Local authorities in southern Colombia on Thursday requested a suspension of pumping oil after another rebel attack on a pipeline.
According to authorities, the oil pipeline was blown up by members of the FARC’s 48th front at only 100 meters of the town, causing panic among residents.
In a response, the government secretary of Putumayo said his government “will urgently request the provisional suspension of oil pumping while there are no guarantees for the inhabitants of the town as what is generated is panic, terror and major contamination in the urban area.”
Location of the attack
The army sent troops to the area to investigate if guerrillas have installed other explosives.
The FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group, and the smaller ELN stepped up attacks against oil infrastructure between 2010 and 2013 when the number of attacks against oil pipelines went from 31 to 259, according to Ministry of Defense statistics. This year, rebels have carried out 111 attacks on oil pipelines.
FARC attacks on oil pipelines
The administration of President Juan Manuel Santos has been engaged in peace talks with the FARC since November 2012. However, violence has continued as the warring parties failed to agree a ceasefire for the duration of the talks.