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Lucy;

Although your argument is very interesting there’s some remarks that should be done to understand the extractive dynamics in Colombia.

Since the 80’s the extortion to foreign companies (mostly oil companies) is been part of the guerrilla’s strategy, in fact is been said that the ELN resurgence was caused amid continuous extortions to oil companies and contractors in Arauca. During the 90’s the increasing extortion in Putumayo, implied -along with the drug trafficking revenue- a huge revenue for the FARC. Therefore, this is not a new strategy, in fact is the oldest one. The change here is the apparent consensus from the companies on not paying for extortions to the guerrillas, the previous history not only in Colombia but also in Africa have shown that short term benefits can become long term nightmares for oil companies.

If we check the real potential in Colombia, we can see that oil is not the most important of development, recent studies have shown that coal, gold and gas are more important in the future than oil. In fact until mid of the 20th century Colombia was the biggest gold exporter of the world. Having said that, is true that at this moment oil is the most important activity in the country, but that’s because is the most sophisticated industry of the area, not because of its reserves.

Hope this helps…