Attack on Club El Nogal: Council of State determined that the nation had no responsibility

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The high court overturned a ruling dated October 9, 2019 by the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca, which had condemned the State and ordered compensation to the next of kin< /h2>

Attack on El Nogal Club: State Council determined that the nation was not had responsibility

The 200 kilos of explosives killed 33 people, all civilians, and injured 198, including employees and partners.

On February 7, 2003, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)< /b> perpetrated a terrorist attack at Club el Nogal in Bogotá. That night, on the fourth floor of the exclusive venue, a car bomb exploded. The 200 kilograms of explosives killed 33 people, all civilians, and injured 198, including employees and partners.

Among those killed by the guerrilla attack are Luisa Fernanda Solarte Angulo and Sergio Alejandro Muñoz Salame. Relatives of these victims had filed a lawsuit against the nation alleging “omission in the duty of security and protection, since there were indications that allowed us to foresee an attack against that club”.

However, This Friday, November 11, it was announced that the State Council determined that:

“No omission on the part of the authorities in the duty of protection was proven, on the contrary, it was proven that the armed action against Club El Nogal, in 2003, was unpredictable and irresistible, for which reason the exclusive fact was configured. from a third party”. This was determined by the Third Section of the Council of State.

In the same ruling of the Council of State it can be read that the FARC, in December 2002, issued a statement in which they made a series of criticisms of National government and businessmen for their relationship with paramilitaries.

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In that statement a reference was made to the 'clubs of northern Bogotá', but no specific club was mentioned, nor was announced actions against someone. At that time, the DAS, after analyzing its content, did not show possible terrorist actions, since it considered that they were general guidelines.

At this point, for the high court is not “appropriate to attribute responsibility to the State under the title of imputation of special damage, since for the legitimate action of the State to proceed, it must be the cause of the damage or harm and it was proven that the terrorist attack was planned and executed by the FARC guerrilla”.

The guerrilla attack against the Club El Nogal could not be resisted by the authorities either. The Council of State indicated in its decision that the “security situation and the alterations to public order in Bogotá at the time, as proven, forced the authorities to manage their capacity. The authorities had to act in all areas of Bogotá and had to direct their resources, limited in any case, to contain and prevent actions in the areas of greatest risk.”

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“The Chamber reiterates that in these events in which omission is accused, it must be taken into account that the capacity of action of the authorities is not unlimited to deter the action of illegal groups.”

For its part, the plaintiff argued that the jurisprudence of the Council of State has applied the special damage in terrorist attacks against the civilian population, in addition to the habitual presence of State officials created a greater risk for the club, its members and employees.

With this decision, Then, the high court overturned a ruling of October 9, 2019 of the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca that had condemned the nation and ordered compensation to the next of kin upon determining that the State had not fulfilled its duty of protection and security in the club of the north of Bogotá.