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Map of Colombia

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Colombia
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and Venezuela). A 40-year insurgent campaign to overthrow the Colombian Government escalated during the 1990s, undergirded in part by funds from the drug trade. Although the violence is deadly and large swaths of the countryside are under guerrilla influence, the movement lacks the military strength or popular support necessary to overthrow the government. An anti-insurgent army of paramilitaries has grown to be several thousand strong in recent years, challenging the insurgents for control of territory and illicit industries such as the drug trade and the government's ability to exert its dominion over rural areas. While Bogota steps up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.

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   Geography    Colombia
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
4 00 N, 72 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 1,138,910 sq km
land: 1,038,700 sq km
water: 100,210 sq km
note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, Serrana Bank, and Serranilla Bank
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,004 km
border countries: Brazil 1,643 km, Ecuador 590 km, Panama 225 km, Peru 1,496 km (est.), Venezuela 2,050 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m
note: nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.42%
permanent crops: 1.67%
other: 95.91% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
8,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil and water quality damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
only South American country with coastlines on both North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea

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   People    Colombia
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
42,310,775 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 31% (male 6,644,080; female 6,489,677)
15-64 years: 63.9% (male 13,171,416; female 13,879,115)
65 years and over: 5% (male 940,762; female 1,185,725) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 25.8 years
male: 24.9 years
female: 26.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.53% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.19 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.61 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 21.72 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.69 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 71.43 years
male: 67.58 years
female: 75.41 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.59 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
190,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,600 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Colombian(s)
adjective: Colombian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 90%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 92.4%
female: 92.6% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Colombia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
conventional short form: Colombia
local long form: Republica de Colombia
local short form: Colombia
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic; executive branch dominates government structure
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Bogota
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Distrito Capital de Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
20 July 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
5 July 1991
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted in 1992-93; judicial review of executive and legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet consists of a coalition of the two dominant parties - the PL and PSC - and independents
elections: president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 26 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2006)
election results: President Alvaro URIBE Velez received 53% of the vote; Vice President Francisco SANTOS was elected on the same ticket
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held NA March 2006); House of Representatives - last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held NA March 2006)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 28, PSC 13, independents and smaller parties (many aligned with conservatives) 61; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 54, PSC 21, independents and other parties 91
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
four coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justical (highest court of criminal law; judges are selected from the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms); Council of State (highest court of administrative law, judges are selected from the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms); Constitutional Court (guards integrity and supremacy of the constitution, rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the constitution, and international treaties); Higher Council of Justice (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; members of the disciplinary chamber resolve jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Conservative Party or PSC [Carlos HOLGUIN Sardi]; Liberal Party or PL [Camilo SANCHEZ]; Colombian Communist Party or PCC [Jaime CAICEDO]; Democratic Pole or PDI [Antonio NAVARRO Wolff]
note: Colombia has about 60 formally recognized political parties, most of which do not have a presence in either house of Congress
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and National Liberation Army or ELN; largest anti-insurgent paramilitary group is United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia or AUC
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CDB, FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Luis Alberto MORENO Mejia
chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Washington, DC
consulate(s): Atlanta
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
mailing address: Carrera 45 #22D-45, Bogota, D.C., APO AA 34038
telephone: [57] (1) 315-0811
FAX: [57] (1) 315-2197
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

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   Economy    Colombia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Colombia's economy suffers from weak domestic and foreign demand, austere government budgets, and serious internal armed conflict, but seems poised for recovery. Other economic problems facing President URIBE range from reforming the pension system to reducing high unemployment. Two of Colombia's leading exports, oil and coffee, face an uncertain future; new exploration is needed to offset declining oil production, while coffee harvests and prices are depressed. On the positive side, several international financial institutions have praised the economic reforms introduced by URIBE, which includes measures designed to reduce the public-sector deficit below 2.5% of GDP in 2004. The government's economic policy and democratic security strategy have engendered a growing sense of confidence in the economy, particularly within the business sector, and GDP growth in 2003 was among the highest in Latin America.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $263.2 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.7% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $6,300 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 13.7%
industry: 32.1%
services: 54.2% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
15.9% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
55% (2001)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 44% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
57.1 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.34 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 30%, industry 24%, services 46% (1990)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
14.2% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $24 billion
expenditures: $25.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
51.9% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
42.99 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
39.81 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
210 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
40 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
614,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
252,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.8 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.7 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.7 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
132 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-1.417 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12.96 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, coffee, coal, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 47.1%, Ecuador 6%, Venezuela 5.3% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$13.06 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 29.6%, Brazil 5.5%, Mexico 5.4%, Venezuela 5.2%, China 5%, Japan 4.6%, Germany 4.4% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10.92 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$38.26 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
Colombian peso (COP)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
COP
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Colombian pesos per US dollar - 2,877.65 (2003), 2,504.24 (2002), 2,299.63 (2001), 2,087.9 (2000), 1,756.23 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Colombia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,768,100 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,186,200 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern system in many respects
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations; fiber-optic network linking 50 cities
international: country code - 57; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat; 3 fully digitalized international switching centers; 8 submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 454, FM 34, shortwave 27 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
60 (includes seven low-power stations) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.co
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
115,158 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,732,200 (2003)

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   Transportation    Colombia
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,304 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 3,154 km 0.914-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 110,000 km
paved: 26,000 km
unpaved: 84,000 km (2000)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
9,187 km (2004)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
gas 4,360 km; oil 6,134 km; refined products 3,140 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bahia de Portete, Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Leticia, Puerto Bolivar, San Andres, Santa Marta, Tumaco, Turbo
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 35,427 GRT/46,301 DWT
by type: bulk 4, cargo 5, container 1, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 16 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
980 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 100
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 39
914 to 1,523 m: 38
under 914 m: 12 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 880
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 272
under 914 m: 573 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Colombia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army (Ejercito Nacional), Navy (Armada Nacional, including Naval Aviation, Marines, and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 11,252,027 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 7,495,462 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 392,656 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.3 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.4% (FY01)

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   Transnational Issues    Colombia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Nicaragua filed a claim against Honduras in 1999 and against Colombia in 2001 at the ICJ over disputed maritime boundary involving 50,000 sq km in the Caribbean Sea, including the Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank; maritime boundary dispute with Venezuela in the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian drug activities penetrate Peruvian border area; the continuing civil disorder in Colombia has created a serious refugee crisis in neighboring states, especially Ecuador
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator (cultivation of coca in 2002 was 144,450 hectares, a 15% decline since 2001); potential production of opium between 2001 and 2002 declined by 25% to 91 metric tons; potential production of heroin declined to 11.3 metric tons; the world's largest processor of coca derivatives into cocaine; supplier of about 90% of the cocaine to the US market and the great majority of cocaine to other international drug markets; important supplier of heroin to the US market; active aerial eradication program; a significant portion of non-US narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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