Colombia goes after FARC who went after Ecopetrol-Talisman (EC, TLM), misnames operation

Marulanda's cousin?

I don’t track the back and forth of FARC & Friends pipeline bombings and Santos & Co. manhunts very closely. Suffice to say that pipeline bombings are back with a total of six in the past month, according to Notimex. The latest was on the Petronorte pipeline and polluted the Tibú River, for those keeping track at home. Now, there’s news that the Colombian military is pursuing the guerrillas who were apparently responsible for the kidnapping of contractors for Talisman Energy and Ecopetrol (TLM, EC) March 7. It has a little detail that calls out for a firm hand-face.

Handing the mic to EFE (my translation):

A joint operation of the army and air force allowed the destruction of 32 encampments of Front 16 of the FARC, used by the guerrillas to plan terrorist acts in an oil-producing area of Vichada department, official sources said.

The operation, named “Avatar,” took place over the last days in a sector between the villages of Guerima, Puerto Principe and Chupave, in Vichada, according to a statement from the Colombian Armed Forces.

For those who somehow missed the biggest-grossing motion picture of all time, the movie Avatar portrays a heartless military full of redneck gringos who lay a blitzkrieg on innocent forest-dwellers in order to secure access to natural resources.

Just to be clear, this is a serious story. 23 workers were kidnapped (PDF of company statement) from the Talisman-Ecopetrol crew, and although 22 were released, one surveyor remains missing. But that makes me even more mystified: if this is Operation Avatar, who exactly are the Navi?

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One thought on “Colombia goes after FARC who went after Ecopetrol-Talisman (EC, TLM), misnames operation

  1. westslope

    The film Avatar showed an interstellar corporation using mercenaries to people-cleanse the mineral-rich part of a planet.

    If one views FARC thugs as a distinct sub-culture living in the forests and jungles, then yes, the Colombian state is without doubt trying to ‘cleanse’ the countryside of FARC thugs. But yes, with the US freer trade deal looming on the horizon, the operation tag could have been better…. Talk about a potential public relations disaster.

    As for the missing seismic crew ‘surveyor’, I don’t recall seeing the man’s mother on the front page of the New York Times so I’m going to conclude that his ransom value is near zero. Why is FARC still holding him? Does FARC want the armed forces to come after them? Strange.

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