History And Social Issues of Arauca- Colombia

Arauca- Colombia

Villa de Santa Bárbara de Arauca or familiarly known as Arauca is the municipality as well as the capital city of the Arauca Department of Colombia. It is located in the extreme northeastern border of Colombia adjoining Venezuela. In its south, the Casanare River and the Meta River has separated Arauca Department from the Casanare and Vichada departments. The famous The Caño Limón oil field is located within the territory that produces 30% of the Colombian oil.

Different Issues in Colombia

Since ages, Arauca has become the center of attraction for different historical matters, social issues and all those conflicts have emerged over natural resources, autonomy and territory, and therefore all the Colombian armed actors including the Army of National Liberation (ELN), the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC-EP), the Colombian Army, paramilitary organizations, drug-trafficking entities and above all local politicians are involved with different matters of Arauca.

At present the society has been suffering through extensive array of mockery of Colombia’s armed conflict including displacement, arbitrary detentions, kidnapping, bombardment, disappearances, mining, ‘false positives’, sexual violence, intimidation, terror and extortion.

Let’s have a look on the brief history of this city in question so that you gain some knowledge about the reason of such massive disruptions in the territory.



It was first discovered by the German conquistador Jorge de la Espira in 1536 but they left the region since they were actually searching for El Dorado. Later on Jesuits and land-grantees established the first settlement in this region.

It was actually founded by Juan Isidro Daboín in the year 1780 as an indigenous site of ten families and it was named after the river Arauca that divides it from Venezuela. The area suffers from frequent flood every year due to the this River.

Once, the city became the capital of New Granada Province of Casanare when it was much larger than its present size. Later on several labels have been assigned to Arauca including Capital of the Republic constituted under the revolutionary government in 1816, Capital of the Police District since 1911, Oil capital of Colombia since 1986 and presently Capital of the Department of Arauca since 1991.

With the growth of the region, the economy has been growing gradually based on the oil industry. Moreover, some people are engaged in cultivation of cacao, cassava, corn, rice, banana, fruit trees and so on. However, Arauca Department is suffering through various political and social issues that are creating much disturbance in its peace and social atmosphere.

Social Disturbance:

Over the years, the situation has been decreasing and the main reasons behind such disruptions are Colombian Conflict and Armed Conflict. There were more than six municipalities excluding electricity due to the guerrilla attack attributed by the Army to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Several members of the security force had been killed brutally by the FARC where more hundreds of thousands have been injured.

Now in order to maintain the peaceful environment, several pace-building processes are being conducted. Citizens Commissions for Reconciliation (CCRs), National Meeting of CCRs and 2nd International Forum for Reconciliation in Arauca are among those few efforts that are gradually trying to bring the disruptive situation under control. More traveling information at: http://www.colombia.travel/en

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