HomeNewsBriefColombia Rebels Release 5 Oil Workers
BRIEF

Colombia Rebels Release 5 Oil Workers

COLOMBIA / 1 AUG 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

After 48 hours, Colombian guerrilla group the FARC reportedly released five oil contract workers who were kidnapped Friday near the Venezuela border.

The workers are employed by Codisa, a Colombian company contracted by multinational Occidental Petroleum in Colombia's eastern Arauca department. They were kidnapped July 29 in the municipality of Arauquita, which registered Arauca's highest kidnapping rate last year, with 10 cases.

According to El Nuevo Herald, authorities have said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) were behind the kidnapping, although rebel group the National Liberation Army (Ejercito Nacional de Liberacion - ELN) is also active in the department and has long relied on kidnap ransoms as a source of funds. The FARC are usually responsible for kidnappings in the municipalities of Arauquita, Fortul and Tame, while the ELN are typically active in Saravena, Tame and Arauca.

Arauca is one of Colombia's most heavily militarized department, with about 8,200 soldiers deployed here. Much of the force is meant to patrol the border with Venezuela or protect the Caño Limon-Coveñas pipeline, frequently the target of guerrilla attacks.

Still, the increased military presence may explain why the rebels now prefer to hold hostages in Arauca for brief amounts of time. Sources in the area have told InSight Crime that kidnappings usually last 15 days maximum, and that the rebels usually take their captives across the border to Venezuela. Frequent military patrols force the rebels to stay mobile, discouraging them from building the kinds of long-term camps used to keep hostages imprisoned in the past.

The release of the Codisa workers comes soon after the freeing of another contract worker employed by Canadian multinational oil company Talisman. The Talisman hostage was kidnapped alongside 22 other workers in March. Especially in light of the FARC's kidnapping of three Chinese oil workers and their translator in June, these attacks appear to be part of a concentrated effort by the FARC to increase their harassment of the Colombian oil sector.

Statistics from the Defense Ministry show that kidnapping appears to be on the rise in 2011, with 108 cases registered so far this year, compared to 93 during the first half of 2010.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 1 APR 2022

Millions of young people around the world document their experiences at work, at school or with their friends on TikTok.

CARIBBEAN / 31 AUG 2021

More than two weeks after an earthquake devastated Haiti and killed at least 2,200 people, criminal gangs are still shaking…

COVID AND CRIME / 12 JAN 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has forced migrant shelters in Mexico to close or limit capacity, exacerbating an already precarious situation for…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…