He was attacked this Friday with rifle shots, when he was landing at the Cucuta airport, coming from the municipality of Sardinata.
The helicopter in which Colombian President Ivan Duque was traveling was attacked this Friday with rifle shots, when he was landing at the Cucuta airport, coming from the municipality of Sardinata, north of Santander, the Government confirmed. As reported by the authorities, all the crew members are safe.
According to what was reported by the president himself, along with the presidential delegation were the Minister of the Interior, Daniel Palacios, the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, and the governor of Norte de Santander, Silvano Serrano Guerrero.
“Once again we reiterate that as a government we are not going to falter for a single minute, a single day, in the fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, and organized crime that operate in the country. They do not intimidate us with violence,” Duque said during a broadcast message. on official social networks.
“Both the aerial device and the aircraft’s capacity prevented something lethal from happening, the truth is that it is a cowardly attack where bullet holes are seen on the presidential aircraft,” explained the head of state.
The military helicopter would have received between three and six shots, local media reported.
Last week, a car bomb of the 30th brigade of the Colombian Army suffered a “terrorist act” that caused an explosion and left 36 lightly wounded, also in Cucuta. According to the government’s first hypothesis, it was perpetrated by the National Liberation Army (ELN).
“Our state is strong to face these threats. We will continue to demonstrate that the state is present throughout the territory. I have given instructions to go against those who put the lives of other people at risk. Colombia is always strong in the face of crime,” he said the president from Cucuta.
Duque had visited Sardinata to present the progress of the ‘Peace with Legality’ program, within the framework of the ‘Sustainable Catatumbo’ plan.
El helicóptero en el que viajaba el presidente colombiano Iván Duque fue atacado este viernes de varios disparos cuando aterrizaba en el aeropuerto de Cúcuta, denunció el Gobierno. pic.twitter.com/E5sp44rhsK
— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) June 26, 2021
As reported by the Ministry of Defense from its Twitter account, the Norte de Santander department has “perhaps the highest number of hectares of illicit crops, with 40,000.”
“From the beginning of the government until now, the public forces have eradicated more than 17 thousand hectares, a fundamental step towards peace with legality,” said the portfolio led by Diego Molano.
After the attack on the presidential helicopter, several governments in the region condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the Colombian authorities.
“Our solidarity with the Colombian people and their president Iván Duque in the face of the attack suffered by the helicopter in which he was traveling. Mexico rejects the violence and supports the democratic institutions of Colombia,” wrote the Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, in his account of Twitter
Así quedó el helicóptero en el que se transportaba el presidente Iván Duque.
Cortesía: MinDefensa pic.twitter.com/2YTtuxV2hx
— Publimetro Colombia (@PublimetroCol) June 25, 2021
In the same vein, the Government of Ecuador expressed itself, which by means of a statement from the Foreign Ministry rejected “in a forceful manner the terrorist attack” against the president and the other officials.
Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina expressed their “most energetic condemnation” against the incident, and added that the Casa Rosada “is pleased to know that the president and his entourage are out of danger.”
The Government of El Salvador has also joined the “most energetic rejection of the terrorist attack” and has conveyed its solidarity to the Government and the Colombian people, condemning “all forms of violence” and urging “to make the necessary efforts so that peaceful dialogue prevails. in that brother country “.