The Republic of Colombia is a country in northwestern South America. Its capital is Bogota. The country is bordered to the North by the Caribbean Sea, to the East by VenezuelaBrazilto the Southeast, to the South by Ecuador and Peru , and to the West by the Pacific Ocean and Panama.


[hide]*1 history of Colombia

History of Colombia[Edit]Edit

Pre-Columbian era[Edit]Edit


See Pre-columbian history of Colombia for the main article on this topic.

In the pre-Columbian era the country was inhabited by indigenous peoples with different levels of civilization and Organization. The oldest found remains of human habitation date from 16,400 years ago. The concerning remnants of tools found near Girardot. The oldest remains of human bodies are 12,500 years old and found in Zipaquirá. Both places are located in the relatively dry Andean region. It is, however, that the warm and moist areas of the Amazon and the Caribbean and Pacific coasts still rather were inhabited although the oldest finds there only 9000 years old. The indigenous peoples were around 3500 BC, nomadic hunters and farmers, which the sea and river populated coasts. With the advent of corn as a food source in the 2nd century BC started groups to settle.

Early pre-Columbian peoples in the North were Urabá (ca. 1000 BC-0) and Sinú (0-1000) (best known for their extensive system for irrigation and drainage of agricultural land). In the Southwest lived TumacoCalima (1000 BC-800), Malagana (300 BC-300 ad), CaucaSan Agustín (1000 BC-1500 ad), TierradentroNariñoQuimbaya (0-900) and Tolima (200 BC-500 ad). At the time of the Spanish conquest, there were three language families in Colombia: Maipurean Chibcha, and Arawaktalen. 300 to 400 years before our era pulled Chibcha-speaking Indians from Central America to Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. The Chibcha settled originally on the Atlantic coast.Arawak Indians migrated from the East to Colombia and settled mainly in the eastern areas of the rivers Orinoco and Amazon. Around 1000 ad the Caribbean drew bellicose Brazilian coastal region and the Islands to the Colombian coasts and river valleys of the Magdalena and the Cauca and driven out there the Chibcha Andes-to higher areas. The Chibcha reached a high degree of economic and political development. When the Europeans began to discover South America around 1500 was the Chibcha most prominent ethnic group. They were divided into the Muisca and the Tairona, and some smaller groups. The largest group, the Muisca, had their living area on the high plains of Cundinamarca and Boyacá and current were farmers. Their social organization turned to the cacicazgo, the chieftain, and inherited leadership via the female line. (In particular: the successor/heir of the tribal chief was the son of his sister.) There were two major Muisca alliances during the Spanish conquests: Bacatá (Bogota) and Hunza (Tunja). At the head of the Zipa, Bacatá was the Chief. At the Hunza was called the Chief Zaque. The smaller Chibcha-speaking group populated the northern foothills of the Tairona Sierra Nevada de Santa Martamountain range. Tairona consisted of two groups, one in the Caribbean lowlands and the other in the Highlands of the Andes. The first group lived from fishing and salt production, products they swapped for textiles of the Tairona in the Highlands. Tairona lived in numerous well organized cities that were connected with each other via stone roads.

Spanish conquest and domination[Edit]Edit

[2][3]Nuevo Reino de Granada

Rodrigo de Bastidas landed in 1500 as first on the Colombian coast. In 1509 Alonso de Ojeda founded the Northwestern coastal town of San Sebastian de Urabá. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa founded Santa Maria la Antigua del Darién from where he undertook an expedition to the Pacific coast (1513). With Santa Marta (1525) and Cartagena(1533) got one the coast in hands and from there began the colonial domination of the Interior, encouraged by the myth of 'El Dorado', the abundant source of gold.Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada led by Sebastián de Belalcázar and became the current Colombia discovered (1536). In 1557 was in Bogota Real Audiencia del Nuevo Reino de Granada the ' established '. The conquest of Nuevo Reino de Granada was marked by looting of the native American culture well, enforcement of Spanish customs and religion, and slavery. The hard Spanish regime and the infectious diseases that the Spaniards had unknowingly introduced led to a sharp decrease in the indigenous population.Therefore, African slaves to Colombia to work in mines and to perform on the plantations.

In 1717, the Viceroyalty of Peru, regardless of the area, a private colonial jurisdiction under the name of Virreinato de la Nueva Granada (Viceroyalty of New Granada). The country came mainly Colombia, Venezuela match the current Ecuador, and Panama.

Venezuela separated In 1777 is wondering.

