Bomb Explodes in Chilean Port City

SANTIAGO – A bomb exploded early Monday outside a car dealership in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso, but no one was injured, police said.

The home-made, which went off at 2:00 a.m., was planted outside Susuval, a well-known car dealership in Valparaiso, located 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Santiago, the Carabineros militarized police force’s chief in the port city, Col. Nelson Hevia, said.

This is the latest of some two dozen bombings staged in Chile in the past few years and blamed by officials on anarchist groups.

Police explosives experts are studying evidence from the bomb scene, Hevia said, adding that no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Responsibility for the blasts is usually claimed by anarchists or anti-globalization groups, some of them linked to Chile’s disgruntled Mapuche Indians.

The bombing comes less than a week before the presidential run-off election pitting opposition conservative candidate Sebastian Piñera against ruling party candidate Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle.

A member of one of the anarchist groups linked by authorities to the attacks died in mid-2009 in Santiago when the bomb he was carrying in a backpack exploded while he was riding a bicycle.

A special prosecutor is investigating the bombings, which occur periodically.

The detonator on a bomb planted at the Regional Justice Secretariat in Temuco, a city in the southern La Araucania region, failed on New Year’s Eve.

Asel Luzarraga, a 38-year-old Spanish writer and front man of an anarchist punk group, was arrested and remains in custody in connection with the failed bombing.

Luzarraga, who has lived in Chile since March 2009, has participated in protests supporting Mapuche land claims in the region. EFE

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