Former President Gaviria became Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) in September 1994 and was re-elected in 1999. The condor signifies liberty as well as sovereignty, the yellow symbolizes the natural riches of the country while the red symbolizes the bloodshed in the war for independence. The economy of Colombia is mainly dependent on manufacturing and agricultural exports such as bananas, cut flowers, sugar, and coffee. 4.7 out of 5 stars 7. The government has made great strides in recent years to secure peace with revolutionaries, minimize crime, and protect its strong democratic institutions and the country boasts at growing economy. FEN Learning is part of Sandbox Networks, a digital learning company that operates education services and products for the 21st century. On February 28, 2008, FARC rebels released four more Colombian hostages, all former members of Congress held in captivity for six years, after negotiations with President Chavez of Venezuela. Santos was largely responsible for planning and carrying out the government's successful assault on FARC. There are two major organizations in Colombia these days. The United States provides equipment to the Colombian military and police through the military assistance program, foreign military sales and the international narcotics control program. It comprises 32 departments and the Capital District of Bogotá, the country's largest city. However, the company’s first store was inaugurated in Colombia in the capital city of Bogotá in 2014. The FARC ended the truce in 1990 after some 2,000-3,000 of its members who had demobilized had been murdered. Need a reference? Available on the Internet at, the Department of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information, including Background Notes and daily press briefings along with the directory of key officers of Foreign Service posts and more. The music is also thumping and pumping in Colombia. Colombia is not only baked by the tropical sun from above but also fried from down below. 9. The two main civilizations that formed were the Tairona and the Muisca peoples. Beer is so common in this game, it’s almost a rule. 50. The results thus far have been impressive, but much remains to be done. Drinking coffee in Colombia is a cheesy affair. The Uribe administration seeks to maintain prudent fiscal policies and has pursued tough economic reforms including tax, pension and budget reforms. On July 2, 2008, after being held for six years by FARC rebels, 15 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, were freed by commandos who infiltrated FARC's leadership. The different cultures that occupied Colombia shared much in common in terms of diet and material culture. A similar tax to be imposed from 2007-2011 is expected to raise up to $3.6 billion. He promised to maintain the policies of former president Uribe, including the campaign against FARC guerrillas and forging a close relationship with the United States. The country is now one of the safest in South America, imposes short-term laws to avoid violence and has eradicated it’s drug-fuelled past to create an absolutely beautiful place to live, visit and teach in. Compassion-assisted children experience these realities daily. This originated in the city of Medellin, Colombia. International Disputes: In December 2007, ICJ allocated San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina islands to Colombia under 1928 Treaty but did not rule on 82 degrees W meridian as maritime boundary with Nicaragua; managed dispute with Venezuela over maritime boundary and Venezuelan-administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics, guerrilla, and paramilitary activities penetrate all neighboring borders and have caused Colombian citizens to flee mostly into neighboring countries; Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and the US assert various claims to Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank. The Department of State encourages all U.S citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Department's travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Though a former colony of Spain, Colombian culture, architecture, food habits, language, and its constitution are all more or less influenced by Spain. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Uribe has produced some impressive results in fixing his country's ills, however. Marxist guerrilla groups organized in the 1960s and 1970s, most notably the May 19th Movement (M-19), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), plunged the country into violence and instability. 17. Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on entry and exit requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, safety and security, crime, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. The bulk of the new investment is in the manufacturing, mining, and petroleum sectors. Agricultural Products: Coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; shrimp; forest products.Major Industries: Textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds. The name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of the explorer Christopher Columbus. TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATIONThe U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program advises Americans traveling and residing abroad through Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings. The area covered by modern day Colombia was originally inhabited by the indigenous tribes Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. )Government Revenues: 27.7% of GDP (2017 est. In 1538 they established the colony of New Granada, the area's name until 1861. info)), is a transcontinental country largely in the north