Economic Problems of Latin America

By Seymour E. Harris | Go to book overview

Chapter XIII Colombia: with Particular Reference to Price Control

by BEN W. LEWIS and HENRY BEITSCHER

THE story of price control in the republic of Colombia is a case study in the operation of emergency economic regulations in a freedom-loving democracy.1

Colombia, occupying the northwest corner of South America, covers the southern approaches to the Panama Canal. In addition to the multitude of considerations which have prompted intense interest in wartime Latin America generally, as well as those growing out of special qualities of the Colombian economy and its array of resources, the proximity of Colombia to the Canal Zone has made, and will continue to make, Colombian attitudes and activities a matter of primary concern to the people of the United States.

Topographically, the principal features of Colombia are the three great mountain ranges in the west, running from north to south and ranging as high as 18,000 feet, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the northeast, the high plateau of Bogotá, and the region east of the eastern cordillera. The last, scantily populated, embraces the watersheds of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers and comprises almost twothirds of Colombia's 439,828 square miles. Between the western ranges flows the thousand-mile-long Magdalena River, emptying into the Caribbean Sea. The Magdalena, with its tributaries, has served for centuries as the principal transportation artery of the coun

____________________
1
The statements and expressions of opinion contained in this chapter are those solely of the authors in their personal capacities and are nor to be taken in any sense as official statements or expressions of the Foreign Economic Administration or the Office of Price Administration.

-321-

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