Three Chinese oil workers and their translator are still missing one year after their disappearance.
The workers disappeared in June 2011 near the town of San Vicente del Caguan, a restive guerrilla stronghold in the southern Caqueta Department.
At the time of the disappearance, the oil workers were doing exploration work for Emerald Energy, a subsidiary of Chinese oil company Sinochem.
The only information regarding their whereabouts came from an alleged conversation between two FARC units in the area, in which the kidnapping was referred to as a “strike.”
The FARC has not taken responsibility for the alleged kidnapping.
In an interview with RCN Radio, Olga Lucia Gomez, director of the NGO Pais Libre, claimed that the FARC most likely kidnapped the four workers for extortive purposes.
FARC commander “Ivan Marquez,” speaking on behalf of the guerrilla organization’s seven-man secretariat, assured four months ago that the practice of kidnapping for financial reasons was “over,” and that the guerrillas would no longer hold civilians for ransom.
However, there seems to be a split on the issue among FARC leadership as “Pablo Catatumbo,” the chief of the FARC’s Western Bloc, recently indicated that kidnappings would continue as the war “requires finances,” according to an article published June 2 in weekly Semana.