of South America, with territories in North America. With so many happy-go-lucky chemicals flowing around, Colombia is reported to be the happiest place on planet earth. In Aug. 2001, Pastrana signed “war legislation,” which expanded the rights of the military in dealing with rebels. La Violencia (The Violence) and the National FrontThe assassination of Liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in 1948 sparked the bloody conflict known as La Violencia. The red and yellow colors of the Colombian flag were adapted from the Spanish flag and the stripe of blue symbolizes the ocean that separates the country of Colombia from Spain. We've got you covered with our map collection. Introduction of Country | Colombia Culture & History Facts “Columbia” name is taken from the second word of Christopher Columbus. Bogota is somewhat “Americanized” and has amazing nightlife. Many Colombian military personnel receive training in the United States or from U.S. instructors in Colombia. On May 15, 2012, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) went into effect. Colombia is presently the 16th-greatest coal producing country, accounting for about 1% of the world's total annual coal production, and the largest producer in Latin America (65.8 million tons in 2006). On March 7, 2008, during a summit meeting in the Dominican Republic, the leaders of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua ended their diplomatic dispute over Colombia's raid into Ecuador. )Employment by Occupation: Agriculture: 17%, Industry: 21%, Services: 62% (2011 est. The Spanish landed first in La Guajira in 1499 and by the mid-16th century annexed part of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of … )Inflation: 4.3% (2017 est. By 2006, the United States had invested $4 billion into Plan Colombia, the joint U.S.-Colombia coca antinarcotics plan begun in 2000. Santander's followers, forerunners of the Liberals, wanted a decentralized government, state control over education and other civil matters, and a broader suffrage. Introduction of Country | Colombia Culture & History Facts “Columbia” name is taken from the second word of Christopher Columbus. Taken by Joel Duncan via 20. The following year, Colombia lost its claims to Panama because it refused to ratify the lease to the United States of the Canal Zone. In his first year, Uribe beefed up Colombia's security forces with the help of U.S. special forces, launched an aggressive campaign against the drug trade, and passed several economic reform bills. They were both part of the Chibcha language peoples. Narco-terrorists assassinated three presidential candidates during the election campaign of 1990. It established a power-sharing agreement between the two parties and brought an end to "La Violencia." Pastrana AdministrationThe administration of Andres Pastrana (1998-2002), a Conservative, faced increased countrywide attacks by the FARC and ELN, widespread drug production and the expansion of paramilitary groups. Colombia Ancient History. Principal U.S. Embassy OfficialsAmbassador-- William R. BrownfieldDeputy Chief of Mission--Brian NicholsPolitical Counselor--John S. CreamerEconomic Counselor--Lawrence J. GumbinerConsul General--David Meron (Acting)Commercial Counselor--Margaret Hanson-MuseManagement Counselor--Kathleen HodaiMilitary Group Commander--COL Kevin D. SaderupNarcotics Affairs Section Director--Perry HollowayDefense Attache--COL Mark WilkinPublic Affairs Officer--Mark WentworthRegional Security Office--Michael PoehlitzUSAID Director--Liliana Ayalde. For additional information on international travel, see Dance, music, art and culture make Colombia unique. Between 2002 and 2006, Colombia saw a decrease in homicides by 37%, kidnappings by 78%, terrorist attacks by 63%, and attacks on the country's infrastructure by 60%. The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement was signed by President Bush in November 2006, and is awaiting congressional approval as of September 2007. Without Futbol, its iconic yellow jerseys, its heartthrob, James Rodriguez, or without its unique goal dance, Colombian people couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep. In 2004, the Uribe government established, for the first time in recent Colombian history, a government presence in all of the country's 1,099 municipalities (county seats). The government of Colombia found a $2 billion Spanish shipwreck under the sea near its coast. This four day festival of color, parades, street parties and costumes takes place every year four days prior to Ash Wednesday. 11. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. This prompted the government to sell off large tracts of land to interested developers, which encouraged immigration. The nine eastern lowlands departments, constituting about 54% of Colombia's area, have less than 3% of the population and a density of less than one person per square kilometer (two persons per sq. While Colombian kids are given a nice coffee milkshake, they grow up to go pure black. But then luck struck Spain, and Spain struck a mountain. This is because Colombia... 