Leftist guerrillas are playing havoc with Colombia's oil pipelines. A recent announcement made by government authorities says that during the last 9 years, guerrilla forces have blown up Colombia's main pipeline 346 times, spilling slightly more than 1.2 million barrels of crude oil -- nearly 5 times the amount spilled off Alaska in 1989 by the Exxon Valdez. Oil is the mainstay of Colombia's export industry, and a new team of environmental officials has been appointed to keep strict vigil over oil spills. Unlike in the Exxon case, where the indicted company had to pay heavy penalties to the Alaskans, the Colombian government has no means to recover damage from the 2 warring groups responsible for the losses -- the National Liberation Army and the Colombian Armed Forces. "It might be counterproductive to calculate the fine. It might encourage them to run up the bill," a spokesperson said.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.