Emerald Energy, a UK-headquartered subsidiary of China’s Sinochem, has requested the suspension of its Ombu contract in southwest Colombia amid violent protests that have resulted in two deaths and, at one point, at least 84 people being held hostage.

The decision follows weeks of violence in Los Pozos, a remote community in the Amazonian department of San Vicente del Caguan, after indigenous groups and farmers stepped up their demands for more investment in local infrastructure by oil companies operating in the region.