A homemade bomb exploded late Monday night at the Guayaquil headquarters of Ecuador’s Alianza Pais political party, according to police reports. Alianza Pais is the party of President Rafael Correa and is the majority party in the country’s National Assembly. The explosion caused minor damage to a door at the building but no injuries were reported.
Although the device was crude, police said it had been made with the intention of “causing harm.”
Police say they are conducting an investigation but so far have not identified potential suspects or a motive for the attack.
The bombing occurred amid unrest between the government of President Rafael Correa and opposition groups that have expressed dissatisfaction with a series of proposed tax reforms, as well as other issues. The protests, which were suspended last week during Pope Francis’ visit to Ecuador, resumed after the pope left, but with smaller numbers of participants.
National Assembly member Bairon Valle said that the explosion was meant to disrupt discussions the government is holding with voters about the proposed tax reforms. “We are concerned about divisive acts like this, which send messages of terror…it’s a clear message the will is not there to discuss the issues, but rather to create commotion,” he added.
Correa said he expected the investigation to locate those responsible. “Violence will not be tolerated in Ecuador. This has no place in a democratic society,” he said.