Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Colombia: FARC Rebels Briefly Interrupt Electricity, Water to San Andrés de Tumaco

According to EFE, three simultaneous bombings on Tuesday (March 12) interrupted both electricity and water service to the Pacific port city of San Andrés de Tumaco, a city of nearly 200,000. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is believed to be responsible for the attack.

Rebels fired two improvised mortar shells at an army post, while the third attack was carried out with a car-bomb. The improvised explosive device (IED) used in the car-bomb was detonated in front of the facilities of the state oil company, Ecopetrol, causing damage to nearby vehicles and houses.

COMMENT: Colombia’s defense minister, Juan Carlos Pinzón, told reporters that the three attacks came in response to the intensity of “the presence and actions” of the FARC.

Defense Minister Pinzón, who previously served as deputy minister of defense under the Uribe Administration, was sworn in as defense minister on September 5, 2012.

In August 2012, Tumaco was the scene of a series of attacks by the FARC against electricity towers that resulted in the city’s 187,000 residents being without power for over two weeks.

Although the FARC in recent months has made overtures towards the central government in terms of a possible interest in peace talks, the reality is that the FARC has expressed an interest in peace, largely to diminish offenses from the Santos government.