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Colombia VP Francia Marquez says explosive found near her home


Colombia’s Vice President Francia Marquez speaks during a symbolic inauguration ceremony in her hometown, in Suarez, Colombia August 13, 2022. REUTERS/Mariana Greif/File Photo

Colombia’s Vice President Francia Marquez, the first Black woman to hold that post in her country, said on Tuesday her security team had found an explosive near her family home.

Marquez, an environmental activist who rose to prominence for her opposition to gold mining in her home province, took office with President Gustavo Petro last year on promises of social change and an end to Colombia’s conflict.

“Members of my security team found an artifact with more than 7 kilos of explosive material on the road to my family residence in the area of Yolombo in Suarez, Cauca,” Marquez said on Twitter, adding the device was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

The vice president’s Twitter post included images of what appeared to be an improvised explosive device and a police report about the incident.

“The attached report shows that it was a new attempt of attacking my life. Regardless, we won’t stop working every day, day after day, until we reach total peace,” she added.

Violence against politicians and activists – especially leftists like Marquez – is not uncommon in Colombia, which has been embroiled in nearly six decades of conflict between the government, rebel groups and crime gangs founded by former right-wing paramilitaries.