Accessibility links

Breaking News

Colombian Governor Survives 2 Armed Attacks in 24 Hours

Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, governor of the central Meta department.

A Colombian governor claimed on Tuesday he had survived two armed attacks in the space of 24 hours in a region rife with dissident left-wing guerrillas.

The first attack happened on Sunday when "the vehicle I was traveling in was hit by a sniper," Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, governor of the central Meta department, told W Radio.

On Monday afternoon "an explosive device" was detonated as a caravan of vehicles Zuluaga was traveling in passed by.

Zuluaga escaped both incidents unharmed but an adult and a 6-year-old child were injured by "the shards from the explosive device," he said.

The liberal governor said he was warned about a third planned attack "at a site where we were intending to go."

The region was the former bastion of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the rebel group that laid down arms and formed a communist political party following an historic peace deal in 2016.

However, some dissident guerrillas refused to give up their struggle and continue to operate throughout Colombia's most lawless regions, where other armed groups also compete for control of the lucrative drug-trafficking and illegal mining and logging markets.

Local people there are often the victims of violence and extortion.

Throughout its half century conflict with the Colombian state, FARC rebels regularly targeted political leaders that governed in their areas of influence.

Experts accuse the government of leaving certain regions to the mercy of armed groups since the peace deal was signed.