3. The nominal GDP per capita is $14,100. Thirty cities have a population of 100,000 or more. There are many Colombia facts a lot more interesting than Pablo Escobar or the FARC. 35. Ethnic diversity in Colombia is a result of the intermingling of indigenous peoples, Europeans and Africans. The country has coastlines on two oceans: the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea which is part of the Atlantic Ocean. Tejo is the native and national sport of Colombia. With the second largest Spanish-speaking population, Colombia is also nicknamed “gateway to South America”. It is located on the Northwest coast of South America, bordered by Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. The government and the M-19 renewed their truce in March 1989, which led to a peace agreement and the M-19's reintegration into society and political life. Rojas, a Colombian politician captured in 2002, and Perdomo, a Colombian lawmaker captured in 2001, were escorted out of the jungle by several guerillas. Colombia, officially known as the Republic of Colombia, is the second most diverse country in the world, distinguished for its natural resources, modern cityscapes, and diverse culture. They are guerrilla organizations known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia and the Army of National Liberation. Columbus saw the coasts of Venezuela, Colombia and Panama and he gave them his own name. While the new constitution preserved a presidential, three-branch system of government, it created new institutions such as the Inspector General, a Human Rights Ombudsman, a Constitutional Court and a Superior Judicial Council. Its original name was Bacatá: The current land of Bogotá was first inhabited by the Muiscas, one of the multiple aboriginal groups that have lived in Colombia since the Precolumbian era until now. Two civil wars resulted from bitter rivalry between the Conservative and Liberal parties: The War of a Thousand Days (1899-1902) claimed an estimated 100,000 lives and La Violencia (1946-1957) cost another 300,000 Colombians. Colombia should benefit from the deal considerably with at least a 10% increase to their exports, while creating new jobs and economic growth. It is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. )Major Exports: Petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas, and apparel.Export Partners: US 33.5%, Panama 6.3% (2016). )Cell Phones: 58,684,924, 123 per 100 residents, (2016 est. Colombia practices a free-market economy that has greatly benefited the country due to foreign investment and foreign trade. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, each party held the presidency for roughly equal periods of time. 1. Spain, which looted them in the first place, has demanded the money back in an international dispute. GDP/PPP: $712.5 billion (2017 est. In case you are wondering who could top that, it’s India (21). 85 Interesting facts about Colombia. Public Announcements are issued to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Colombia is the only overland gateway to South America and is assumed to have been the route pioneered by the continent's first human inhabitants, who migrated from North and Central America. Santa Marta was the first permanent Spanish settlement founded in 1525. Ferronickel production decreased from 116 million pounds in 2005 to 112.7 million pounds in 2006. It is known for its jungle wildlife, with animals like the toucan and other tropical birds; the colibri, a colorful hummingbird; butterflies; and various forms of tree frogs and other amphibians. In 1861, President Tomas Cyprian de Mosquera ordered that the pavilion of the future United States of Colombia (1863-1886) carry nine stars representing each state, which were yellow, blue and red in horizontal stripes, “occupying the Yello… The finest quality emerald, a green gemstone, is found only in Colombia. Months of negotiations between Chavez and FARC rebels over the release of three hostages came to an end on December 31, 2007, when the FARC refused to hand them over, saying the promised security conditions had not been met. Many People sell phone minutes on the street ( you can make a phone call from someone else´s phone for a … In the 1970s and 1980s, Colombia became one of the international centers for illegal drug production and trafficking, and at times the drug cartels (the Medellin and Cali cartels were the most notorious) virtually controlled the country. Interesting facts about Colombia. The presidency would be determined by regular elections every 4 years and the two parties would have parity in all other elective and appointive offices. The country has a tropical climate and also includes some mountains i… Since 2000, the FARC has not carried out large scale multi-front attacks, although it has mounted some operations that indicate it has not yet been broken. The Spanish, having begun their colonization of the Caribbean, expanded their empire onto the continental mainland at the start of the 1500s. Although the two other major armed groups, left-wing FARC and ELN, continue to finance themselves through kidnapping and drug trafficking, governmental efforts have been successful in significantly reducing the kidnapping rate. 12. The National Police is a branch of the armed forces and was formed in 1891 in order to enforce the federal laws of Columbia. The Pre-Colombian Era . Bogotá is the home of the nation’s tire, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, but its chief activities are commercial. Facts about Colombia; History; Trade with Colombia; Why is Colombian coffee the world’s favorite? 4.5 out of 5 stars 15. The security forces number about 350,000 uniformed personnel: 190,000 military and 160,000 police. Negotiations with the rebels in 2000 and 2001 were marred by rebel attacks, kidnappings and fighting between rebels and paramilitaries for control of coca-growing areas in Colombia. longform poetry from the country's different indigenous groups. 47-51Bogota, Colombia(tel: (571) 315-0811; fax: (571) 315-2197).The mailing address is APO AA 34038. The cooler elevations--between 2,000 and 3,000 meters--produce wheat, barley, potatoes, cold-climate vegetables, flowers, dairy cattle and poultry. Since 2003, the right-wing paramilitary group AUC has been involved in peace talks with the government, but despite demobilizing 4,000 troops, the vigilante group seemed as vigorous as ever in 2005. He is the author of “Love in the Time of Cholera,” which is the most-sold Spanish novel in history. Although much attention has been focused on the security aspects of Colombia's situation, the Uribe government also is making significant efforts on issues such as expanding international trade, supporting alternate means of development, and reforming Colombia's judicial system. