SANTIAGO – An eco-terrorist group on Saturday said it was responsible for a parcel bomb that detonated at the home of the chairman of the board of Chilean state-owned mining giant Codelco, the world’s biggest copper producer.
In an Internet blog site, the group known as Individualists Tending toward the Wild (ITS-Chile) posted a statement in which it claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack as well as two images of what it said was the bomb sent to the 44-year-old Oscar Landerretche’s home.
The parcel bomb was wrapped as a gift and delivered by a young woman to the residence, located in Santiago’s La Reina neighborhood. A professor of mining engineering at the University of Chile was listed on the parcel as the sender.
Landerretche suffered superficial injuries to his extremities and chest when the bomb went off.
The group said the parcel would have arrived at the offices of the university professor if Landerretche had not received it first.
“The pretentious Landerretche deserved to die for his offenses against Earth,” it said, adding that he “had been deserving of our explosive gift for being at the head of this megaproject devastating all the beauty of Earth.”
They added that they were not anarchists and were seeking vengeance “for Earth’s devastation.”
That group has earlier claimed responsibility for other firebomb attacks or attempted attacks, including one targeting the University of Chile’s Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in May 2016.
Landerretche called the attack “very violent” and “cowardly” after being treated for his injuries at a clinic on Saturday morning.
He told reporters that he and his family were fortunate, adding that his daughter and a domestic worker were in the house at the time, but that his injuries were the most serious.
“If someone believes that with something like this the board of Codelco, the top administration of Codelco or I are going to act differently than what we’ve been doing with respect to establishing good practices, probity, controls within the company, which belongs to all Chileans, they are deeply mistaken,” the chairman said.
Chile’s government said on Saturday that it was confident it would track down those responsible for the parcel bomb.
“I’m sure that very quickly we’ll be on the trail of the perpetrators of this incident,” Interior Minister Mario Fernandez said after heading a meeting of the country’s security agencies.
Fernandez said that as part of their investigation authorities would probe the possible role of ITS-Chile in the attack.