Story By: Angjela Trajkovska, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN
Video Credit: CEN/@Ecopetrol_SA
These are the startling images of a river running black after an oil pipeline was blasted open in a terrorist attack which has seriously damaged the environment.
The crude oil has flown into the Catatumbo river after the Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline in the municipality of Teorama in the department of North Santander in Colombia was attacked.
The Military Forces in North Santander reportedly blame revolutionary the left-wing armed group National Liberation Army (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional – ELN) for the attack. The group has been labelled as a terrorist organisation by the governments of the United States, Canada, Colombia, Peru, and the European Union.
Pictures Credit: CEN/@Ecopetrol_SA
In the photos, the river can be seen running jet black and the authorities have installed 108 barriers to try and control the flow of the oil.
In the video, the water of the Catatumbo river can be seen running black under a bridge.
Ecopetrol, formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos, have deployed a group of 120 people in four control spots to try and deal with the environmental emergency.
Local media report the water, ground, flora and fauna in the area are threatened by the crude spillage as well the local residents who depend on the river as a water source.
Reports state locals have spotted dead fish in the river and Anibal Fernandez de Soto, Vice-President of the Development of Ecopetrol said: “This is another attack among others registered this year. There are 11 in total: seven against the oil pipeline Cano Limon-Covenas, three against Trasandino and one against Mansoya-Orito.”
Attacks against the oil infrastructure have reportedly increased in 2019 and in 2018, 89 attacks were registered against the oil infrastructure which caused the spillage of over 20,000 barrels of crude oil.
The ELN has existed in Colombia since 1964 and advocate a composite communist ideology of Marxism and liberation theology.
In 2013, it was estimated that the ELN forces consisted of between 1,380 and 3,000 guerrillas.