lunes, 29 de junio de 2015

FARC provoke massive oil spill in south-western Colombia

Colombians were outraged in late June by the consequences of a 22 June guerrilla attack on a pipeline, which caused thousands of barrels of oil to pour into the river Mira in the district of Tumaco. The hashtag Environmental Holocaust was created on Twitter to show pictures of oil streaming down the river toward the Pacific coast, after two suspected fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) bombed part of the Transandino pipeline. The explosion was estimated to have spilled the equivalent of some 10,000 barrels of crude into the area, as the review Semana observed on 27 June that the harm done was "irreparable" in spite of efforts by locals and the firm Ecopetrol to clean up and repair the pipeline. The spill was bad enough to prompt Colombian environmentalists, whom Semana described as usually reluctant to condemn FARC actions for their own left-wing sympathies, to publicly urge the sides in the civil conflict to leave the environment alone. President Juan Manuel Santos separately told El Tiempo newspaper that the FARC had provoked "possibly the worst" environmental disaster in Colombia's history. He visited the area on 26 June with ministers including the environment minister who reportedly wept on seeing the landscape. Separately, the army arrested eight suspected FARC fighters in the districts of Ipiales and Roberto Payán in the Nariño department, Semana reported on 28 June, citing Agence France-Presse. The report did not mention the detained as suspects in the pipeline attack.