lunes, 21 de octubre de 2013


Tomado de Platts Oilgram News. Three more Colombian oil workers kidnapped Friday: police 387 words 18 October 2013 Platts Commodity News PLATT English Copyright 2013. Platts. All Rights Reserved. Bogota (Platts)--18Oct2013/140 pm EDT/1740 GMT Colombian authorities reported the kidnapping Friday of three oil field workers in eastern Arauca province, the latest in a series of attacks that have plagued the industry in recent months. 

Police said the workers were taken at 6:40 am local time Friday as they drove to work at the Cano Limon oil production complex operated by Occidental Petroleum near the Venezuelan border. Police reported the workers were overtaken by armed motorcyclists who were suspected members of the National Liberation Army, known by its Spanish initials ELN. The victims were identified as topographer Jaime Baron, driver Pablo Leon and Carlos Rivera, Baron's assistant. Security consultant Orlando Hernandez, a former Colombian national police officer, said the victims were taken in an area known to be controlled by the ELN. There is a strong possibility, he said, that based on prior kidnappings, they will be held for a matter of hours and told to warn their employees to pay extortion money. 

"The terrain is too flat in this zone for the guerrillas to effectively hide their victims," Hernandez said. "So their practice lately has been to grab workers for only a couple of hours and scare them into delivering a message to their companies to pay the demands of the guerrillas." Colombian law forbids companies and private citizens to pay extortion money to kidnappers. Hernandez, president of Bogota based Terra Consultorias, said the Friday kidnappings bring to 21 the total seizures of oil-related workers in Colombia so far this year, nearly as many as the 22 victims detained illegally during all of 2012. 

The ELN and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, are responsible for most of the kidnappings. Seizures have increased this year as the rebel groups try to strengthen their hands amid peace negotiations that rebels have undertaken with government officials over the last year in Havana. Attacks by suspected leftist guerrillas on Colombian pipelines are also up in 2013, according to Hernandez. Defense ministry statistics show that through the end of September, 46 attacks on pipelines had been registered, up from 37 over the same nine months in 2012

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