An explosion in the south of the capital Bogotá left eight people injured on Monday, June 19. The blast, reportedly caused by a thrown hand grenade, occurred in the impoverished Guacamayas neighborhood (San Cristobal district) early in the day. Police have reportedly arrested a suspect but the motive behind the attack remains unclear; it may have been perpetrated in revenge by a criminal group or for a personal vendetta.
The Guacamayas bombing came less than 48 hours after an attack that occurred in a women’s restroom in the in the Centro Andino shopping center in Bogotá, killing three people and injuring several others. The government has not yet made any official statement regarding the motive for the attack, nor the group responsible. However, President Juan Manuel Santos has indicated that it may have been an attempt to derail the implementation of the peace agreement between the government and the (currently demobilizing) FARC guerrilla group. Both the FARC and the ELN guerrilla group have condemned the attack.
While Colombia is no stranger to bombings and other violence, attacks are relatively rare in the capital and attacks against purely civilian targets, such as a shopping mall, have been virtually unheard of. Violence carried out by the country’s numerous armed groups (leftist guerrillas, organized crime groups, narcotraffickers) typically targets security forces, infrastructure, and the fossil fuels industry.
Individuals throughout Colombia are advised to report any suspicious activity or objects to the relevant authorities. Due to the presence of armed groups, many Western governments advise against travel to various regions of the country, particularly rural zones.