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11 Jan, 2023 18:16

VP dodges assassination attempt

Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez said her security team found a “high-powered” nailbomb placed on the drive to her home
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.

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.