Six suspected guerrillas from the FARC’s 13th Front set fire to five oil trucks at a road block in the town of Santa Marta on Monday morning at around 5:30AM, according to Colombia’s Semana news magazine.
A driver of one of the attacked vehicles described the assailants as being dressed in camouflage and carrying “long and short range” weapons.
According to the driver, the attackers warned that operating tankers in the region was forbidden, and if he transported oil through the area again, he would be killed.
The road on which the attack occurred normally sees traffic of about 400 vehicles from seven different companies involved in transporting crude oil extracted from various wells in Putumayo with final destinations in the southern state of Huila and the northern state of Atlantico.
According to other drivers that frequent the road, there was no military or police presence, which has been the norm.
The governor of Putumayo called on Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos to address the issue of constant attacks on oil transports in the region.
According to Semana, a total of $1.06 million has been lost due to attacks on oil carriers.
The secretary of the state of Putumayo, Javier Rosero Pai, said that four of the five oil tankers were empty, and the other was only carrying 11,000 gallons of oil, and there was no environmental damage from oil spills like in the past.