Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Jul 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Uraba region (map)

Uraba region (map)

Dirt road in Uraba (Photo: San Juan De Uraba municipal government)

Colombia’s northwestern Uraba region is located along the Panamanian border and touches both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean.

The region consists of jungle along the Panamanian border and the Pacific and inland of large plots of agricultural land.

Uraba is spread out over the departments of Choco, Antioquia and Cordoba and was home to Colombia’s first city, Santa Maria la Antigua del Darien.

The region has had a particular violent recent history especially after guerrilla groups like the FARC got involved in drug trafficking and saw the region as crucial for getting cocaine to Central America and arms into Colombia. Following strong guerrilla violence in the 1980s, the region became the birth ground of the paramilitary AUC who, while aiding the army in pushing back the rebels, killed, disappeared and displaced thousands of civilians.

Following the official demobilization of the AUC between 2003 and 2006, the region’s drug and arms trafficking routes came under control of “Los Urabeños.”