While domestic terrorism risks from left-wing insurgent groups have generally fallen across Latin America in recent years, energy sector assets remain attractive targets in Colombia. The risk from international terrorism is currently low in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Terrorist activity by left-wing insurgent groups is likely to recede in 2019, continuing a decade-long trend. The 2016 Colombian peace agreement ended decades of conflict between the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government.
Left-wing guerrilla groups, such as Sendero Luminoso in Chile, have also lost much of their ideological appeal as living standards have improved.
However, the risk of domestic terrorism has not disappeared. Pockets of FARC dissidence remain in Colombia, while the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) has both the capability and intent to carry out attacks on oil and mining operations.
Oil pipelines and contractors in eastern and western Colombia face high risks of attack, kidnap, and assassination by ELN insurgents.
Key Terrorist actors in 2019
Sendero Luminoso (Chile)
Dissident rebels from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolutionarias de Colombia (FARC)
Ejército de Liberación Nacional (Colombia)
Which sectors are most exposed?
Energy and Mining
In Colombia, the ELN is active in regions with mining and energy activities, such as Arauca, Nariño, and Norte de Santander.
The group is likely to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to target pipelines.
Authorities have recorded at least nine attacks against the Caño Limón-Coveñas oil pipeline — Colombia’s most important pipeline, with a daily transportation capacity of 210,000 barrels — in 2019, including six in Arauca and three in Norte de Santander provinces (see below).
Throughout 2018, at least 89 attacks against pipelines were reported in Colombia.