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COLOMBIA: Oil Production Up, but FARC Still Targeting Infrastructure

Bottom Line: Colombia’s oil production is up to an average of 1.01 billion barrels per day as of January 2013—the first time it’s surpassed the targeted 1 billion barrel mark. For 2012, crude output was at about 940,000. This represents a sizeable gain that is in part due to the gradual effects of more market-friendly terms for producers and in part due to gains in weakening rebel groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). While FARC has been weakened, it still poses an major problem and guerilla-style retaliation has the group targeting oil infrastructure and Colombian security installations specifically. Fissures in the FARC leadership indicate that more violence and destruction is on the way as various figures attempt to demonstrate their capabilities for the future.

Analysis: Since the beginning of February, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have carried out 30 attacks against Colombian security forces, killing 10 and wounding 35 others, and targeted an Ecopetrol construction site and two pipelines.

The unilateral two-month FARC ceasefire that began in November 2012 and ended in January exposed the group’s leadership fissures. All of FARC was not on board—the rebel group perpetrated 57 attacks during the ceasefire. By the end of January, FARC rebels had kidnapped two policemen and one soldier. Both were released by 16 February, but the message was clear: FARC may have suffered some major losses,…

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