Guerrilla attacks Ecopetrol Oil Field in Colombia

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, August 10, 2014

 

Leftist guerrillas attacked an oil field Friday for Ecopetrol in northeastern Colombia, as part of an escalation of attacks on the economic infrastructure of the country that holds in tension the peace negotiations between the Government and the FARC.

Ecopetrol said the two attacks affected the Tibú field, located in the department of Norte de Santander, which borders Venezuela, with a production of 1,800 barrels of oil per day.

"Ecopetrol rejects the attacks against a team workover and field season Tibú, Norte de Santander, which endangered the lives of workers and neighboring communities," said a statement from the company that produces 750,000 barrels of oil a day.

Military and police sources blamed the attack, which left no casualties, the guerrillas, but did not specify whether it was committed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The two insurgent groups have a presence in the area.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who on Thursday took a second term four years after winning re-election in June, warned that the FARC peace talks that keep Cuba since late 2012 can be broken if the rebel group continues its attacks that have affected the civilian population.

The FARC and the smaller ELN, both considered terrorist organizations by the United States and the European Union, began several weeks ago an escalation of attacks on pipelines, power lines, oil installations, roads, aqueducts and the Armed Forces.

Some of these actions have killed civilians, while several villages have been without water, electricity, cut off by land and its oil-contaminated rivers.

Santos, an economist at center right next to turned 63, seeking to sign a peace agreement with the FARC to end a half-century of internal conflict that has left more than 200,000 dead and millions displaced. The president also seeks to initiate negotiations with the ELN.

The signing of a peace agreement and end the confrontation would allow better performance at the fourth largest economy in Latin America, according to the Government and analysts. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta. Luis.acosta@thomsonreuters.com. 6344138. 57 1)

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