The FARC upped its offensive against the Colombian state on Wednesday, reportedly killing four soldiers in the south while attacking oil infrastructure and public transport in the north.
Army ambush in the south
The most violent attack took place in the southern province of Caqueta where four soldiers were killed and five more were injured when alleged FARC rebels allegedly ambushed soldiers that had fallen into a minefield in the region.
The entire Caqueta province was only last week without power after the rebel group attacked electrical towers.
Oil infrastructure attacks in northeast
The FARC earlier in the morning struck in the northeast where it blew up the country’s biggest oil pipeline, forcing state-run oil company Ecopetrol to shut down its operations in the area.
Eyewitnesses reported the destruction of 12 homes with 50 families displaced and national media reported seven injured and the suspension of operations.
Bus attacks in northwest
In the northwestern province of Antioquia, guerrillas allegedly opened fire on a bus and set fire to trucks, restricting traffic between Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, and the Caribbean coast. Antioquia Police and the Secretary of the Government of Mutata confirmed that an additional three vehicles have been gunned down and burnt at around midday on Wednesday. There are no reported injuries as passengers were reported to have been evacuated from the vehicles.
This would be the fourth attack in the province since the ceasefire was lifted on May 22. Over the last three weeks violence has escalated with frequent guerrilla attacks on infrastructure, the oil industry and security forces.
Wednesday’s offensive came on the same day former US ambassador Luis Carlos Villegas returned to Bogota to lead the country’s Defense Ministry.
As violence ensues the peace talks in Havana slowly crawl.
Talks between Colombia’s government and the country’s largest and longest-living rebel group have produced partial agreements on rural reform, the guerrillas’ abandoning of drug trafficking activities and the FARC’s integration to Colombian political life.
The most recent accord, closed only weeks ago, was on the formation of a truth commission that will seek to clarify what happened during the conflict. This commission will take effect if a final peace deal is reached and Colombia does enter a post-conflict scenario.
The two negotiating teams are still talking about the two remaining points on the peace talks agenda; Victims and End of Violence.