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Kidnapped Oil Workers Released — Colombia

Between 73 and 80 people from a total of 92 contract employees...

Between 73 and 80 people from a total of 92 contract employees of US oil company Oxy, kidnapped yesterday, Monday, April 16, presumably by Colombian guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), were freed this morning (Tuesday, 17), and it is hoped that the remaining hostages will be freed in the next few hours, local press reported.
Police reported the multiple kidnapping occurred yesterday afternoon in the La Antioquenita sector, 20 kilometers from Arauca, the capital of the department of the same name, next to the Venezuelan frontier.

The workers were kidnapped when they were traveling in 18 vehicles from the oil installations in Cano Limon to their homes in Arauca, the BBC reported.

ELN attacks on the Cano Limon oil pipeline have increased in recent months. The country's second largest oil deposit (Cano Limon) is facing severe problems; it only operated for 47 hours in March and production went down from 120,000 bpd to 9,000, according to press reports.