Independence from Spain[Edit]Edit

[4][5]Great-Colombia (1819-1830)

Until 1810 , the country was a colony of Spain and an important source of Gold but in that year Colombia declared itself independent. Spanish troops under the command of General Pablo Morillo conquered, however, after the Napoleonic warsthe country back. It was not until 1819 there was talk of a real independence led by Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander. Simón Bolívar became the first president of Colombia. Colombia Colombia and then still existed from the current EcuadorVenezuela and Panama. Bolivar was deposed In 1830 which led to the collapse of the Republic.Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama emerged as independent States remained part of Colombia until 1903. From the outset, the political situation was uneasy among other things because the political system from just two parties existed, the Liberals and the conservatives. This dichotomy was also roughly corresponds to the social division of the country: on the coast live the ' coastal ', mostly descendants of the slaves -live in the central Highlands the cachacos ', ' the Spanish descendants.

Civil war and popular uprisings[Edit]Edit

As a result of the desolate economic situation, several coups and ongoing violent conflicts began in 1899 the 1000-Day War between the ruling conservatives and troops of the Liberals. The war, which lasted until 1902, would end up between 60,000 and 130,000 food requirements and leave the country destroyed. In 1903 led a military rebellion, supported by the us who wanted to build the Panama Canal , to the secretion of the then province of Panama. In 1928 took place the massacre of banana strike place. The American United Fruit Companyhad a monopoly in the banana plantations and the exploited workers from. The strike was forcibly broken up with hundreds of victims as a result. From 1948 found a bloody popular uprising after the Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was murdered. The popular uprising in Bogota, with 2500 deaths, spread over the whole country. This battle, known as 'La Violencia', has probably claimed the lives of over one hundred thousand people. Towns and villages were burned down and more than a million people fled to Venezuela.

Military and political dictatorships[Edit]Edit

From 1953 to 1957 Gustavo Rojas Pinilla General led a military dictatorship. In an effort to stop political violence and hostility, the two major political parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals, in 1958 off to alternately to take over the country. That led to a substantial reduction in the violence, however, because many felt excluded from the democratic process by this appointment. This period lasted until 1974 but from1965 to 1968 was still proclaimed martial law due to violence by left-wing guerrillas and rebellion from the University of Bogota. The current Constitution dates from 1991.

Current political situation[Edit]Edit


The current political situation is restless. Opposite the Government sprung up left-wing guerrilla groups FARC and ELN. Large landowners, private armies in defense of their country. There were paramilitary right-wing armed groups that the AUC is the largest. With the rise of the cocaine production armed the Colombian mafia also on a large scale. At present, a idealistic separation is not clear. To create the mafia use of protection by the guerrilla and finances this in the war against the Government with drug money. The fight against paramilitary violence, guerrilla, cocaine mafia, corruption and abuse of power is of continuing influence on the political situation. So wasIngrid Betancourt, a presidential candidate in 2002 in favour of dialogue, by the left-wing FARC guerrilla group kidnapped. These factors made it an unattractive country for foreign investors and that is reflected in the economic situation. The current president Juan Manuel Santos (August 2010) intends the policy of his predecessorÁlvaro Uribe to continue. Uribe followed a hard line against terror, on the one hand and on the other hand, tried to get a grip on the paramilitary groups by agreements to demobilize or integrate them and in military and police. By the hard line is forced the FARC on the defensive and improves the economic situation somewhat. The cocaine mafia is contested with varying degrees of success in the War on Drugs, largely funded by the United States. Although there are any objections to the tolerant attitude of the Government towards the paramilitaries, the fumigations of coca plantations and the use of civilian population in the fight because the population in majority supports this policy, Uribe was elected for a second term in 2006. The international community supports the Colombian Government in the restoration of the rule of law, the restoration of the authority throughout the territory of Colombia and a solution to the armed conflict in Colombia. A group of countries, G-24, this functions as a controlling body.

Human Rights[Edit]Edit

Amnesty International reported in the Yearbook 2007: "Although some forms of violence related to the ongoing conflict in Colombia have been decreasing, particularly killings and abductions, serious human rights violations were still the order of the day. All parties to the conflict (...) violated human rights and international humanitarian law. They were responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The number of people displaced by the conflict hit ran back, but the large number of displaced people remained a concern. Trade unionists and human rights activists were the target of violence, especially by paramilitary groups.There were continued reports of extrajudicial killings by members of the security forces, targeted massacres of civilians and kidnappings by guerrilla troops. " [4]


Geographical breakdown[Edit]Edit

[8][9]Geographical breakdown

There are 5 areas that broadly distinguished in Colombia can be to climate and landscape:

  • the Andes in the West. Here lives the largest part of the population, mainly in the millions of cities BogotaMedellin and Cali;
  • the Caribbean coast. Also here are some important population centres such as Cartagena and Barranquilla;
  • the Pacific coast;
  • the plains of the Orinoco;
  • the jungle of the Amazon (the Orinoco and Amazon). This covers 54% of the total area of Colombia, but live there but 3% of Colombians.


