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An attack on the police school leaves 10 people dead and more than 60 injured. The material author has already been identified
Around 9:30 am there was an explosion with a car bomb inside the General Santander Cadet School in the south of the city. The accident left 21 people dead and more than 60 injured, which were taken to Tunal's Hospital, the Police Central Hospital, and the Olaya Polyclinic. The Ecuadorian government sympathized with what happened and expressed its condolences for the cadet Erika Chico Vallejo, a mortal victim, and for Carolina Sanango, wounded in the attack. Similarly, there were three Panamanian cadets affected in the event, who are in stable condition. In a press conference, President Iván Duque announced that there will be no immunity from this atrocious act that, in his words, is an "attack against the whole society."
¡Colombia unida contra el terrorismo! Mi solidaridad y la de todos los colombianos a los familiares de las víctimas, así como a la @PoliciaColombia. Este no es solo un ataque contra la juventud, la Fuerza Pública o nuestros policías; es un ataque contra toda la sociedad. pic.twitter.com/mRFIRLvT6l— Iván Duque (@IvanDuque) 17 de enero de 2019
The LAF 565 license plate vehicle reached the school's alternate entrance, where explosives dogs detected the ammunition. Given this, the driver accelerated entered violently and rolled over several agents who were in the entrance. 200 meters later the car, loaded with 80 kilos of pentolite, exploded. Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez identified the driver of the gray Nissan Patrol truck with the name of José Aldemar Rojas Rodríguez as the material author of this attack.
At 10:00 am, some relatives were alerted about what happened and approached the school to know the health state of those affected and, in certain cases, to talk with them. Adriana Rojas attended with her mother to know the status of Jairo Steven Rojas, his brother, and a police cadet.
In a statement exclusive to LatinAmerican Post, Rojas said that "My father called me and told me that a car bomb had exploited, we were concerned because of course, we have family there. My mother has already entered, and we are waiting to see what we can do". Judy Salazar, another of the people who entered the school, said they still did not know what they can do and if those affected could go home, due to damage in the bedrooms.
Despite the identification of Rojas Rodríguez, Nestor Rosania, director of the Center for Studies in Security and Peace and in dialogue with this media, says that this attack may be a direct retaliation by organizations such as the National Liberation Army or dissidents such as ‘Los Pelusos’ or ‘El Clan del Golfo’, groups that were severely affected by the effective actions of the Police during 2018.
Likewise, he tells LatinAmerican Post about the logistics and the broad level of intelligence to carry out the attack, mentioning topics such as shift schedules, the number of anti-explosive dogs in the entrances and exits of the school; The capacity of the explosivists to make a car bomb of such a level and he suggests that the objective of the attack may have been the cadets promotion ceremony that was scheduled.
Rosanía affirms that "the next step is the intelligence and counterintelligence within the institution, both the civilian and uniformed personnel, the best and update of the security equipment in the facilities and in the secondary and main entrances of the school, and the strengthening of military and police units at the local and national levels. "
Neighborhoods like Fatima, Muzu, Alqueria, and Venecia witnessed what happened and some houses in the sector were affected by the detonation. Hernán Darío Sánchez, a worker of the Ecovapor Workshop located in front of the school and the station of TransMilenio "General Santander", says that he was working with his companions in the back of the premises when they heard the explosion. "We thought that suddenly it had been some compressor with one of the machines that we worked with here, but no, we went out and saw the smoke in the sky and the people screaming, desperate." The police cordoned off the area in front of the school and the ambulances arrived to provide first aid."
On the other hand, the marches scheduled for Thursday were canceled, as an act of respect and solidarity with the victims.
LatinAmerican Post | Ángela María Agudelo Urrego
Translated from: 'Lo que se sabe de la explosión del carro bomba en la Escuela General Santander'