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The Venezuela-Colombia Borderlands: A Regional and Historical Perspective

Luis Llambí


Colombia and Venezuela share a common border for 1,274 miles. Stretching from the Caribbean to Brazil, this boundary traverses a semi-desert flatland, two temperate mountain ranges and their subtropical valleys, the vast plains of the Orinoco basin, and finally, the Orinoco/Amazon rain forests. All along this varied ecological path the international boundary engenders among its inhabitants socio-economic differences which contrast with the homogeneous geo-ecological and cultural conditions on either side.

Over the decades, however, the boundary has not always produced the same effects. In 1941 Colombia and Venezuela reached an agreement on a longstanding dispute over their land borders. Since then the boundary has not changed, but borderland relations have altered, shifting political and economic contexts on national and international levels.

This paper gives an overview of the complex relations and processes which link Colombia and Venezuela all along their border and, at the same time, join borderland populations across the different boundary segments.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229