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Colombia (2008)

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Colombia 2008 year

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, San Andres y Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Age structure 0-14 years: 29.8% (male 6,696,471/female 6,539,612)

15-64 years: 64.8% (male 14,012,140/female 14,732,874)

65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,042,645/female 1,355,856) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
Airports 934 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 103

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 39

914 to 1,523 m: 42

under 914 m: 12 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 831

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 34

914 to 1,523 m: 216

under 914 m: 580 (2007)
Area total: 1,138,910 sq km

land: 1,038,700 sq km

water: 100,210 sq km

note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, and Serrana Bank
Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Background Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A 40-year conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups and illegal paramilitary groups - both 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, but insurgents continue attacks against civilians and large swaths of the countryside are under guerrilla influence. More than 32,000 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. Still, some renegades continued to engage in criminal activities. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its municipalities. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.
Birth rate 20.16 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $64.02 billion

expenditures: $64.35 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2007 est.)
Capital name: Bogota

geographic coordinates: 4 36 N, 74 05 W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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; amended many times
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Colombia

conventional short form: Colombia

local long form: Republica de Colombia

local short form: Colombia
Death rate 5.54 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $43.3 billion (30 June 2007)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador William BROWNFIELD

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

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

telephone: [57] (1) 315-0811

FAX: [57] (1) 315-2197
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Carolina BARCO Isakson

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
Disputes - international memorials and countermemorials were filed by the parties in Nicaragua's 1999 and 2001 proceedings against Honduras and Colombia at the ICJ over the maritime boundary and territorial claims in the western Caribbean Sea - final public hearings are scheduled for 2007; 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 of its neighbors' borders and have caused over 300,000 persons to flee the country, mostly into neighboring states
Economic aid - recipient $511.1 million (2005)
Economy - overview Colombia's economy has experienced positive growth over the past five years despite a serious armed conflict. In fact, 2007 is regarded by policy makers and the private sector as one of the best economic years in recent history, after 2005. The economy continues to improve in part because of austere government budgets, focused efforts to reduce public debt levels, an export-oriented growth strategy, improved domestic security, and high commodity prices. Ongoing economic problems facing President URIBE include reforming the pension system, reducing high unemployment, and funding new exploration to offset declining oil production. The government's economic reforms and democratic security strategy, coupled with increased investment, have engendered a growing sense of confidence in the economy. However, the business sector continues to be concerned about failure of the US Congress to approve the signed FTA.
Electricity - consumption 38.91 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 1.758 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 16 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 50.47 billion kWh (2005)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m

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

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
Exchange rates Colombian pesos per US dollar - 2,013.8 (2007), 2,358.6 (2006), 2,320.75 (2005), 2,628.61 (2004), 2,877.65 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002)

cabinet: Cabinet consists of a coalition of the three largest parties that supported President URIBE's reelection - the PSUN, PC, and CR - and independents

elections: president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 28 May 2006 (next to be held in May 2010)

election results: President Alvaro URIBE Velez reelected president; percent of vote - Alvaro URIBE Velez 62%, Carlos GAVIRIA Diaz 22%, Horacio SERPA Uribe 12%, other 4%
Exports 1.758 billion kWh (2005)
Exports $28.39 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 289,700 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Exports - partners US 35.8%, Venezuela 11.4%, Ecuador 5.4% (2006)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red

note: similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 11.5%

industry: 36%

services: 52.4% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6.5% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 4 00 N, 72 00 W
Geography - note only South American country with coastlines on both the North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea
Heliports 2 (2007)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 7.9%

highest 10%: 34.3% (2004)
Illicit drugs illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis; world's leading coca cultivator with 144,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2005, a 26% increase over 2004, producing a potential of 545 mt of pure cocaine; the world's largest producer of coca derivatives; supplies cocaine to most of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets; in 2005, aerial eradication dispensed herbicide to treat over 130,000 hectares but aggressive replanting on the part of coca growers means Colombia remains a key producer; a significant portion of non-US narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange; important supplier of heroin to the US market; opium poppy cultivation fell 50% between 2003 and 2004 to 2,100 hectares yielding a potential 3.8 metric tons of pure heroin, mostly for the US market; no poppy estimate was conducted in 2005
Imports 16 million kWh (2005)
Imports $30.83 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 6,453 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Imports - partners US 26.8%, Brazil 8.6%, Mexico 8.5%, China 6%, Venezuela 5.6%, Japan 4.1% (2006)
Independence 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 6% (2007 est.)
Industries textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
Infant mortality rate total: 20.13 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 23.86 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.5% (2007 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CDB, CSN, FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, 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, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 9,000 sq km (2003)
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)
Labor force 20.65 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 22.7%

industry: 18.7%

services: 58.5% (2000 est.)
Land boundaries total: 6,309 km

border countries: Brazil 1,644 km, Ecuador 590 km, Panama 225 km, Peru 1,800 km, Venezuela 2,050 km
Land use arable land: 2.01%

permanent crops: 1.37%

other: 96.62% (2005)
Languages Spanish
Legal system based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted into law in 2004 and is gradually being implemented; judicial review of executive and legislative acts
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 (166 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 12 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2010); House of Representatives - last held 12 March 2006 (next to be held in March 2010)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PSUN 20, PC 18, PL 18, CR 15, PDI 10, other parties 21; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 35, PSUN 33, PC 29, CR 20, PDA 8, other parties 41
Life expectancy at birth total population: 72.27 years

male: 68.44 years

female: 76.24 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 92.8%

male: 92.9%

female: 92.7% (2004 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
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Merchant marine total: 15 ships (1000 GRT or over) 35,949 GRT/49,161 DWT

by type: cargo 11, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 3

registered in other countries: 5 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Panama 4) (2007)
Military branches National Army (Ejercito Nacional), National Navy (Armada Nacional, includes Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (Infanteria de Marina, Colmar), and Coast Guard), Colombian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea de Colombia, FAC) (2008)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.4% (2005 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
Nationality noun: Colombian(s)

adjective: Colombian
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 -0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Pipelines gas 4,329 km; oil 6,140 km; refined products 3,145 km (2007)
Political parties and leaders Colombian Conservative Party or PC [Julio MANZUR Abdala]; Alternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Carlos GAVIRIA Diaz]; Liberal Party or PL [Cesar GAVIRIA Trujillo]; Radical Change or CR [German VARGAS Lleras]; Social National Unity Party or U Party [Carlos GARCIA Orjuela]

note: Colombia has 15 formally recognized political parties, and numerous unofficial parties that did not meet the vote threshold in the March 2006 legislative elections required for recognition
Political pressure groups and leaders two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and National Liberation Army or ELN
Population 44,379,598 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 49.2% (2005)
Population growth rate 1.433% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 454, FM 34, shortwave 27 (1999)
Railways total: 3,304 km

standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 3,154 km 0.914-m gauge (2006)
Religions Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.024 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.951 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.769 male(s)/female

total population: 0.961 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: modern system in many respects; telecommunications sector liberalized during the 1990s; multiple providers of both fixed-line and mobile-cellular services; fixed-line connections stand at about 18 per 100 persons; mobile cellular usage is about 70 per 100 persons

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

international: country code - 57; submarine cables provide links to the US, parts of the Caribbean, and Central and South America; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat; 3 fully digitalized international switching centers (2007)
Telephones - main lines in use 7.865 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 29.763 million (2006)
Television broadcast stations 60 (1997)
Terrain flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
Total fertility rate 2.51 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 10.6% (2007 est.)
Waterways 18,000 km (2006)
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