FARC Blamed for Bomb in Colombian Drug Trafficking Port

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    A bomb in the Colombian port city of Tumaco left at least seven police and civilians dead, and up to 70 injured, in what authorities said was a guerrilla attack on a police station in a strategic drug shipment departure point.

    Police said the explosive device that detonated February 1, in Tumaco, Nariño, on Colombia’s southwest Pacific coast, was placed on a motorcycle or a large tricycle of the type used to transport passengers and cargo around the small city.

    Interior Minister German Vargas Lleras blamed the attack on the 29th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Semana magazine reports. Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said the FARC was working in the area, in a drug trafficking alliance with neo-paramilitary group the Rastrojos. Nobody has taken credit for the bomb, which injured 36 police and 34 civilians.

    Two people have been captured in connection with the incident, according to authorities, and the police put out a $45,000 reward for information leading to more captures.

    InSight Crime Analysis

    Tumaco has become one of the key hubs for the collection and shipping of processed cocaine from Nariño and surrounding areas. Nariño is home to large number of coca and poppy crops, producing cocaine and heroin. The FARC and the Rastrojos are but two of the groups vying for control of the city. Others include the National Liberation Army (ELN) and various neo-paramilitary groups.

    There is no evidence to suggest that the Rastrojos had anything to do with the car bomb. Their relationship with the FARC is limited purely to drug trafficking and it would not be in their interests to start attacking the security forces in this way. In some parts of the country the Rastrojos have agreements with the FARC, while in others there have been clashes. Where it serves both groups’ interests they will cooperate, but there is no strategic alliance between them.

    (More coverage in El Tiempo, W Radio, El Pais de Cali. See local video report in the aftermath of the bomb, below.)

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