Thursday, July 9, 2015

A City Under Siege?

A soldier, automatic rifle in hand, stands watch on Calle 26 today.
 If Bogotá feels as tho it's under siege these days, there's a reason for that. Two small bombs, called 'petardos' exploded last week, injuring more than a dozen people. The bombings may have been intended to mark the 50th anniversary of the ELN, who are Colombia's second guerrilla group. Other small bombs set off on central Bogotá plazas injured nobody but scattered ELN literature.

In fact, today authorities arrested some 15 people suspected of participation in the explosions. Many of the arrestees turned out to be leftist activists, including some who had contracts with the city of Bogotá (whose mayor Gustavo Petro happens to be an ex-M19 Guerrilla leader). The fingering of leftists will produce accusations that a witch hunt is going on. Authorities say they identified the suspects via information in cellphones used as triggers in other petardos which did not explode. Let's hope they make the evidence public so that others, including the media, can examine its veracity.

Whenever dramatic, violent events like this one make headlines and turn out the high security, it's impossible not to observe that mundane dangers, such as air pollution, malnutrition and traffic accidents, kill and injure many more Bogotanos, but never generate such an official response or public concern.

Soldiers on guard in Teusaquillo.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

1 comment:

Pete said...

Mate I love your blog keep us posted on life in the big smoke!