|The bombed building, as it stood for years.|
|The day of the explosion (Photo: Flickr)|
People living in blocks around heard the explosion. A woman walking by during the memorial told us that on that day in 2006 she'd walked past the building with a friend on their way to church. The explosion happened during the mass. Thank God, she said, that she hadn't been walking past when the explosion happened. In fact, the explosion did kill a woman walking past that day.
|A neighbor who heard the explosion while in church.|
|Luis Alejandro: Victim or bomber?|
That was the official version. When I passed by today, a group was holding a commemoration for Luis Alejandro Concha, a philosophy student killed in the explosion. Those at the event, who included members of Movice, the National Movement of Victims of Crimes by the State, and the young man's parents, claimed that the government had planted the bomb in order to kill the young man.
The parents tell their story.
Colombia's government and its institutions have certainly been responsible for many illegal killings, as Colombian and international courts have ruled repeatedly. However, I strongly doubt that this was one of them. After all, if the government had considered this philosophy student some sort of threat and wanted him out of the way and been willing to commit murder, they could have found easier ways to do it than blowing up a whole building with occupants inside. Also, such sorts of government crimes do tend to come to light, and I've heard of no evidence that the government was behind this one.
|A new mural, vowing that there will be neither pardon nor forgetfullness.|
|The scene after demolition: an empty lot and graffiti warnings: don't piss here!|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours