Colombia is a constitutional republic in northwestern South America. Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the northwest by Panama; and to the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Map of Colombia:
Geography of Colombia
Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by Panama and the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by Ecuador and the Pacific Ocean. Including its Caribbean islands, it lies between latitudes 14°N and 5°S, and longitudes 66° and 82°W.
History of Colombia
Approximately 10,000 years BC hunter-gatherer societies existed near present-day Bogotá and they traded with one another and with cultures living in the Magdalena River valley. Beginning in the first millennium AD, groups of Amerindians developed a political system, the cacicazgo, a pyramidal power structure headed by a cacique.
Government of Colombia
The government of Colombia takes place within the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic as established in the Constitution of 1991. In accordance with the principle of separation of powers, government is divided into three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch.
Military of Colombia
The executive branch of government has responsibility for managing the defense of Colombia, with the President commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The Colombian military is divided into three branches: the National Army of Colombia; the Colombian Air Force; and the Colombian National Armada. The National Police functions as a gendarmerie, operating independently from the military as the law enforcement agency for the entire country. Each of these operates with their own intelligence apparatus separate from the national intelligence agency, the Administrative Department of Security.
Tourism in Colombia
For many years serious internal armed conflict deterred tourists from visiting Colombia, with official travel advisories warning against travel to the country. However, in recent years numbers have risen sharply, thanks to improvements in security resulting from President Álvaro Uribe’s “democratic security” strategy, which has included significant increases in military strength and police presence throughout the country and pushed rebel groups further away from the major cities, highways and tourist sites likely to attract international visitors. Foreign tourist visits were predicted to have risen from 0.5 million in 2003 to 1.3 million in 2007, while Lonely Planet picked Colombia as one of their top ten world destinations for 2006. In 2010 Colombia received 1,4 million foreign visitors, according to official statistics.
Demographics of Colombia
With an estimated 46 million people in 2008, Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. It is also home to the fourth-largest number of Spanish speakers in the world after Mexico, the United States, and Spain. It is slightly ahead of Argentina by almost 6 million people.
Religion in Colombia
The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) does not collect religious statistics, and accurate reports are difficult to obtain. However, based on various studies, more than 95% of the population adheres to Christianity, the vast majority of which (between 81% and 90%) are Roman Catholic. About 1% of Colombians adhere to indigenous religions and under 1% to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. However, despite high numbers of adherents, around 60% of respondents to a poll by El Tiempo reported that they did not practice their faith actively.