Colombia VP says she was targeted with roadside bomb

Jan 9, 2023, 10:18 PM | Updated: Jan 10, 2023, 12:42 pm

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s Vice President said on Tuesday that her security team found more than seven kilos of explosives buried next to a rural road that leads to her home in the southwestern province of Cauca. She described the incident as an assassination attempt.

Francia Marquez shared a police report on her Twitter account which says a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the bomb, which was made of ammonium nitrate, powdered aluminum and shrapnel, and that anti-explosives officers blew it up in a controlled explosion on Monday.

The vice president, who has previously faced death threats, described it as a new assassination attempt that won’t stop her advocacy for peace and equality.

Marquez is Colombia’s first Black vice president. She was elected last September along with President Gustavo Petro, an economist and former guerilla fighter, who is attempting to raise taxes on the wealthy, increase government spending and start peace talks with the nation’s remaining rebel groups.

Before she entered politics, Marquez led protests against mining companies and illegal miners operating in Cauca and was forced to leave her home village of Suarez, due to death threats.

The environmental activist rose to fame last year when she participated in presidential primaries, and helped President Petro secure votes in the nation’s Afro Colombian communities and also among women and young people inspired by her life story. Marquez currently heads the Ministry of Equality, a new agency that seeks to ensure women and ethnic minorities have equal access to the government’s social programs.

“We will not stop working day by day to achieve the total peace that Colombia dreams of and requires” she wrote on Twitter.

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Colombia VP says she was targeted with roadside bomb