Escobar's hand seen in Bogota bomb atrocity
Monday 01 February 1993
At least 20 shoppers, four of them children, have so far died from the remote-controlled car bomb that rocked Bogota's 9th Avenue shopping centre at the peak shopping hour on Saturday. Around 70 were badly injured.
There was no mistaking the bombers' intention. They parked a car, loaded with 220lb of high explosive, outside a stationer's and bookshop where parents and children were making last-minute purchases of school books and equipment before today's resumption of classes. Minutes later, the bombers detonated the car by remote-control, killing eight shoppers instantly and fatally wounding 12 more.
'Intelligence information indicates that the narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar and what is left of his murderous organisation are responsibile for this murderous act,' President Gaviria, on a visit to Ecuador, said yesterday. 'But the government and the citizenry will not let themselves be intimidated.'
'The Medellin cartel is trying to cause panic among the population,' said one Bogota policeman. Escobar founded and heads the cartel, which flooded the US and Europe with cocaine in the Seventies and Eighties.
Colombian television showed a distraught woman, as she stepped among debris and bodies looking for her son, shouting into the camera: 'You miserable . . . My God, why haven't they caught him.' There was no doubt she was referring to Escobar, who, at least until recently, was still considered something of a Robin Hood figure in poor areas of his home province, Antioquia, where he is assumed to be in hiding from a force of thousands of police and troops dedicated to finding him.
Almost daily killings of policemen, coupled with massive pay- offs, have allowed him to remain free since he escaped from a luxury prison, known as The Cathedral, outside Medellin last July. It emerged he had been running the prison himself, with no shortage of women visitors or liquor, as well as satellite phones and fax machines to continue his 'business'.
A smaller bomb that went off yesterday near the home of Escobar's elderly parents in Medellin, Colombia's second city, caused no casualties but smacked of retaliation, either by a rival cartel or renegade lawmen, against the previous night's atrocity.
In his declaration of war on 15 January, Escobar demanded the same rights as the country's politically-motivated left-wing guerrillas. He promised to sow panic until the government agreed.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Iain Duncan Smith's expenses credit card is suspended after he runs up £1,000 debt to taxpayer
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck to divorce and end their 10-year marriage
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...
£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...