A suspected leading Colombian drug trafficker was reported Saturday to have been arrested in Ecuador in the biggest coup yet in the Colombian government's cocaine crackdown, but a wave of bombings continued to rock the country.
Evaristo Porras, who is said to be close to the chieftains of the Medellin drug cartel, would be the biggest fish caught so far in Colombia's 5-week-old crackdown.In Quito, an Ecuadorean government spokesman who asked not to be identified told Reuters Saturday that Porras was being held in the town of Tulcan in northern Ecuador about 10 miles from the Colombian border, where he was arrested with the help of Interpol agents Thursday.
He said no details of the circumstances of his arrest would be released but added Porras, believed to be in his 40s, would be handed over to Colombian authorities soon. He gave no date.
The arrest of Porras, who is believed to be sought for extradition by the United States to face trial there on drug trafficking charges, could not immediately be officially confirmed by Colombian authorities in Bogota.
The Ecuadorean government spokesman said Porras would be handed over to Colombian authorities "as a show of Ecuador's support" for Colombia's anti-narcotics crackdown. He did not say when that would be.
Porras had been detained twice in the past: In 1984, he was detained and sentenced to two years in jail for illegal possession of firearms. He appealed the sentence and was freed two months later. In January 1987, he was again arrested in the Caribbean island of San Andres. A judge ordered his release shortly after saying there was no case against him.
In Bogota, bombs consisting of about 6.6 pounds of dynamite damaged five high schools, shattering windows in nearby buildings. Two teenage girls and a woman were injured by flying glass.
A sixth and a seventh bigger bomb hit a savings bank and a car workshop causing heavy damage.
In the southern city of Cali, home of a cocaine cartel rival to the one from Medellin, two bombs exploded at two supermarkets injuring six people.