500 oil workers in northeast Colombia sent home over ongoing rebel attacks

Posted on Apr 7 2014 - 6:39pm by Rico
(Photo: Cenit Producciones)

An estimated 500 oil workers from Colombia’s second largest oilfield, Caño Limon-Coveñas, have been sent on leave, allegedly as a consequence of ongoing attacks from one of Colombia’s largest rebel groups, ELN. 

The Caño Limon-Coveñas pipeline has been the target of nearly 30 attacks in recent months. The attacks, attributed to the ELN, caused massive structural loss. The crude oil pumping has been interrupted for more than a month and the storage tanks are close to reaching their capacity. In addition almost five hundred employers have been dismissed from their jobs.

The treasurer of the Worker’s Trade Union, Edgar Ramiro Pacheco, said that the workers and their families depend on these jobs. Pacheco also stated that workers fear a re-run of 2001, when 1,200 oil workers in the same region the region were not paid for months as a result of ELN activity. 

“The workers will stop receiving the salaries to provide for their families, and they will be left with no social security, the same way it happened in 2001 when more than a hundred attacks on the pipeline network took place in the department of Arauca.” Pacheco told Caracol Radio.

The ELN released a statement in November 2013, declaring “war” on Colombian oil companies. One of the ELN’s demands is for fuel prices to drop 50%.

MORE: We will stop attacking infrastructure if fuel prices drop 50%: ELN




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