Eight policemen were killed Wednesday in San Pedro de Urabá in the northern part of Colombia’s Antioquia province. In a subsequent statement from the Defense Ministry, officials from the Colombian government attributed the bombing attacks to the “Clan del Golfo,” a paramilitary group formerly referred to as “Los Urabeños.”
“They were murdered when it’s presumed that members from the Clan del Golfo, which is the most probable theory we have at this time, made an explosive device in San Pedro de Urabá,” said Colombia’s Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas in a press conference Wednesday. “During the attack, three terrorists from this criminal organization also died.”
The Clan del Golfo is known for sending large amounts of cocaine from that part of the country towards the U.S. and some European markets, authorities have said.
President Juan Manuel Santos took to Twitter to say: “I totally reject the cowardly attack against our heroes at the Colombian Police Force in Urabá. All of my solidarity with the victims’ families. We are going with absolute force against those responsible for these actions.”
Rechazo total al cobarde ataque contra héroes de nuestra @PoliciaColombia en el Urabá. Toda mi solidaridad con familiares de las víctimas. Vamos con absoluta contundencia tras los responsables de estos actos. https://t.co/rDxNImOL25
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) April 11, 2018
The officers killed were identified as: Fabio Sarmiento, Néver Sierra, John González, José Pérez, Darlin Rodríguez, Jorge Pacheco, Giovanny Rodríguez and José Saade.
Just a day after FARC head Jesús Santrich was arrested on an Interpol warrant for drug trafficking charges, this is another sign that Colombia’s transition to peace is anything but peaceful. Government officials continue to struggle to get paramilitary groups to put down their weapons and reintegrate into society after decades of successfully building illicit industries based off drugs, terrorism, and mining.