FARC Rebels Blow Up Crucial Colombian Oil Pipeline

EspañolOn Tuesday, June 16, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) carried out an attack on the Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline located in the Catatumbo region, north of Santander, according to Colombian authorities.

Reports from state-owned Ecopetrol indicated there were no injuries, but the attack caused crude oil to spill into the Catatumbo river which started a fire that damaged several homes.

According to local media, the attack came after a skirmish between the Marxist guerrilla and members of the Vulcano Task Force, a special unit of the Colombian National Army.

The Colombian Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development is currently evaluating the environmental damage in the region caused by the oil spill, while the National Military reported that there was later a second attack on petroleum infrastructure located in the Tibú municipality, causing a rupture to the pipeline.

After the assaults, the state petroleum company suspended operations as part of their contingency plan and activated a system of continuous monitoring.

Two weeks ago, in the Putumayo department, members of FARC’s 48th Front detained a caravan of tanker trucks and emptied approximately 200,000 gallons of crude oil into Colombian waterways, affecting 7,000 families.

In light of the attacks, Colombia’s Attorney General Alejandro Ordoñez Maldonado has requested the government immediately suspend current peace negotiations with the FARC.

Ordoñez Maldonado argued that the FARC’s violent actions demonstrate their disinterest in the peace process: “If these terrorist attacks keep happening, then there’s no use or justification to continue the talks,” the attorney general said.

Sources: El Tiempo, El Espectador.

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