BOGOTA – An antipersonnel mine on Wednesday exploded and killed an indigenous man and two laborers who were repairing an electrical pylon that had been knocked down last week in an attack attributed to leftist guerrillas in southwestern Colombia, authorities said.
Initial reports were that just the two workers had died, but Caracol Radio later said that authorities had confirmed the death of a member of the Awa people identified as Silvio Antidio Loza, who had been hired as a guide by the electric company.
A third worker was wounded in the blast, which occurred in the rural area of the Pacific port of Tumaco, near the southern border with Ecuador.
Tumaco, a city of some 170,000, has been without electricity for five days due to attacks against electric towers blamed on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
Mines and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas on Twitter expressed his condolences for the deaths and his solidarity with the families of the victims, as well as his “indignation, repudiation and condemnation” of the “terrorist groups” responsible.
In addition to the two pylons near Tumaco, other towers carrying electric power to the towns of Barbacoas, Ricaurte, Roberto Payan and Magui Payan, also in Nariño province, were knocked down on the same day, Aug. 10.
Also targeted were towers serving Colombia’s main Pacific port, Buenaventura, in the neighboring province of Valle del Cauca. EFE