Leticia, Colombia

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Leticia is a city in the Republic of Colombia, capital of the department of Amazonas, Colombia's southernmost town (4.09° south 69.57° west) and the only major port on the river. It has an elevation of 96 meters above sea level and an average temperature of 27 °C (80.6 °F). Leticia has long been Colombia's shipping point for tropical fishes for the aquarium trade. Leticia has approximately 33,000 inhabitants on the left bank of the Amazon river, and is located at the point where Colombia, Brazil and Peru come together in an area called Tres Fronteras.

A long standing border dispute involving Leticia, between Colombia and Peru, was decided in 1934 by the League of Nations after these two nations were engulfed in an armed conflict known as the Colombia-Peru War. This was the first instance of action by an international body using its powers covered by the Monroe Doctrine.

Even though it is a city within the borders of Colombia and a capital of one of its departments, Leticia is very peaceful and isolated from the problems of the rest of the country. FARC activity is limited in the deep south of Colombia.[citation needed]

Contents

History

Early history and etymology

Early Leticia history mentions a Portuguese explorer who, after becoming lost on the river, died of starvation at the present site of Leticia with the rest of his crew. The city itself was founded by Peruvian captain Benigno Bustamante, who was the governor of the Peruvian department of Loreto, on April 25, 1867. Legend has it that when the Peruvian government decided to colonise the area (in order to prevent the Colombian government from claiming it first), they found a cross inscribed with the words "San Antonio", naming the new town after this cross.

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