The blue anole, one of Isla Gorgona’s best-known endemic species.
A terror attack by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on facilities on the island of Gorgona has prompted Colombian officials to close the site “indefinitely” to tourists. Aviatur, Colombia’s largest tourism operator which operates the only lodge on Gorgona, shortly thereafter announced it was suspending all operations on the island.
The incident occurred around 3 am on November 22 when FARC guerrillas attacked a police station on the island with mortars, grenades, and machine guns. One soldier was killed and four were injured.
A Colombian naval vessel reached Gorgona about an hour after the assault. But the rebels had already fled the island.
Two foreign tourists plus park and lodge staff were on the island at the time of the attack. None were reported injured.
Isla Gorgona, Colombia. Image courtesy of Google Earth.
Gorgona, located off the Pacific coast of Colombia, is famed as a wildlife refuge, including rich marine life and an endemic blue lizard. It joins a large list of Colombian parks deemed unsafe for tourism due to rebel activity, including coca production and trafficking.
The attack came as FARC leaders continued peace negotiations with Colombian authorities in Havana. Some observers say ongoing military activities by FARC are meant to show that the rebel group still has the ability to wage warfare against the government.
Correction: this post originally stated that Gorgona is a World Heritage site. It is not. I regret the error.