Guainía Department

Guainía Department
Department of Guainía
Departamento de Guainía
—  Department  —


Coat of arms
Guainía shown in red
Coordinates: 3°51′55″N 67°55′26″W / 3.86528°N 67.92389°W / 3.86528; -67.92389Coordinates: 3°51′55″N 67°55′26″W / 3.86528°N 67.92389°W / 3.86528; -67.92389
Country  Colombia
Region Amazon Region
Capital Inirida
 – Governor Wilson Ladino Vigoya
 – Total 72,238 km2 (27,891.2 sq mi)
Population (2005)[1]
 – Total 35,230
 – Density 0.5/km2 (1.3/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-05
ISO 3166 code CO-GUA

Guainía (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡwaiˈni.a]; Yira language: Land of many waters) is a department of Colombia. It is in the east of the country, bordering Venezuela and Brazil. Its capital is Inirida. In 1963 Guainía was split off from Vaupés. The northern part and the Inírida River are included in the Orinoco river basin; the rest is part of Amazonia. The Guaviare River is the main area of colonization, many colonos come from the Colombian Andean zone, most of them from Boyacá. They are followed by the llaneros, people from the Eastern plains. The main population is composed by Native Indians, the big ethnic groups are the Puinave (from the makú-puinave family) and the curripaco (from the Arawak family). There are a total of 24 ethnic groups in the department, many of them speak four Indian languages besides Spanish and Portuguese.

The department is known for its coca crops and the guerrilla presence, but many in Colombia ignore the beauty landscape, the variety in food and the Indians deep sense of hospitality. Colonization, narcotraffic and war are displacing the original population and pushing many of them into force displacement. Before the Mapiripán massacre, in the near department of Meta, the area was an island of peace inside violent Colombia. After 1996, the expansion of paramilitary forces ("self-defenses") lead them to the Guaviare River and Inírida surroundings. Now the presence of state military has strengthen and the capture of Fernandinho Beira-Mar,[2] a leading Brazilian narcotrafficker, prompted the department to the headlines. It occurred in Barrancominas, the second biggest population. In the political arena, the natives had won important places, like the Inírida mayor office and the sit of the governor. On January 20, 2006, the governor, Efrén de Jesús Ramírez Sabana, was put out of office because he was condemned by a Villavicencio judge in a case of nourishing unattendance.[3] The outsted governor is ethnically a Sikuani, he won office by the Autoridades Indígenas de Colombia, AICO (Colombian Indigenous Authorities) with a high percentage.


There's only one municipality in Guainía: Inírida, the capital. The rest of the territory is subdivided in corregimientos departamentales, a pending figure due to public disorder.[4] This case happens only in Amazonas, Vaupés and Vichada. Barrancominas is the second biggest population and its main corregimiento; it is located in the Guaviare River.

The Guainía corregimientos are:

  1. Cacahual
  2. Guaviare
  3. La Guadalupe
  4. Morichal Nuevo
  5. Pana Pana
  6. Puerto Colombia
  7. San Felipe

Most of the territory is inside Indian resguardos, a figure more autonomous than United States reservations. Land owners dislike this because this lands can not be sold, taken or prescript. One of the bigger resguardos is Chorro Bocón, in the medium Inírida River.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.