In the rest of the world, oil heightens the danger of both “governmental” conflicts (over control of the central government) and secessionist conflicts; but in Latin America, oil is only linked to governmental conflicts. This is not because Latin American petroleum has unusual properties, but because the region is “secession-proof”: there have been no separatist conflicts in Latin America for over a century. Latin America’s great anomaly is not the absence of oil-based secessionist conflicts, but the absence of all secessionist conflicts.
That is Michael Ross writing on Latin America’s missing oil wars. They will not be missed.