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Overview of Relations

Relations between Colombia and Ecuador under the Uribe administration in Colombia were often strained, particularly following a Colombian military incursion into Ecuadorian territory in 2008 during an attack on rebel force the FARC, after which Ecuador broke off diplomatic ties. The relations between the Uribe and his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa were described by the Economist as being marked by "deep mistrust and personal antipathy".

In July 2009 Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Fander Falconi commented that relations between the two countries had never been as bad, following accusations of donations made by the FARC to the election campaign for President Correa.[1]

However by December 2011 Correa commented that relations between the two countries were improved under the Santos government in Colombia. At a meeting between the two heads of state Santos and Correa formally announced the restoration of trade relations and more open border crossings, as well as agreements to cut airline prices between Quito and Bogota and restore bridges along the common border.[2]

Transnational Pipelines

Transandino pipeline

Ecopetrol’s Transandino Pipeline, completed in 1969, runs 305 kilometres between Ecuador and Colombia, connecting Ecuador’s oil fields with Port Tumaco on Colombia's Pacific coast. The pipeline has a capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and varies in diameter between 10 and 18 inches.[3]

The pipeline has suffered attacks on several occasions. A March 2008 attack took the pipeline off-stream for several weeks and in April 2009 an attack was allegedly carried out by FARC rebels, however this attack did not cause a halt in production.[4] Press reports have suggested that these incidents may have been reprisals by the rebel group for the March 2008 military raid on Ecuadorian soil that killed the FARC's second-in-command.[5] In early February 2011 the pipeline was again bombed by suspected rebels.[6]

Proposed extension to Antonio Ricaurte pipeline

In November 2011 the presidents of Venezuela and Colombia signed an agreement to extend the Antonio Ricaurte pipeline across Colombian territory to Panama and Ecuador.[7]


  1. From the guerrilla's mouthEconomist, 3 July 2009.
  2. Colombia, Ecuador relations improve, bilateral trade restoredColombia Reports, 20 December 2011.
  3. Colombia, Ecuador relations improve, bilateral trade restoredPipelines International, 20 December 2011.
  4. Ecopetrol restarts ops at Trasandino pipelineBusiness News Americas, 5 May 2009.
  5. Colombia Pipeline Bombed by FARC After Ecuador AttackBloomberg, 6 March 2008.
  6. Ecopetrol says bombed pipeline back in operationColombia Reports, 14 February 2011.
  7. Proposed pipeline extension is boon for Venezuela’s regional ambitions”. Interfax, 29 November 2011.