HomeNewsBriefAhead of Peace Talks, Suspected FARC Rebels Blow Up Coal Railroad
BRIEF

Ahead of Peace Talks, Suspected FARC Rebels Blow Up Coal Railroad

COLOMBIA / 3 SEP 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

Suspected FARC members have bombed a key stretch of railroad used to transport coal in the north of Colombia, continuing their recent spate of attacks on the country's infrastructure.

The bombing, carried out on August 30, destroyed 10 meters of track on the railroad leading from the Cerrejon Coal Company mine in La Guajira, northeast Colombia. Cerrejon Coal, a consortium of three mining companies, operates Colombia's largest open-pit coal mine. A company spokesman told the Associated Press that two train cars were also damaged, but that the line was expected to be back in service within a day. None of the train's crew were wounded.

A local police commander blamed the 59th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The 59th was also blamed for killing 12 Colombian soldiers in the Guajira province in May, before fleeing across the border into Venezuela.

The bombing follows two similar attacks against Cerrejon in the past two months, both of which were blamed on FARC rebels.

InSight Crime Analysis

This spate of attacks is part of a wider offensive against Colombia's infrastructure by the guerrilla group and its counterpart, the National Liberation Army (ELN). In one recent attack, alleged FARC guerrillas took out a electricity station in Arauca province, leaving 100,000 people without power. Overall, attacks on infrastructure by the two groups rose to 80 in the first six months of this year, compared to 62 during the same period of 2011.

While many of these attacks on large energy companies are connected to extortion, they are also likely an attempt by the FARC to show military might. This is particularly pertinent following the announcement this week that the government will enter peace negotiations with the rebels. The bombings illustrate the FARC can still create problems for authorities by sabotaging infrastructure. The rebels may believe this strengthens their negotiating position.

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.

Tags

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

COLOMBIA / 4 MAY 2022

Colombia's government and military have shown renewed urgency in attacking FARC commander Gentil Duarte, ramping up operations against his forces…

COLOMBIA / 16 MAR 2021

A leader of what was once Colombia's largest guerrilla organization has announced the revival of one of its most formidable…

CARIBBEAN / 29 JUN 2021

The owner of an armored transport company has been charged for his part in a transnational dirty gold network that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…

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…