Colombian FARC accused of contaminating environment

Colombian government accuses FARC rebels of deliberately dumping 757,000 litres of crude oil into forest

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Colombian Marxist guerrilla group called the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has been accused of intentionally spilling oil in the forests of the Putumayo region in Colombia.

According to AFP, Colombian authorities have accused the group of stopping 19 crude oil tankers at dawn and forcing the drivers to dump their loads inside a remote area in the forest. Allegedly, 757.000 litres of fuel have been dumped, severely contaminating the area. The resulting environmental impact even involve the contamination of the the water supply.

The struggle between Colombian government and guerrilla organisations such as FARC has been continuing for 50 years. Over the years the death toll of the conflict has exceeded 220,000. A peace process has been initiated and has been ongoing since November 2012. The FARC rebels declared an armistice in December 2014 and invited the government forces to lay down arms against them. Despite such steps, the conflict has yet to be resolved.

Lately, the ongoing peace process has been struck by numerous events. Government forces conducted military operations and air strikes against guerrilla forces after 11 soldiers were killed in an ambush in April. In reaction FARC unilaterally announced the suspension of the ceasefire last month.

More recently on May 31 a suspected terrorist attack destroyed an electrical tower and left Colombia’s biggest port city of Buenaventura without power. The attack was attributed to FARC rebels by Colombian officials.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos last year announced that during the peace talks the participants would focus negotiations on political reform, redistribution of land, ending drugs trafficking and reparations for the families of victims of the long-lasting conflict.

TRTWorld and agencies