Incident Summary:

09/01/2008: On Monday night at 0005, a pick-up truck packed with explosives blew up in front of Palace of Justice, the city's central court building, in downtown Cali, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia. The car bombing attack, which was carried out by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's (FARC) Manuel Cepeda Vargas Urban Front according to police, killed five civilians and wounded 26 others. In addition, the blast caused extensive damage to the Palace of Justice, destroying a large part of the building's first floor and several adjoining buildings, including the Attorney General's Office and the Aristi Hotel. No claim of responsibility was made for the incident, although Colombian daily El Tiempo reported in its online edition that FARC recently circulated news saying attacks were to escalate in retaliation to increasing military operations and Operation Jaque, which in July led to the liberation of top FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt and 15 others. On 09/09/2008 on Tuesday, police arrested six suspected perpetrators who carried out the car bombing attack.




South America

region/u.s. state:

Valle del Cauca


Location Details:
The car bombing attack took place in front of Palace of Justice, the city's central court building, in downtown Cali, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Palace of Justice
Specific Description The Palace of Justice, the city's central court building,
Nationality of Target Colombia
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Major (likely > $1 million but < $1 billion)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Vehicle
Weapon Details
Unknown explosives placed in a vehicle were used in the bombing attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The summary of this incident was partially based on articles originally written in Spanish.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Group Sub-name Claimed Responsibility
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) (suspected) Manuel Cepeda Varga Urban Front No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 6
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 5 Fatalities / 26 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 5
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 26
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
EFE, "Police Report Car Bomb Explosion in Cali, Four Killed, 26 Wounded "Car Bomb Kills 4 in Colombia"," World News Connection, EFE, September 1, 2008.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, "Five Dead, 26 Injured as Car Bomb Explodes in Colombia," Lexis Nexis, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 1, 2008.
Colombian National Police Website, ""There is No Doubt the FARC is Responsible for the Disastrous Attack in Cali"," September 2, 2008,