Harman Patil (Editor)

Putumayo River

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- right  Cara Paraná
Length  1,610 km
Mouth  Amazon River
- elevation  6,000 m (19,685 ft)
Source  Andean natural region
Countries  Brazil, Peru, Colombia
Putumayo River httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
- left  Guamués River, San Miguel
- location  East of Pasto, Colombia
- location  Santo Antônio do Içá, Brazil
- average  8,760 m/s (309,356 cu ft/s)

The Putumayo River or Içá River (Spanish: Río Putumayo, Portuguese: Río Içá) is one of the tributaries of the Amazon River, west of and parallel to the Japurá River.


Map of Putumayo River


The Putumayo River forms part of Colombia's border with Ecuador, as well as most of the frontier with Peru. Known as the Putumayo in the former three nations, it is called the Içá when it crosses into Brazil. The Putumayo originates in the Andes Mountains east of the municipality of Pasto, Colombia. It empties into the Solimões (upper Amazon) near the municipality of Santo Antônio do Içá, Brazil. Major tributaries include the Guamués River, San Miguel, Güeppí, Cumpuya, Algodón, Igara-Paraná, Yaguas, Cotuhé, and Paraná de Jacurapá rivers. The river flows through the Solimões-Japurá moist forests ecoregion.


In the late 19th century, the Içá was navigated by the French explorer Jules Crevaux (1847–1882). He ascended it in a steamer drawing 1.8 metres (6 ft) of water, and running day and night. He reached Cuembí, 1,300 kilometres (800 mi) above its mouth, without finding a single rapid. Cuembí is only 320 kilometres (200 mi) from the Pacific Ocean, in a straight line, passing through the town of Pasto in southern Colombia. Creveaux discovered the river sediments to be free of rock to the base of the Andes; the river banks were of argillaceous earth and the bottom of fine sand.

Rubber boom era

During the Amazon rubber boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the land around the Putumayo became a major rubber-producing region, where the Peruvian Amazon Company maintained a production network centered on the nearby city of Iquitos. This production network mainly relied on the labor of indigenous Indians, who suffered from widespread human rights abuses. From 1910 to 1911, the British consul Roger Casement (who had previously publicized Belgian atrocities in the rubber business of the Congo Free State) wrote a series of condemnatory reports criticizing the atrocities of the PAC, for which he received a knighthood.

Casement's reports later formed much of the basis for the 1987 book Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man by the anthropologist Michael Taussig, which analyzed how the acts of terror committed by British capitalists along the Putumayo River in Colombia had created a distinct "space of death."


Today the river is a major transport route. Almost the entire length of the river is navigated by boats.

Cattle farming, along with the rubber trade, is also a major industry on the banks of the Içá. Rubber and balatá (a substance very much like gutta-percha, to the point where it is often called gutta-balatá) from the Içá area are shipped to Manaus, Brazil.

On March 1, 2008, Raúl Reyes and 14 of his fellow Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia guerrilla companions were killed while on the Ecuadorian side of the border by Colombian military forces.


Putumayo River Wikipedia

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