Recent results from Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show deformation along the coast of Ecuador and Colombia that can be linked to the rupture zone of the earthquake in 1979. A 3D elastic boundary element model is used to simulate crustal deformation observed by GPS campaigns in 1991, 1994, 1996, and 1998. Deformation in Ecuador can be explained best by 50% apparent locking on the subduction interface. Although there have not been any historic large earthquakes ( Mw>7) south of the 1906 earthquake rupture zone, 50% apparent elastic locking is necessary to model the deformation observed there. In Colombia, only 30% apparent elastic locking is occurring along the subduction interface in the 1979 earthquake rupture zone ( Mw 8.2), and no elastic locking is necessary to explain the crustal deformation observed at two GPS sites north of there. There is no evidence from seismicity or plate geometry that plate coupling on the subduction zone is reduced in Colombia. However, simple viscoelastic models suggest that the apparent reduction in elastic locking can be explained entirely by the response of a viscous upper mantle to the 1979 earthquake. These results suggest that elastic strain accumulation is occurring evenly throughout the study area, but postseismic relaxation masks the true total strain rate.