Putumayo Oil

Oil exploration in southern Colombia began in the early 1960s, one of a series of extractive bonanzas pulling migrants into the region. A thin pipeline snakes along the road leading to Orito, the center of drilling in the region. Now, oil production has fallen substantially, and oil revenue makes up only about 9% of the state budget.

In the early years of Plan Colombia, the pipeline was a significant guerrilla target; hundreds of attacks against the oil infrastructure spilled thousands of gallons of oil along the road.


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