At around 10 p.m. Friday evening, a bomb exploded in the Puerto Rellena area of Cali, Colombia, as a truck carrying Colombian riot police from ESMAD passed, injuring 13 police officers on Saturday morning. The Marxist terrorist group ELN immediately took responsibility by publishing an article saying
“We inform that at 9:55 pm on January 7, our units carried out an action against the ESMAD police in Carrera 46 with Calle 25 in the town of Cali, in the Puerto Resistencia sector, with the result of 13 police officers injured. Our forces have withdrawn safely.
President Ivan Duque condemned the attack and ordered immediate security operations against the ELN. “It is clear that their interest is to interfere in the political process this year, with the support of the socialist and communist dictators. Colombia will not bow now and never to terrorism, and our government will never reward terrorists ”, he said in a Tweet.
the city of cali announced a reward of up to 70 million Colombian pesos (approximately $ 17,400) for information to identify, capture and prosecute those responsible.
the ELN, “Ejército de Liberación Nacional” (National Liberation Army) is a vaguely criminal group in Colombia that originally started out as a communist insurgency, but over the decades has evolved into a mafia-like group that thrives on kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking, especially in rural areas. The ELN continues to use the communist concept of “Class Struggle” as a justification for its violence. Insightful crime calls the ELN Colombia’s most powerful criminal group, filling a void left when most FARC rebels struck a peace deal with the government.
The Colombian riot police, ESMAD (Escuadrón Antidisturbios) is controversial for abuses committed by some but not all of its members.