More than 80 court workers were evacuated from the Concepción Court of Appeals early Wednesday afternoon after police received a bomb threat saying the court would be blown up.
Although the bomb threat proved to be false, it will no doubt worry authorities that Chile’s ‘bomb threat phenomena’ are now occurring outside of the Metropolitan Region.
Recent Santiago bombs include a Nov. 15 noise bomb that exploded in a local McDonald’s restaurant (ST, Nov. 16) leaving no one injured. But a bomb left in a Marriot Hotel bathroom on Nov. 4 left six injured (ST, Nov. 4).
There have been 101 bombings in the Metropolitan Region since 2004, apparently perpetrated by different anarchist groups. The same bomb used in the Marriott bombing was used last on Oct. 2, when a suspect left a bomb at SOFOFA (a business lobbying group) headquarters in Las Condes. In that case, police were able to deactivate the bomb.
In related news, authorities last week announced the purchase of a new anti-bomb robot — the “mole.” The robot was built in a Spanish factory and is used throughout Spain for detecting and deactivating explosives linked to terrorist attacks. The $1 million device weighs in at about 3,400 pounds and features long arms that allow it to manipulate, lift, and destroy explosives.
On May 22, anarchist Mauricio Morales died while transporting a bomb on his bike toward Escuela de Gendarmería (ST, May 24). A few months later on Aug. 11, two bombs were planted in two gyms in eastern Santiago.