Explosion kills 8 police officers in Corozal, Colombia
An explosion kills 8 police officers, adding to the tally of 40 killed Colombian officers since the beginning of 2022.
As Colombia's President Gustavo Petro works to put an end to decades of violent social grounds, an explosion in Corozal, northern Colombia, kills eight police officers, adding to the tally of 40 killed Colombian officers since the beginning of 2022.
The officers, as they were leaving a social welfare event in the southern department of Huila, were killed on Friday afternoon in the explosion, according to the authorities.
🇨🇴 | ÚLTIMA HORA | IMAGENES SENSIBLES: Ataque con explosivos deja al menos ocho policías muertos en Huila, Colombia. pic.twitter.com/0vNCVJLf8b— Alerta Mundial (@AIertaMundiaI) September 2, 2022
Colombian police divulged that the officers were on their way to San Luis, Neiva, a small town with a population of 350,000, when the explosion happened, and that the youngest officer is 18 years old.
Newly sworn-in president Gustavo Petro has pledged "total peace" in his country, vowing to end the vicious cycles of violence, in addition to making peace with the country's armed groups. Agrarian and tax reforms will also be made to tackle poverty, which is a factor that has contributed to the conflict.
Bogota's Ministry of Defense revealed that Petro and the commander of the military forces, General Helder Giraldo, arrived in Neiva night to meet with the Colombian security forces, with the Defense Ministry and the office of the high commissioner for peace releasing a joint statement saying that "total peace" meant refusal to remain silent in the face of crime.
Read more: Colombia to restart peace talks with ELN
Colombia's Petro suspends arrest warrants against liberation movement
In August, Petro, announced that he was suspending arrest warrants and extradition requests for members of the National Liberation Army (NLA), a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group that has been involved in the liberation of Colombia from US imperialism since 1964, when it was founded by radical Catholic priests.
Petro's efforts come as a step to reignite peace negotiations aiming at ending a 60-year-old conflict in the country.
This move is an integral part of the new Colombian President's campaign, as he pledged to bring "total peace" to Colombia. Petro assumed office on August 7 and was a member of the M-19 insurgency.
Representatives of the NLA have remained in Cuba since previous talks, as they were called off in 2019. It is worth noting that Colombia, like the US and Canada, designates the NLA as a terrorist organization.
According to a Human Rights Watch report, fighting as well as threats from armed groups forced over 4,000 people to flee Ituango in July last year.
Colombia’s armed conflict lasted nearly six decades and killed at least 450,000 people, the majority of whom were civilians, between 1985 and 2018.
Read more: Colombian President offers multilateral ceasefire to armed groups