Colombia experiencing surge in infrastructure attacks
BOGOTÁ, June 12, 2015 – Colombian state petroleum company Ecopetrol reports that 32 security workers have been killed over the course of the past two weeks due to FARC rebel attacks on oil infrastructure. Out of 20 attacks this year, 16 occurred during this short period.
Most attacks happened in the southern regions of Putumayo and Nariño, with a few cases of sabotage in Caño Limón-Coveñas and Tibú, Norte de Santander.
The company said attacks have led to 14,000 barrels of oil being spilled, river pollution and threats to wildlife. Affected infrastructure includes producing wells, transfer lines, and production, maintenance and transport equipment.
Despite ongoing peace negotiations with the Colombian government, FARC has continued attacking police officers and soldiers in addition to infrastructure. The most recent violence left 500,000 people without power.
Nearly 80,000 people have been affected by contamination of rivers throughout the country.
Ecopetrol said around 30 species of fish, 25 species of mammals, 20 species of amphibians and 15 species of reptiles live in areas affected by spills.