Colombian authorities on Tuesday captured seven men allegedly responsible for the May bombing which targeted former minister of the interior, Fernando Londoño, and left two dead and 48 seriously injured.
The former minister, who suffered a lacerated lung and a perforated eardrum, had attributed the bombing in Colombia’s capital Bogota on the FARC, but authorities have been careful about pinning the blame on the guerrilla group for lack of evidence.
The country’s prosecutor general, Eduardo Montealegre, has said it is a credible premise that the arrested men operate in the same way as a criminal gang, but it has not been proven that they are members of the FARC.
The police report said the men were arrested for “aggravated homicide, terrorism, conspiracy and use of children for criminal purposes.”
A 16-year old suspect, who is thought to be part of the Cali criminal gang “El Parche de Zuley,” is accused of sticking the bomb on the armoured car which was carrying Loñdono and his four escorts. The minor, who is also being investigated for drug-trafficking activities, illegal posession of firearms, theft and homicides, was identified when he was made to wear a wig according to Caracol radio.
The criminals are thought to have begun monitoring and collecting information on the movements of the former minister in April, almost a month before the attack.
The alleged ringleader of the gang is Diego Fernando Tabares, alias “Lucho,” who was sentenced to 34-years in prison for his membership of the R-15, a sentence which was suspended in 2009 due to ill-health reasons. “Lucho” i was also a member of a kidnapping gang “Los Pelacos” responsible for kidnapping the then minister of energy in 2003.
On his Twitter account, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos congratulated the police on their capture of the “common criminals.”