In a statement issued this morning, Ecopetrol said that it condemns the violence related to anti-oil-company protests in Colombia’s Caquetá department. Locals have taken to the streets in recent days to decry further exploration by the likes of the state-controlled oil giant and allegedly injured multiple police officers and Army personnel as the gatherings have grown unruly.
Photo: Security personnel try to repair damage allegedly caused by protestors in Colombia’s Caquetá department. (Credit: Ecopetrol)
“Ecopetrol expresses its strong opposition to the protests that have been introduced to El Doncello, Caquetá, by some people who try to prevent, through violent actions, the execution of the seismic exploration project Cardon 2,” said the company in a statement.
According to the company, six police officers and two military members were injured, suffering “wounds from knives and firearms,” while trying to control the escalating situation.
Ecopetrol distributed photos of the reported fallout, showing a damaged bullet-proof vest and fallen trees that were allegedly the result of protestors. The actions “caused serious environmental effects in area,” according to Ecopetrol.
In addition to the blockades created by downed trees, locals allegedly created a hole in the road that cut off the municipality of Maguaré. Ecopetrol employees were able to create a temporary fix and allow passage on the roadway.
“The company calls for dialogue and cooperation as the only mechanism of understanding,” said Ecopetrol.
The company added that it wanted to remind protestors that “the national government, the National Hydrocarbons Agency, and regional and local authorities have open spaces for communities to peacefully express their positions on the presence of the oil industry in Caquetá.”