Colombia attributes car bomb attack near Venezuela to leftist guerrilla

CUCUTA, Colombia – The Colombian military announced on Wednesday intelligence agents are searching for members of a leftist guerrilla after a car bomb injured 36 on Tuesday near the border with Venezuela.

Diego Molano, Colombia’s defense minister, said the main suspects are urban terrorists who are members of The National Liberation Army, or ELN, a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla founded in the 60s. The attack, which included two explosions, was at the 30th Colombian Army brigade in Cúcuta.

The U.S. embassy in Bogotá announced Tuesday on Twitter that U.S. military personnel was on the base but there were no reports of serious injuries.

The ELN hasn’t responded to the Colombian government’s accusation. Intelligence agents identified one of the ELN suspects as José Benigno Guzmán Mora, better known as Julián. He allegedly leads ELN’s urban terrorism arm in the Cúcuta area.

Colombian intelligence agents are searching for José Benigno Guzmán Mora as one of the suspects of an attack on Tuesday at an army brigade in Cucuta, Colombia. Photo credit: Colombian military (Copyright 2020 by WPLG - All rights reserved.)

In 2019, the guerrilla did claim responsibility for a car bomb attack killing 21 and injuring more than 68 at the General Santander National Police Academy. One guerrilla member died during the 2019 attack, but it’s unclear if it was an intentional suicide.

Related report: Protesters in Cali

This report was filmed before activists announced on Tuesday that they were suspending road blocks and marches across the country.

Torres contributed to this report from Miami.

About the Authors:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.