VP dodges assassination attempt
Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez said on Tuesday that her security team had foiled an attempt to assassinate her with a roadside bomb. The discovery came days after President Gustavo Petro announced a major truce in the country’s decades-long armed conflict.
The device was discovered on a road leading to Marquez’s family home in the village of Yolombo on Monday, the vice president wrote in a Twitter post. Law enforcement agents carried out a controlled demolition of the device shortly after finding it, she added.
Marquez posted photographs of the device, along with a police report stating that it contained between seven and nine kilograms of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, compounds that when mixed create a powerful explosive called ammonal. The package also contained “dust and shrapnel,” the report stated.
Integrantes de mi equipo de seguridad hallaron un artefacto con más de 7 kilos de material explosivo en la vía que conduce a mi residencia familiar en la vereda de Yolombó, en Suarez, Cauca. El mismo fue destruido de manera controlada por personal anti explosivos de la SIJIN. pic.twitter.com/gUpYQVOfFD— Francia Márquez Mina (@FranciaMarquezM) January 10, 2023
A former environmental activist, Marquez has already survived an assassination attempt, when gunmen opened fire on a meeting she was attending in 2019.
Marquez was elected alongside former leftist guerilla fighter Gustavo Petro in June, with the pair heading up Colombia’s first left-wing government. On New Year’s Eve, Petro announced a truce deal between the government and five major armed groups.
These groups, along with dozens more, have fought for political power and control of cocaine production since the mid-1960s in a conflict that has claimed an estimated 450,000 lives, according to a report published last July by a government-appointed truth commission.
It is currently unclear who was behind the attempted bomb attack on Marquez.