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History of Southern Colombia

In the modern era, Popay√°n has produced 11 Colombia presidents. During the present civil war which has lasted over 50 years, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) has been active. However, under former President Uribe's clean-up program and Plan Colombia, they and coca production has been pushed towards the nether regions of the Colombia-Ecuador border. This has caused a tremendous growth in the number of desplazados, or refugees.

Before the European conquest of the Americas, the mysterious culture we now call San Agust√≠n-Tierradentro, the ancestors of today's Nasa (P√°ez), lived in the central cordillera region. They left behind statues and burial tombs. The inter-valley area between the two mountain ranges was home to the many Pasto nations whose traditions yet live in small villages like Cumbal, Saldon√° and T√ļquerres.


The Spanish began making inroads into Southern Colombia in the 1530s. Under orders of Sebasti√°n de Belalc√°zar (Benalc√°zar), Ipiales, Pasto and Popay√°n were founded as base camps for the exploration for El Dorado. These population centers fell under the Real Audencia de Quito, thus giving them culturally and politically a closer nexus to Ecuador than to Bogot√° and the rest of modern Colombia.


As the colonies' wars against mother Spain intensified in the early 19th century, southern Colombia witnessed the movements of both sides' troops. Pasto remained a royal supporter and suffered quite severely at the hands of Sim√≥n Bol√≠var's forces. When the nascent Gran Colombia split into the countries we know today, Nari√Īo Department wished to leave with Ecuador but was prevented.


In the modern era, Popay√°n has produced 11 Colombia presidents. During the present civil war which has lasted over 50 years, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) has been active. However, under former President Uribe's clean-up program and Plan Colombia, they and coca production has been pushed towards the nether regions of the Colombia-Ecuador border. This has caused a tremendous growth in the number of desplazados, or refugees.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Southern Colombia: The History of San Agustín, The History of Parque Nacional Puracé, The History of Ipiales, Laguna de la Cocha History, The History of Pasto, The History of Popayán and The History of Tierradentro.








By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

23 Sep 2011



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