A stretch of an important oil pipeline in northern Colombia was blown up late Saturday night, making it the third time in a week that the system has come under attack.
The Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline in Norte de Santander state along the Venezuelan border, is operated by Colombia’s state-owned oil company Ecopetrol. The Bogota-based organization put out a statement saying that officials have begun a cleanup effort and that barriers have been put up along the Arauca river along which part of the pipeline runs.
It is currently unknown who is responsible for the attack but there have been reports that Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN ), are responsible after a series of similar attacks, such as blowing a part of the pipeline that crosses the El Carrizal river, which also caused an oil spill. There have also been similar attacks in recent days in the villages of Santa Ines and Limoncito in Norte de Santander.
An Ecopetrol official said that the economic damage from the attacks is millions of dollars. Widespread environmental damage is also said to have been caused.