Thursday’s explosion in Cali would have occurred due to a ‘drop by drop’ adjustment of lenders’ accounts and not due to a terrorist attack

The director of the Colombian National Police, General Jorge Luis Vargas, speaks about the international connections of the Clan del Golfo and its leader Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel”, at a press conference in Bogotá, Colombia, November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

Although the country is suffering from a wave of terrorist attacks by illegal armed groups such as the FARC and ELN dissidents, where the capital of Valle del Cauca has been one of the targets after a truck carrying agents of the Mobile Riot Squad (Esmad), last Friday, January 7, was attacked with explosives in the east of that city, the other detonation that was registered on Thursday, January 20, would not be another attack, but rather a ‘drop by drop’ retaliation by lenders.

This was stated by the director of the National Police, General Jorge Luis Vargas, at the end of the security council that was held in Cali where, among others, the first results of the investigation being carried out into this act of violence were delivered.

“One of the hypotheses they have nothing to do with an act of terrorism against the city of Cali. It is what preliminarily (have) the investigators of the National Police and that they share with the Technical Investigation Corps. They would deal with issues related, unfortunately also, to organized crime and loans in usury, known as ‘drop by drop’, he indicated.

The senior officer further explained that It was not a grenade either, but a spell or handmade explosive device that was used in what would be a settling of accounts between the illegal rentiers.

“It was a modified device that has parts of a fragmentation grenade with other explosives that make it improvised”, he claimed.

Vargas clarified that the investigations into this fact were in charge of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) of the Attorney General’s Office. and that the Criminal Investigation Section of the Police is supporting said work. Precisely, thanks to this joint work, they managed to determine that the perpetrators of this attack are related to illegal rentiers.

“The urgent acts are carried out by the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI). Information collected, which we are sharing with the CTI and with the prominent prosecutor, indicates that in this area there are illegal loans, the ‘drop by drop’, as they are called on the streets of Colombia, which would generate one of the main hypotheses that the Criminal Investigation Section is handling in support of the CTI,” he indicated.

He added that these bands of illegal lenders are not only affecting people who have no way of obtaining credit in the financial system.

“There is an obvious usury on individuals, but also on some of the locals who unfortunately ask for these loans with very high yields,” He said.

The Police Director further clarified that the only one affected, after the explosive element was activated, was a citizen who was passing by the place, since when the detonation occurred, an attempt was made to establish whether that same person had thrown the device explosive.

It must be remembered that the explosion of the device occurred in the vicinity of Calle 22 between Carreras 15 and 16, and since then it has been pointed out that it was perpetrated as a possible retaliation for not paying extortion.

“We are checking if there were any type of complaints of extortion or if it is a constraint against any person. The person who was injured has a wound on a finger of his left hand and some splinters on his legs, “the general reported at the time. Juan Carlos León, commander of the Cali Metropolitan Police.


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