3 Ecopetrol Oil Contractors Kidnapped in Colombia

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Three Ecopetrol oil contractors were kidnapped by armed men in a rural area of Santander, northwest Colombia, in an attack authorities have attributed to common criminals.

In interview with Caracol Radio, Santander Governor Horacio Serpa Uribe promised that the workers would be rescued and said the kidnappings were likely the work of common criminals, though other hypotheses have not been ruled out.

Guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) have carried out a number of kidnappings of oil workers in recent months.

In March, 23 oil workers for Canadian oil company Talisman were abducted in the eastern Vichada province by the FARC.

In June, four Chinese employees pf British oil company Emerald Energy were kidnapped in the rural area of the central Caqueta province, apparently also by the FARC. The workers still have not been found despite military operations to rescue them.

According to official reports, 282 people were kidnapped in Colombia in 2010, 23 percent of which were attributed to the FARC.

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