The Gulf Clan, formally known as Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC) published a statement denying responsibility over the killing of three young geologists employed by a Canadian mining company in Yarumal, Antioquia, in northern parts of the country. The incident took place during night hours of September 19. According to eye-witness reports, between 10 and 15 armed militants entered the camp where the geologists were conducting mining exploration activities. The victims were reportedly executed by dissident members from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)’s “Front 36”. The National Liberation Amy (ELN) had previously published a statement denying responsibility for the incident.
Coupled with the killing of another geologist on September 5, the latest attacks against personnel from a private mining company underscores the necessity of monitoring the movements of militants in Colombia, while adopting stringent security measures. As previously assessed, contrary to suggestions advanced by initial press reports, the Gulf Clan is unlikely to be responsible for the attack in Yarumal. In contrast with left-wing leaning militant groups, the Gulf Clan does not necessarily antagonize or oppose lawful mining operations in the country. In any event, moving forward mining operations in the area will most likely suffer setbacks, as private companies will reduce activities until the armed forces can feasibly secure or pacify northern parts of Antioquia. However, this scenario remains unattainable in the short-term, given the consolidated presence of militants in jungle areas.