia’s largest guerrilla group released a press release blaming the Colombian government for placing a police facility next to civilian housing which it claims was the target of last Sunday’s devastating bus-bomb explosion in the mountain town of Toribio.
The FARC stated that it was the government who was “responsible for keeping military personnel and infrastructure among civilians.” The FARC also claimed that many of the houses damaged in the blast “had been rented by their owners or transferred to members of the police and the army.”
The statement lamented the death and injury of the civilians who bore the brunt of the attack, but reiterated that the government was “solely marked and responsible for any damage ” for stationing “military personnel and infrastructure among civilians.”
The FARC warned civilians not to serve as uniformed guides or employees of the military, not to travel in military or police vehicles, and not to enter or allow barracks close to their homes or gathering places. The FARC warned press and humanitarian vehicles to travel with “high visibility and distinctively low speed” in areas that are contested by the FARC and the military.
On July 9, FARC forces detonated a vehicle containing 220 pounds of explosives in a Toribio neighborhood killing at least three and wounding some 70 civilians. The blast damaged more than 200 homes. There have been an estimated 166 FARC attacks in the Cauca department so far this year.