Suspected FARC guerrillas used 100 kilos (more than 200 lbs.) of dynamite to blast a hole in a stretch of the Pan-American Highway in southwestern Colombia, authorities said Tuesday.
The attack targeted a part of the road between the municipalities of Santander de Quilichao and Mondomo in Cauca province, officials said, blaming the explosion on the Jacobo Arenas Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
“At 11:00 p.m. (Monday) they planted an explosive device on the highway that caused material damage. Traffic is restricted. The highway patrol has left one lane open for vehicles of less than 8 tons to drive along,” the Region 4 police commander, Gen. Omar Rubiano, said on La W Radio.
Some light vehicles are beginning to go through the small space that was not damaged by the explosion, but the many freight trucks that use this main artery connecting Colombia’s Pacific coast with Ecuador remain blocked.
Colombia’s southwest region has seen a resurgence of violence in recent weeks attributed to the FARC, which through ambushes, attacks with explosives and rebel squads has killed at least half a dozen members of the security forces.
The FARC and the government of Juan Manuel Santos have been negotiating a political way out of the internal conflict in Havana since November 2012, while the armed conflict continues across Colombian territory.