Head of Colombia Drug-Probe Agency Survives Blast Killing 4, Injuring 38

From Times Wires Services

The head of the elite Colombian intelligence agency that probes the country’s powerful drug gangs survived a car bomb explosion Tuesday that killed four people and injured 38, police said.

Four vehicles--two belonging to bodyguards of intelligence chief Miguel Maza Marquez and two private cars--were destroyed in the explosion, which also shattered the windows of buildings in the area, witnesses said. Maza Marquez was traveling with bodyguards in a bulletproof car when the bomb exploded in a parked car on a main street. He was only slightly hurt, although several of his bodyguards were seriously injured.

“It looks like a street in Beirut,” an unidentified witness told a local radio station. Another witness said 10 children were injured as they were awaiting a school bus.

Maza Marquez, the fifth-ranking police officer in Colombia, is head of the government’s top intelligence organization, known as the Department of Administrative Security. It investigates narcotics cases, right-wing paramilitary groups, leftist guerrillas and massacres.


Anonymous telephone callers to Radio Cadena Nacional radio station said the attack was “made in Medellin,” apparently indicating it was plotted by drug traffickers in Colombia’s second-largest city--the home of one of the largest cocaine rings in the world.