An oil spill, allegedly caused by criminals attempting to steal from a pipeline, has caused an environmental emergency in the Caribbean beaches near Santa Marta.
The pipeline, which belongs to state oil company Ecopetrol, was repaired after 20,000 gallons of oil spilled into a creek which runs to the sea.
The spill began on Saturday night, according to community leader Sonia Sevilla.
Sevilla stated that in her community of Don Jaca, fish that are a key part of the inhabitants’ diet such as sea bass, shrimp, and tilapia have been found dead.
Police commander Cesar Granados argued that the spill was most likely caused by thieves who attempt to illegally steal the fuel by inserting valves into the pipelines which run through regions that are virtually unpopulated.
The spill has reached the beaches of exclusive resort hotels on the coast on Santa Marta, a popular tourist destination.