Colombia: eight police officers killed in a bomb attack

Colombia: eight policemen killed in bomb attack< /p> UPDATE DAY

Eight police officers were killed Friday in an “explosive attack” in southwestern Colombia, announced the president of the South American country, Gustavo Petro. 

“I strongly condemn the bombing that killed 8 police officers in San Luis, Huila. Solidarity with their families”, he wrote on his Twitter account.

The attack took place in a rural area located more than two hours from Neiva, the largest town in the department of Huila.

It was an “attack on a police patrol”, a police spokeswoman told AFP, adding that explosives had been used and that the police had been killed by “gun fire”.

The authorities have not yet provided any information on the perpetrators of these acts.

The most serious attack of the Petro era

This attack is the most serious committed against public forces in Colombia since the arrival at the presidency of Gustavo Petro at the beginning of August.

Saying he wanted to break with the old doctrine of the “internal enemy”, the first left-wing president in the country's history replaced the entire military command on August 12, including the police, emphasizing that his mission would henceforth be “the reduction of violence, crime, and a substantial increase in respect for human rights and public freedoms”.

With this in mind, he wants to implement a policy of “total peace”, aimed at finding a compromise with the drug traffickers who plague the country and put an end to the armed conflict that has lasted for almost 60 years.

In particular, he offered “legal benefits” to members of the Clan del Golfo, the most powerful criminal gang in the country, in exchange for their surrender.

As well as ongoing negotiations with drug traffickers, Mr. Petro is set to resume peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN , Guevarist), the last recognized guerrilla in Colombia, which is financed also thanks to drug trafficking.

“These events express a clear sabotage of total peace. I asked the authorities to travel to the territory to resume the investigation, ”assailed the president on Twitter.