Rebel groups will increase their attacks on oil pipelines in the run-up to the Colombian presidential elections, warns the National Hydrocarbons Agency (NHA).
The risks of sabotage is higher during the pre-election period, especially in isolated rural areas, Armando Zamora, the agency’s head, told Bloomberg. He warned that the tightening of security for the elections, forcing guerrilas to flee to isolated areas, could lead to more attacks
Rebel groups may focus on attacking oil pipelines in order to “discredit the government,” of President Alvaro Uribe, and undermine his reputation for improving security in Colombia. “This government has been completely focused on security,” the NHA director continued.
Zamora praised Uribe for decreasing oil pipeline attacks, claiming that incidents of sabotage have fallen dramatically since he came to power in 2002. The current administration’s campaign to reclaim territory from illegal armed groups such as the FARC has allowed increased foreign investment in Colombia’s oil industry. According to Zamora, investment is set to reach US$4 billion this year, up from less than US$3.5 billion last year.