The Vice President of Colombia revealed on Tuesday that her security team had found an explosive device in her home in what appears to be an assassination attempt and an escalation from the death threats that she has received since ascending into the position.

Francia Marquez, an activist who rose to prominence after being elected alongside President Gustavo Petro in September, said that her security team found the explosive in the road on the way to her home, according to Reuters.

“Members of my security team found an artifact with more than 7 kilos of explosive material on the road to my family residence in the area of Yolombo in Suarez, Cauca,” she said, posting pictures of the explosive.

Marquez, who is the first Black woman to become Vice President in Colombia, said that the bomb was made up of ammonium nitrate, powdered aluminum, and shrapnel, and that it was blown up in a controlled explosion by authorities after it was found, the Associated Press reported.

Death threats are not new to Marquez, who was well-known for her protests against the gold mining industry in Cauca and who was forced to leave Suarez, her home village, after death threats were made against her and her family.

Threats of violence have been common against politicians and activists in Colombia as the country continues to face a decades-long conflict between government forces, rebel groups and organized crime gangs. Petro himself was a former guerilla fighter and member of a rebel group before entering politics, and has used that background to potentially end the conflicts between rebel group ELN and the government.

Marquez’s role in securing votes for Petro in the Afro-Colombian communities as well as with women and minorities has made her an important figure in the current administration. She currently heads the newly-created Ministry of Equality and has been focused on helping Petro fulfill his promises of social change in the country.

After the incident, she has said that while she takes the death threats made to her seriously, “[regardless], we won't stop working every day, day after day, until we reach total peace.”

Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez
Francia Marquez, seen here in October 2022, is Colombia's first black vice president. Photo by: AFP/Joaquin Sarmiento

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