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Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A four-decade long conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) heavily funded by the drug trade, escalated during the 1990s. The insurgents lack the military or popular support necessary to overthrow the government, and violence has been decreasing since about 2002. However, insurgents continue attacks against civilians and large areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. More than 31,000 former paramilitaries had demobilized by the end of 2006 and the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) as a formal organization had ceased to function. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, emerging criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders. In January 2011, Colombia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Colombia
Conventional short form Colombia
Local long form Republica de Colombia
Local short form Colombia

Government type
Republic; executive branch dominates government structure

Capital
Name Bogota
Geographic coordinates 4 36 N, 74 05 W
Time difference
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, 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, Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina (colloquially San Andres y Providencia), Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada

Independence
20 July 1810 (from Spain)

Constitution
5 July 1991; amended many times

Legal system
Civil law system influenced by the Spanish and French civil codes

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President Angelino GARZON (since 7 August 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government
President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President Angelino GARZON (since 7 August 2010)
Cabinet
Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections
President and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 May 2010 with a runoff election 20 June 2010 (next to be held in May 2014)
Election results
Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon 69.06%, Antanas MOCKUS 27.52%

Legislative branch
Bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Senate - last held on 14 March 2010 (next to be held in March 2014); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 14 March 2010 (next to be held in March 2014)
Election results
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - U Party 28, PC 22, PL 16, PIN 9, CR 8, PDA 8, Green Party 5, other parties 5; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - U Party 47, PC 37, PL 36, CR 16, PIN 12, PDA 4, Green Party 3, other parties 10; note - as of 1 January 2011, the Senate currently has 101 seats after one seat became vacant due to a PL senator losing their seat for illegal collusion with the FARC; the Chamber of Representatives also has one seat vacant after only 165 of the 166 candidates were credentialed

Judicial branch
Four roughly coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (highest court of criminal law; judges are selected by their peers from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms); Council of State (highest court of administrative law; judges are selected from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council 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); Superior Judicial Council (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; resolves jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms)

Political parties and leaders
Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Clara LOPEZ]; Conservative Party or PC [Efrain CEPEDA Sarabia]; Green Party [Luis GARZON; Jorge LONDONO Ulloa; Enrique PENALOSA]; Liberal Party or PL [Simon GAVIRIA]; National Integration Party or PIN [Angel ALIRIO Moreno]; Radical Change or CR [Alejandro CHAR Chaljub]; Social National Unity Party or U Party [Juan Francisco LOZANO Ramirez]
Note
Colombia has seven major political parties, and numerous smaller movements

Political pressure groups and leaders
Central Union of Workers or CUT; Colombian Confederation of Workers or CTC; General Confederation of Workers or CGT; National Liberation Army or ELN; Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC
Note
FARC and ELN are the two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia

International organization participation
BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Gabriel SILVA Lujan
Chancery
2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone [1] (202) 387-8338
FAX [1] (202) 232-8643
Consulate(s) general
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Michael MCKINLEY
Embassy
Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50, Bogota, D.C.
Mailing address
Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogota, D.C.
Telephone [57] (1) 275-2000
FAX [57] (1) 275-4600

Flag description
Three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia's land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity
Note
Similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

National symbol(s)
Andean condor

National anthem
Name
"Himno Nacional de la Republica de Colombia" (National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia)
Lyrics/music Rafael NUNEZ/Oreste SINDICI
Note
Adopted 1920; the anthem was created from an inspirational poem written by President Rafael NUNEZ


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  Colombia (Bogota):


  GPS points from Colombia (Bogota)

Bellavista Departamento Del Magdalena

Sarrutchirra Departamento De La Guajira

Piacun Departamento De Narino

Vereda El Carmen Departamento De Boyaca

Quebrada Arroz Departamento Del Amazonas

Holanda Departamento De Tolima

Sabanas De Marne Departamento Del Meta

La Berruga Departamento De Antioquia




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