Television station targeted in bomb attack

Bogotá, April 15, 2002—A rocket exploded late Friday, April 12, near the studios of RCN Televisión in the Colombian capital, CPJ has learned. Local authorities said the station was intentionally targeted.

The blast destroyed a brick wall surrounding the offices of a telephone company located less than 40 feet from the station in an industrial neighborhood in south Bogotá, said Sgt. Alberto Cantillo, a spokesman for the city’s police department.

The rocket was fired at a range of less than 1,000 feet (300 meters) from the station by a man who was driven to the area on the back of a motorcycle, Cantillo said.

No one was injured in the attack, which authorities blamed on the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

RCN’s sprawling facility contains executive offices as well as television and news studios, said Rocío Arias, executive producer of RCN Televisión news.

Authorities also blame the FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel army, for a recent wave of urban bombings, including an explosion earlier this month in the city of Villavicencio that killed 12 people.