Police are on a red alert in Bogota after two homemade bombs exploded in front of offices of health intermediary Cafesalud in Colombia’s capital.
The bombs exploded almost simultaneously in different parts of the city on Wednesday night, causing material damage but no injuries.
The first explosion took place in the north of Bogota at around 9pm. This was followed by a second blast downtown.
According to the commandant of the Metropolitan Police of Bogota, general Hoover Penilla, two small homemade bombs were responsible for the damage.
Mayor Enrique Peñalosa announced that there were no injuries and nobody had claimed responsibility.
The bombs appear to have targeted a healthcare company, EPS Cafesalud. The first bomb exploded directly outside an administrative site of EPS Cafesalud, and the second bomb exploded in the vicinity of a second branch. The police are investigating this connection.
Interestingly, the same company was also the target of a similar attack in December. In that instance a guard was injured and pamphlets were found at the site of the explosion which read “You don’t play with healthcare.”
The company has been one of many health intermediaries facing bankruptcy due to widespread corruption and mismanagement.
There are also parallels between these explosions and a similar attack in Bogota in July last year. In that incident, two small homemade bombs exploded simultaneously at separate branches of a Colombian pension fund, Porvenir, injuring 11 people.
Speculation continues as to the identity and motive of those responsible. Attacks like these in the past have been used in retaliation of failed extortion attempts or by guerrilla groups trying to demonstrate weaknesses in Bogota authorities to protect its people.
But the mayor was quick to reassure the city’s residents.
“It’s always easy to place some homemade bombs in an act of terrorism but that doesn’t mean that the city in any way isn’t under control,” the mayor said.