The United Nations (U.N.) condemns the Thursday car bomb terrorist attack in Colombia’s capital city Bogota, which damaged numerous buildings, including the offices of national broadcaster Caracol Radio, and injured nine people.
Christian Salazar, Colombian representative of the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, declared his solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack and said he was relieved that the incident did not reult in any fatalities.
Salazar called on Colombian authorities to “investigate in a prompt and efficient manner this serious act, with the end of arresting, trying and sentencing its authors.”
Colombian Prosecutor General Guillermo Mendoza Diago told Caracol Radio that he believed the attack was aimed at the media and this constitutes “an act of intimidation against all communications mediums.”
Responding to Mendoza’s statement, Salazar commented that “freedom of the press and the right to information are fundamental columns inside a democratic state.”
Journalists from Caracol Radio, some of whom were in the building making a live broadcast when the blast occurred at 5.30AM Thursday, said they would not be intimidated and that it was their duty to continue reporting.
Colombian police announced that the attack was carried out by using a grey 1994 Chevrolet Swift, which was laden with 50 kilos of anfo – ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel oil. It is thought that the bomb was activated using a cell phone, and that there were cylinders of gas inside the car.
Authorities confirmed that the owner of the vehicle involved in the attack had reported it stolen in July, after being attacked by three women in Plaza de las Americas and drugged with scopolamine. Authorities also confirmed that the vehicle had been fitted with false license plates.
Police commander General Orlando Paez Varon said it was too early to know who perpetrated the perpetrators of the attack, which damaged 1,200 buildings in the area.
Following an extraordinary security council meeting called to discuss the attack Bogota Mayor Samuel Moreno announced that Bogota will be on lock-down for the rest of the day and over the coming weekend. Police checkpoints will be installed at all roads entering and exiting the city.
Prior to entering the meeting Moreno said no reward would be offered for information on the incident.
The attack comes less than a week after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was sworn into office. Santos attended the scene early Thursday morning. He labelled the attack cowardly and said “We will not play the terrorists’ game, we will not fall for that trick.”