Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | May 31, 2013

FARC cause environmental damage while talking peace.

The FARC want to gain political status from the negotiations in Havana. But they have yet to show any leadership skills.

First, the FARC continue to recruit child soldiers; in fact, they have increased their recruitment of children to boost their weakened fighting units.

Second, the FARC’s recent attacks on oil pipelines have caused much environmental damage. They attacked the Caño Limon-Coveñas oil pipeline, Colombia’s largest, and caused a crude oil spill that affected three towns in Arauca province, on the border with Venezuela.

Ecopetrol and Occidental de Colombia (OXY), which operate the pipeline, asked the public “to abstain from using water from La Blanquita creek, which is a tributary of the Arauca River.”

Mines and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas told RCN La Radio that “… workers were setting up barriers (to contain the spill) … such that the waters (of the rivers and streams) are not continuing to be contaminated.”

The FARC also staged three attacks on the Transandino pipeline and other facilities in Putumayo province in the southwest, and also caused oil spills there. Environmental authorities took charge of attempting to prevent the spilled oil from reaching the Putumayo river, the most important river in the southern department.

The FARC act with complete disregard for children, and for the environment, and do not deserve to gain any political status from the current negotiations in Havana.

The think-tank Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris believes the FARC attack pipelines so the business community will pressure the government for faster negotiations in Havana — but I believe the environmental damage the attacks are causing achieve the opposite effect.

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