The military and police controls in the north of Esmeraldas increased. Meanwhile, the investigation of the attacks continues and extended to Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. The authorities look for more involved. No one suspected the blue double cabin truck that was circulating in downtown San Lorenzo at midnight on January 27. The surveillance cameras did not register it when it was bet on Los Laureles Street, in the back of the police barracks of the Esmeraldo canton.
At 01:40 a powerful explosion woke everyone. The bucket of the vehicle was loaded, according to the expertise of the Police Intervention and Rescue Group (GIR), of canecas with amatol, an ancient and powerful explosive used in the First and Second World War, and which is now the weapon of the narco-guerrilla Walter Patricio Arízala or William Quiñónez, alias “Guacho”, to commit attacks in the north of the country. The investigation of the police teams of Ecuador, Colombia and FBI of the United States was thorough. In the hours after the explosion, the uniformed men tracked any small evidence on the sidewalk, in the rubble of the affected houses, in the irons of the destroyed cars and in the brush. Its purpose was to find the trace of the chemical that was used as a trigger for the bomb.
This information was essential to know what was used to manufacture the explosive and to discover where the materials arrived and if that same system was used in another attack, such as those of Borbón and Mataje. All clues lead us to think that all the devices used the same explosive component and were made by the same people. Although the manufacture of these pumps is considered domestic they are highly dangerous.
For example, the dimensions of the explosion focus in San Lorenzo demonstrate the violence of the attack. The report indicates that damage was found to infrastructures 300 meters away from where the truck exploded. Since that date, the residents of La Delicia have not yet returned to their homes. One of them is Martha Cedeño, owner of a small business near where the explosion occurred. She continues to sell at her grocery store, but her house has damage to the ceiling and walls.
So far the most affected houses were overthrown, but their reconstruction has not started yet. The police report states that this type of artifact, such as the San Lorenzo bomb, must be manufactured by experts. Alias “Guacho” in his passage through the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) obtained knowledge in explosives, as detailed Intelligence reports that summarize the suspect’s background.
Responsible for other attacks
The Colombian Army holds him responsible for a chain of attacks in Tumaco, a department bordering Ecuador. The last one was on Thursday of last week and damaged the electric power infrastructure that affected the whole area.
While in the country is suspected of at least 12 attacks and assaults that include the kidnapping of a newspaper team of newspaper El Comercio. His participation in the attack on the barracks of San Lorenzo was known minutes after the explosion. The Emergency Service ECU-911 received more than 20 calls from people asking for attention to the injured and those who warned of the chaos that was generated at that time. But in an anonymous call was alerted that the person responsible for the attack on the police was “Guacho” and that, also, would attack against police and military.
This information is part of the investigation carried out by special teams of the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office. While following the tracks of the men of “Guacho”, security remains a priority. So far 22 people have been detained and the investigation has been extended to the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas in search of more suspects.
Police and military controls
The controls in San Lorenzo are stronger. Teams of police and military work together to review the people and vehicles that pass through the parishes of the Esmeraldeño canton. On the road that one of the operatives was mounted to Mataje, but now the revision is made in kilometer three of the road and not in the detachment of the Navy as it was done before and that was close to the town.
Two weeks ago, it was arranged that no one enters or leaves the parishes of San Lorenzo and Eloy Alfaro from 10:00 p.m. until 05:00 p.m. This measure, explained the mayor of San Lorenzo, Gustavo Samaniego, would serve to safeguard the security of the city. These actions also allow the circulation of narcotics and articles that are used for the attacks to be stopped. The uniformed have the command to requisition in detail the products that enter the border area, so the frisking is thorough, each person is registered in photography and must justify the ownership of products with invoices.
The transporter Juan Carlos Villamar said that border trade was affected by these actions. He asked the authorities to provide alternatives for people who get their livelihood from the exchange of Colombian and Ecuadorian products. In the center of San Lorenzo the control also increased. At the entrance to the police headquarters sand bags, which resemble a barrel, were placed to stop any aggression. It also prevents the passage of any unofficial vehicle around the detachment. In the place the police ask journalists to work with caution, especially when three people, Paul Rivas, Javier Ortega and Efraín Segarra, El Comercio team, are still captives. They assured that the city is quiet, but you should always be cautious and sleep with one eye open. (I)