12/05/1990
Bomb in Quirigua Neighborhood

The versions indicate that the dynamite was in the back of the automobile with the false license plate NT-1096. Photograph: El Espectador

As a result of the two attacks, there was a hospital emergency in Bogotá. The hospitals received around 180 injured people. Photograph: El Espectador

Men working at Pablo Escobar’s service detonated a car bomb in the Quirigua neighborhood in Bogotá. The victims were mainly passers-by in this busy commercial area. Another two narcoterrorism attacks occurred on the same day.

At 4:15 pm on May 12, 1990, a car bomb loaded with 80 kg of dynamite was detonated in Quirigua neighborhood in northwest Bogotá. The explosion occurred the day before Mother’s Day, when the sector’s stores were full of people buying gifts for their mothers. Fifteen people died in the attack, including seven children. Around 150 people were injured, most of them passers-by.

The blast reached houses located three blocks away. Three buildings were destroyed. Ten vehicles were also considerably damaged. Most of the victims were people of limited resources who lost their property in this narcoterrorism attack.

The Colombian government indicated that the Medellín Cartel was the perpetrator of this crime. In response to the attack, Horacio Serpa, the Interior Minister at the time, said “The state will keep fighting and there will be no kind of dialog with these criminals. This is stubborn and demented behavior that is causing so many tears and so much suffering for the Colombian people.”

A Day of Terror

The same day, another car bomb was detonated in the car park of the old Niza shopping center, also in Bogotá. Four people died in the attack and 20 more were injured. In another attack, on Fifth Street in Cali, 11 people died and 46 were injured from the explosion of a car containing 100 kg of dynamite.

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