Although Villavicencio, the capital of the Department of Meta, is located just 120 miles from Bogota, the mountains of the eastern Andean Cordillera lie between the two cities. As a result, after its founding in 1842, Villavicencio remained an isolated frontier outpost for more than one hundred years. From Frontier Town to Metropolis recounts the history of the town and explains how, by the twenty-first century, it became a thriving metropolis with a population nearing three hundred thousand. During the next sixty years, it became the principal urban center of the Llanos despite the continual presence of militant guerrillas, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers. Noted researcher Jane M. Rausch offers a detailed treatment of the development of Villavicencio and the Department of Meta as a microcosm of Colombia's eastern frontier.
Jane M. Rausch is professor in the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Chapter 1: The Llanos Frontier and the Founding of Villavicencio Chapter 2: Villavicencio during the Federation Era: 1863-1888 Chapter 3: Villavicencio during the Era of Regeneration: 1886-1899 Chapter 4: War and Dictatorship: 1899-1909 Chapter 5: Capital of the National Intendancy of Meta: 1909-1930 Chapter 6: Villavicencio during the Liberal Republic: 1930-1946 Chapter 7: La Violencia and Its Impact on Villavicencio: 1947-1953 Chapter 8: The Rojas Pinilla Dictatorship and the Pacification of the Llanos: 1953-1958 Chapter 9: Villavicencio during the National Front: 1957-1974 Chapter 10: Villavicencio, 1974 to the Present: The Search for Civic Identity Chapter 11: Villavicencio and the Llanos Frontier