‘Gasoline thieves’ cause an environmental disaster in Colombia wetlands

Posted on Apr 4 2014 - 2:38pm by Rico
(Photo: Vanguardia)

An unidentified group spilled 200 barrels of gasoline across Santander wetlands while attempting to illegally tap an EcoPetrol pipeline on Friday morning, reported local media.

The “thieves” reportedly entered a farm located near the road that leads to Barrancabermeja, Bucaramanga, in northeast Colombia. A valve was inserted into a pipeline belonging to Colombia’s state oil company, EcoPetrol, allegedly to siphon off the gasoline.

Colonel Reinaldo Rojas, operational commander of the Bucaramanga Police, told Caracol Radio that the valve exploded, causing around 200 barrels of gasoline to spill across the surrounding wetlands.

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The situation was exacerbated when the farm’s owner refused the entry of various EcoPetrol technicians onto the land in an attempt to fix the problem.

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Colonel Rojas said the environmental damage to the surrounding area of wetlands is severe, particularly because local animals use the wetlands for drinking water.


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