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Hundreds Mourn Slain Mortar Victims
AP ^ | 8/10/02 | Andrew Selsky

Posted on 08/10/2002 4:37:04 AM PDT by ppaul

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Mourners in ragged clothing wept and laid flowers Friday over 14 caskets containing the bodies of people killed when a rebel mortar struck Bogota's skid row during this week's presidential inauguration. Hundreds of people milled around the caskets, which were laid out on the sidewalk of this impoverished neighborhood. Seven of the coffins contained bodies that had not been identified.

One woman looked among the caskets for the body of her dead son, who was apparently decapitated in the blast. Peering through the glass of the casket bearing her son's name, Maria Acevedo said to no one in particular, "That's not him." She hoped to identify him by a scar on his left leg.

One young boy sniffed glue from a Coca Cola bottle as he stared with empty eyes at one of the corpses. The smell of rotting garbage and marijuana filled the air.

Nineteen people died Wednesday when rebels launched mortars into the area around the national congress moments before President Alvaro Uribe was sworn in.

Two of the homemade mortars hit the palace, while another fell on a middle-class neighborhood and a fourth hit this shantytown, called Cartucho, a few blocks from the Congress. Fourteen people were killed in Cartucho. The other five were killed in the middle-class neighborhood.

About 800 mourners formed an orderly procession in the cold drizzle to follow the caskets, topped with flowers, to a church two blocks away for a Mass led by Bogota Archbishop Pedro Rubiano.

Police dogs had swept the faded yellow colonial-style church for bombs before the ceremony, and military police wearing camouflage fatigues and carrying assault rifles stood guard.

About 2,000 people attended the funeral Mass, including Bogota's mayor and Vice President Francisco Santos.

Rubiano criticized the "violent terrorists" who had launched Wednesday's attacks, which have been blamed on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

"They say they do it because they want to change the country, because they want justice," Rubiano said. "But they do the greatest injustice by killing their brothers."

Police found more than 100 other mortars ready to be launched in a house just over a mile from the seat of government after the attack. It was not immediately clear why they weren't also fired.

"Despite the terrible situation we have gone through in the past few days, we can't lose faith in God or in Colombia," Rubiano said.

After the Mass, Santos spoke to reporters outside the church. "The message from the FARC is very clear, the war is against civilians."

He compared the FARC to Pablo Escobar, the notorious Colombian drug king whose henchmen kidnapped Santos in the late 1980s, when the Medellin Cartel waged a brutal terrorist war against the state.

Some 3,500 people die every year in Colombia's 38-year civil war. Uribe was swept into office on promises to crush the rebels on the battlefield and force them into peace talks.

Also Friday, fighting among outlaw groups for control of a gold mine and cocaine crops in northern Colombia killed 50 fighters. Four policemen died in an ambush in the central part of the country and two more rebels were killed by army soldiers near the southern town of San Vicente del Caguan.

Link to article HERE.


BOGOTA, COLOMBIA, 9-AUG-2002: Coffins are carried through the El Cartucho slum of Bogota August 9, 2002 two days after a mortar attack on the presidential palace as hardline independent Alvaro Uribe was sworn in as the country's president. Twenty-one people were killed and some 70 others injured.

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TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alvarouribe; attack; bogota; cartucho; centralamerica; colombia; columbia; elections; farc; funeral; latinamericalist; leftists; massmurder; revolution; revolutionaries; terror; terrorism; terrorists
Twenty-one people were killed and some 70 others injured

Horrible. Horrible.

One young boy sniffed glue from a Coca Cola bottle as he stared with empty eyes at one of the corpses. The smell of rotting garbage and marijuana filled the air.

I am printing out and saving this article.
The next time some leftist puke starts whining about how terrible life is in the U.S., I'm gonna rub his nose in it.


1 posted on 08/10/2002 4:37:04 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: ppaul
This is truly terrible. In addition, I read in the Spanish press that FARC, which uses homemade rockets that are basically propane cylinders fired from a launcher, is now suspected of having gotten training from the IRA in this attack. The rockets were evidently launched by remote control (probably cell-phones), which is a new technique for FARC but one which the IRA (and the Basque group ETA) have used for some time now.

2 posted on 08/10/2002 5:13:23 AM PDT by livius
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To: Diogenesis
ping.
3 posted on 08/10/2002 6:47:05 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: *Latin_America_List
Index Bump
4 posted on 08/10/2002 9:28:51 AM PDT by Free the USA
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