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Colombia (2001)

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Colombia 2001 year

Administrative divisions 32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, 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, Distrito Capital de Santa Fe de Bogota*, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Age structure 0-14 years:
31.88% (male 6,507,282; female 6,354,454)

15-64 years:
63.37% (male 12,452,182; female 13,117,707)

65 years and over:
4.75% (male 859,967; female 1,057,796) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
Airports 1,091 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
8 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
613 (2000 est.)
Area total:
1,138,910 sq km

1,038,700 sq km

100,210 sq km

includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, Serrana Bank, and Serranilla Bank
Area - comparative slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Background 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. While Bogota continues to try to negotiate a settlement, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.
Birth rate 22.41 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$22 billion

$24 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital Bogota
Climate tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
Coastline 3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)
Constitution 5 July 1991
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Colombia

conventional short form:

local long form:
Republica de Colombia

local short form:
Currency Colombian peso (COP)
Death rate 5.69 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $34 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Anne W. PATTERSON

Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831

mailing address:
Carrera 45 #22D-45, Bogota, D.C., APO AA 34038

[57] (1) 315-0811

[57] (1) 315-2197
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Luis Alberto MORENO Mejia

2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

[1] (202) 387-8338

[1] (202) 232-8643

consulate(s) general:
Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Washington, DC

Disputes - international maritime boundary dispute with Venezuela in the Gulf of Venezuela; territorial disputes with Nicaragua over Archipelago de San Andres y Providencia and Quita Sueno Bank
Economic aid - recipient $40.7 million (1995)
Economy - overview Colombia is poised for muted growth in the next several years, marking continued recovery from the severe 1999 recession when GDP fell by about 4%. President PASTRANA's well-respected economic team is working to keep the economy on track, maintaining low interest rates, for example. In accordance with its IMF loan agreement, the administration also is taking steps to improve the public sector's fiscal health. However, many challenges to improved prosperity remain. Unemployment was stuck at a record 20% in 2000, contributing to the extreme inequality in income distribution. 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. The lack of public security is a key concern for investors, making progress in the government's peace negotiations with insurgent groups an important driver of economic performance. Colombia is looking for continued support from the international community to boost economic and peace prospects.
Electricity - consumption 40.532 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 27 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 35 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 43.574 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



1.54% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m

nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreements party to:
Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping
Ethnic groups mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
Exchange rates Colombian pesos per US dollar - 2,241.43 (January 2001), 2087.90 (2000), 1,756.23 (1999), 1,426.04 (1998), 1,140.96 (1997), 1,036.69 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Andres PASTRANA (since 7 August 1998); Vice President Gustavo BELL Lemus (since 7 August 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:
President Andres PASTRANA (since 7 August 1998); Vice President Gustavo BELL Lemus (since 7 August 1998); 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

president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 31 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002); vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term in a new procedure that replaces the traditional designation of vice presidents by newly elected presidents; election last held 31 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002)

election results:
no candidate received more than 50% of the total vote, therefore, a run-off election to select a president from the two leading candidates was held 21 June 1998; Andres PASTRANA elected president; percent of vote - 50.3%; Gustavo BELL elected vice president; percent of vote - 50.3%
Exports 27 million kWh (1999)
Exports $14.5 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities petroleum, coffee, coal, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Exports - partners US 50%, EU 14%, Andean Community of Nations 16%, Japan 2% (2000 est.)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $250 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


55% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 4 00 N, 72 00 W
Geography - note only South American country with coastlines on both North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea
Highways total:
110,000 km

26,000 km

84,000 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
44% (1999)
Illicit drugs illicit producer of coca, opium poppies, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator (cultivation of coca in 1999 - 122,500 hectares, a 20.3% increase over 1998); cultivation of opium in 1999 increased to 7,500 hectares from 6,100 hectares in 1998; potential production of opium in 1999 - 75 metric tons, a 25% increase over 1998; potential production of heroin in 1999 - nearly 8 metric tons, as compared with 6 tons in 1998; the world's largest processor of coca derivatives into cocaine; supplier of about 90% of the cocaine to the US and the great majority of cocaine to other international drug markets, and an important supplier of heroin to the US market; active aerial eradication program
Imports 35 million kWh (1999)
Imports $12.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Imports - partners US 35%, EU 16%, Andean Community of Nations 15%, Japan 5% (2000 est.)
Independence 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 11% (2000 est.)
Industries textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
Infant mortality rate 23.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 9% (2000)
International organization participation BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G- 3, G-11, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 18 (2000)
Irrigated land 5,300 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch 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)
Labor force 18.3 million (1999 est.)
Labor force - by occupation services 46%, agriculture 30%, industry 24% (1990)
Land boundaries 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
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

8% (1993 est.)
Languages Spanish
Legal system 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
Legislative branch 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 (163 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Senate - last held 8 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2002); House of Representatives - last held 8 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2002)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - PL 50%, PSC 24%, smaller parties (many aligned with conservatives) 26%; seats by party - PL 58, PSC 28, smaller parties 16; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PL 52%, PSC 17%, other 31%; seats by party - PL 98, PSC 52, indigenous parties 2, others 11
Life expectancy at birth total population:
70.57 years

66.71 years

74.55 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


91.4% (1995 est.)
Location Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
Map references South America, Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims continental shelf:
200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 53,322 GRT/69,444 DWT

ships by type:
bulk 5, cargo 4, container 1, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, petroleum tanker 2 (2000 est.)
Military branches Army (Ejercito Nacional), Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Marines and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana), National Police (Policia Nacional)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $3 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.4% (FY00)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
10,779,148 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
7,205,211 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
379,295 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
Net migration rate -0.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 3,585 km; petroleum products 1,350 km; natural gas 830 km; natural gas liquids 125 km
Political parties and leaders Conservative Party or PSC [Ciro RAMIREZ Anzon]; Liberal Party or PL [Luis Guillermo VELEZ]; Patriotic Union or UP is a legal political party formed by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and Colombian Communist Party or PCC [Jaime CAICEDO]; 19 of April Movement or M-19 [Antonio NAVARRO Wolff]
Political pressure groups and leaders two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - National Liberation Army or ELN and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC; largest paramilitary group is United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia or AUC
Population 40,349,388 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 55% (1999)
Population growth rate 1.64% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Bahia de Portete, Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Leticia, Puerto Bolivar, San Andres, Santa Marta, Tumaco, Turbo
Radio broadcast stations AM 454, FM 34, shortwave 27 (1999)
Radios 21 million (1997)
Railways total:
3,304 km

standard gauge:
150 km 1.435-m gauge (connects Cerrejon coal mines to maritime port at Bahia de Portete)

narrow gauge:
3,154 km 0.914-m gauge (major sections not in use) (2000)
Religions Roman Catholic 90%
Sex ratio 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:
0.81 male(s)/female

total population:
0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
modern system in many respects

nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations; fiber-optic network linking 50 cities

satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat; 3 fully digitalized international switching centers; 8 submarine cables
Telephones - main lines in use 5,433,565 (December 1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1,800,229 (December 1998)
Television broadcast stations 60 (includes seven low-power stations) (1997)
Terrain flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
Total fertility rate 2.66 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 20% (2000 est.)
Waterways 18,140 km (navigable by river boats) (April 1996)
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