Colombia is situated virtually on the equator but due to the great differences in altitude, there are four different climate zones for. 83% of the country is lower than 1000 meters and the average temperature is 24 ° c. 9% of the country lies between 1000 m and 2000 m above sea level with an average temperature of 18 ° c. 6% of the land area is between 2000 and 3000 meters with an average temperature of 12 ° c. Eternal snow one finds above 4500 meters of altitude.

The seasons are characterized by rainfall in Colombia rather than by temperature changes. In the low areas on the Caribbean coast (North) there is a dry season from december to March, the rest of the year is rainy. In the South, the rainy season interrupted by a period of less rain in June and July, and on the Pacific coast is hardly adry season . The peninsula of La Guajira to the Caribbean Sea, in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is located, has a steppe climate and the same applies to the small Tatacoadesert in the Andes mountains.



See also: list of rivers of Colombia

Colombia is rich in rivers by the many mountain ranges. Most of them flowing into and from the East. The most important rivers in the North are the MetaVichada and Guaviare the (all in the catchment basin of theOrinoco). In the West of the country flows the Magdalena in the valleys of the Andes and the Cauca.



See nature in Colombia for the main article on this topic.

Colombia is very rich in vegetation; large parts of the country are covered with tropical rainforest . On the coast are mangrove forests for. The headwaters of the Magdalena consists largely of Savannah, the llanos.The Christmas orchid (Cattleya trianae) is the national flower of Colombia.



See geology of Colombia for the main article on this topic.

Administrative divisions[Edit]Edit

[13][14]Departments of Colombia


See departments of Colombia for the main article on this topic.

Colombia is a unitary State consisting of 32 departments plus the Capital District of Bogota. Departments with many inhabitants are further divided in regions or provinces, which mainly are in support of the administration of the Department and the municipalities. They have themselves little power. The lowest level of Government is usually that of the municipality (municipio). The most populous departments consist of more than one hundred municipalities, the least densely populated but from some (which then often greater than Flanders). In some departments are very sparsely populated areas governed as prefectural districts (corregimiento located departamental) or municipal districts (municipal corregimientos).


Most people living in the Andean region and the Caribbean coastal region. About 49% of Colombians live in the cities. Only a small percentage of the population is of indigenous descent. About half of the population are mestizo 58%, white 20%, 3.4% is Indian and African ancestry is 10.6%. The vast majority of the population speaksSpanishCaribbean-Spanishin the coastal area. The majority of Colombians is Roman Catholic, also there are mainly among the Indians followers of natuurgods services.

According to the United Nations Development Programme in Colombia 64.0% of the population lived under the poverty line in the period 2000-2007. [5In 2009 was 49.2% and in 2011 this still is the percentage of the Colombian population living below the poverty line continued to decline to 45.5%. [6]

Government and politics[Edit]Edit

Colombia is a presidential Republic and one of the oldest democracies in South America. The president was long time chosen for a maximum of one term of Office of four years but under president Álvaro Uribe is the Constitution amended and the president may now be chosen for two terms of Office. The people is represented in Parliament , the two rooms (165 members) and theCongress (102 members). The ministers are not accountable to Parliament but to the president, who is also head of Government . The president is also the Commander of the army, but in conflict areas the army has a far-reaching constitutional jurisdiction.


Points Of Interest[Edit]Edit

Other museums

World Heritage[Edit]Edit


[16][17]Barranquilla -Atlántico[18][19]Main square of Cogua[20][21]Mountains Southeast of Bogota

Most tourists come to Colombia during the famous festivals (such as the Feria de Cali, the Carnival of Barranquilla, the Festival de Teatro Iberoamericano and the Feria de las Flores in Medellín). Many people also come over the Christmas period and the festivities around the independence celebration of Colombia. Although Colombia plagued by travel warnings because of FARC and other guerrilla groups, it attracts more and more tourists during the last years. The cause seems to find in president Álvaro Uribe to the hard approach to driving out the rebels still further from the big cities and other tourist places that draw international visitors.

Since president Uribe was elected in 2002, he has greatly increases the stability and security of Colombia. This he achieved mainly by the military efforts and the presence of police to increase throughout the country. This also has a positive impact on the country's economy, especially tourism. In 2006 the country was expecting about 1.5 million international tourists-50% more than the previous year. Even Lonely Planet, Publisher of the well-known travel guides for backpackers, Colombia has chosen as one of the 10 main destinations for 2006.


Famous Colombians[Edit]Edit


See list of well-known Colombians for the main article on this topic.

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