Car bomb explodes in front of television and radio offices

New York, February 22, 2005—A car bomb exploded Sunday night outside the offices of RCN Television and Radio in Cali, Colombia’s third-largest city. A security guard and sound engineer were injured in the blast, which significantly damaged the facilities.

About 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of explosives were packed into a blue Renault car and detonated at around 10:15 p.m. on a street in front the RCN offices, according to local press reports.

An unidentified individual parked the vehicle in front of the outlet’s facilities and then left the scene riding a motorcycle, Johana Amaya, a correspondent with RCN Television in Cali told CPJ today.

Sound engineer Ricardo Luna and security guard Jaime Alberto Martínez were slightly wounded in the explosion. RCN did not stop broadcasting since most of the damage occurred in the administrative offices.

Two suspects were arrested today and are being investigated in connection with the attack, RCN Radio reported. Authorities have not yet determined who is behind the explosion, but the Colombian army said rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) might be responsible.

Local police offered a reward for any information leading to the identification or capture of those responsible.

“We condemn this attack on and call on authorities to identify and prosecute all those responsible,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper.

This is not the first attack against RCN. On April 12, 2002, a rocket exploded near the studios of RCN Television in the capital, Bogotá.