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and will enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions. Different studies and research have found out that humans settled... 2. Attacks conducted by illegally armed groups against rural towns decreased by 91% from 2002 to 2005. Laureano Gómez (1950–1953); the army chief of staff, Gen. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953–1956); and a military junta (1956–1957) sought to curb disorder by repression. The army suppressed an M-19 attack on the Palace of Justice in Bogota in November 1985, during which 115 people were killed, including 11 Supreme Court justices. Illicit Drugs: Illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator with 188,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2016, a 18% increase over 2015, producing a potential of 710 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to nearly all of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; in 2016, the Colombian government reported manual eradication of 17,642 hectares; Colombia suspended aerial eradication in October 2015 making 2016 the first full year without aerial eradication; a significant portion of narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange; Colombia probably remains the second largest supplier of heroin to the US market; opium poppy cultivation was estimated to be 1,100 hectares in 2015, sufficient to potentially produce three metric tons of pure heroin. Infoplease knows the value of having sources you can trust. Transition from a highly regulated economy has been underway for more than 15 years. Alvaro Uribe of the Liberal Party easily won the presidential election in May 2002. Colombia does not have seasons; because it is near the equator, it has sunlight throughout the year. The fertile plateau and valley of the eastern range are the most densely populated parts of the country. U.S. exports to Colombia in 2006 were $6.9 billion, up 13.2% from the previous year. 58. Some tribes, such as the Inca, headed further south and built major civilizations, while smaller groups settled in what is now Colombia and eventually reached a high level of development. The communist party has been guaranteed electoral seats through 2026 as part of the peace agreement that ended their military actions. China has the most neighbors – 16 (North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Macau and Hong Kong). Places North America Natural features. The History of Colombia While the Aztecs and the Incas built empires that extended control over vast regions of pre-Columbian America, Colombia was settled by a number of smaller groups of peoples such as the Tayronas and the Muiscas. When the Spanish came to conquer South America, their foreign European diseases killed most native people, even before any war. Bolivar's supporters, who later formed the nucleus of the Conservative Party, sought strong centralized government, alliance with the Roman Catholic Church and a limited franchise. Colombia is a free market economy with major commercial and investment ties to the United States. Fact 6: Colombia is the only country in South America that has access to both the Pacific and Caribbean ocean. The ring is 40,000km long, and there are more than 450 volcanoes. Here I bring 7 cool facts about Bogotá history you probably didn’t know and to refresh the ones you have probably heard before. The Spaniards lead by Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. The most popular choice for breakfast in Colombia is Changua. On June 15, 2014, Juan Manuel Santos won reelection with 53.1% of the vote and Oscar Ivan Zuluaga 46.9%. Official name: Republic of Colombia (República de Colombia), Land area: 401,042 sq mi (1,038,699 sq km), Total area: 439,736 sq mi (1,138,910 sq km), Other large cities: Medellin 3.934 million; Cali 2.726 million; Barranquilla 2.218 million; Bucaramanga 1.295 million; Cartagena 1.047 million; Cucuta 913,000 (2018), National Holiday: Independence Day (7/20), Population Change: Growth rate: 0.99%; 16.1 births/1,000 population, 5.5 deaths/1,000 population, -0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population; infant mortality rate: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est. 47. President Uribe instituted a wealth tax in 2002, which raised over $800 million, with 70% used to increase 2002-2003 defense spending. Seems like Colombia colonized Spain, and not the other way around. 40. Projected defense spending for 2006 was $4.48 billion. Customer service representatives and operators for TDD/TTY are available Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, Eastern Time, excluding federal holidays. Colombia started off as the Viceroyalty of New Granada, but soon broke up to become the Republic of Colombia. Independence from Spain was won in 1819, but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved. Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Indications that hunter-gatherer societies lived in Colombia in around 1200 BC has been discovered near Bogota (at El Arbra and Tequendama) however evidence of human habitation of South America has been dated as far back as 43, 000 BC. Colombia is named for Christopher Columbus. The government not only tolerates graffiti but also encourages and sponsors street art. 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