Colombia is not only baked by the tropical sun from above but also fried from down below. On May 15, 2012, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) went into effect. The History of Colombia While the Aztecs and the Incas built empires that extended control over vast regions of pre-Columbian America, Colombia was settled by a number of smaller groups of peoples such as the Tayronas and the Muiscas. The Spanish, having begun their colonization of the Caribbean, expanded their empire onto the continental mainland at the start of the 1500s. 68-15Baranquilla, Colombia(tel: (575) 353-0970 or 0974; fax: (575) 353-5216). In the 1980s, Colombia broadened its bilateral and multilateral relations, joining the Contadora Group, the Group of Eight (now the Rio Group) and the Non-Aligned Movement, which it chaired from 1994 until September 1998. The Department of State encourages all U.S citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Department's travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Discover the country's long and fascinating history with these interesting historical facts about Colombia. Facts about Colombia; History; Trade with Colombia; Why is Colombian coffee the world’s favorite? The country is now one of the safest in South America, imposes short-term laws to avoid violence and has eradicated it’s drug-fuelled past to create an absolutely beautiful place to live, visit and teach in. Here’s our roundup of the most interesting Colombia facts: 1. Learn more about the world with our collection of regional and country maps. The cooler elevations--between 2,000 and 3,000 meters--produce wheat, barley, potatoes, cold-climate vegetables, flowers, dairy cattle and poultry. Many Colombian military personnel receive training in the United States or from U.S. instructors in Colombia. Uribe AdministrationAlvaro Uribe, an independent, was elected president in May 2002 on a platform to restore security to the country. The capital of Colombia is the busy city of Bogota. The government has made great strides in recent years to secure peace with revolutionaries, minimize crime, and protect its strong democratic institutions and the country boasts at growing economy. Attacks conducted by illegally armed groups against rural towns decreased by 91% from 2002 to 2005. 3. Colombia is the only country in South America that has coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Colombia is the home country for many famous people such as Shakira and the famous writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 1. A major part of Uribe's popularity came from his unyielding operations against FARC. Four more FARC-held hostages were released in February 2009, including three Colombian police officers—Alexis Torres, Juan Fernando Galicia, and Jose Walter Lozano—and a Colombian soldier, William Rodriguez. U.S. policy toward Colombia supports the Colombian Government's efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, intensify counter-narcotics efforts, foster socioeconomic development, address immediate humanitarian needs, and end the threats to democracy posed by narcotics trafficking and terrorism. Colombia provides 75% of the world's illegal cocaine. In March 2006, Bogota hosted the Sixth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism. The Liberal administrations of Enrique Olaya Herrera and Alfonso López (1930–1938) were marked by social reforms that failed to solve the country's problems, and in 1946, a period of insurrection and banditry broke out, referred to as La Violencia, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives by 1958. Three American citizens, who were working on counternarcotics programs, were captured by the FARC in February 2003. What might prove the biggest change to the current balance is the reformation of militant rebel group FARC (Fuerza Armada Revolucionaria de Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) into the communist political party FARC (Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común, the People's Alternative Revolutionary Force). Coca cultivation decreased by 15% from 2001 to 2005, while opium poppy cultivation decreased by 68% from 2001 to 2004. Colombia has over 2,000 miles of … Colombia hosts the world’s largest theater festival, the Iberoamericana. Mining and energy related investments have grown because of higher oil prices, increased demand and improved output. Cacao, sugarcane, coconuts, bananas, plantains, rice, cotton, tobacco, cassava and most of the nation's beef cattle are produced in the hot regions from sea level to 1,000 meters elevation. Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on entry and exit requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, safety and security, crime, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. While officials say the program has eradicated more than a million acres of coca plants, Colombian drug traffickers are still managing to supply 90% of the cocaine used in the U.S. and 50% of the heroin—the same percentages supplied five years ago, when the program began. Colombia should benefit from the deal considerably with at least a 10% increase to their exports, while creating new jobs and economic growth. This name was accepted in 1819 by the Republic of Columbia that was created from the Old Victorian territories of Grand Dada (in the modern age Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Northwest Brazil, and Panama). The country has a tropical climate and also includes some mountains i… There are three main archeologi… The area covered by modern day Colombia was originally inhabited by the indigenous tribes Muisca, Quimbaya, and Tairona. Colombia’s history dates back to hundreds of years. Led by Escobar, the group functioned as a drug cartel and a terrorist-type criminal group at the same time. Colombia's most famous author is Gabriel García Márquez, whose body of work through the 1970s earned him a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Not lazy, but fun loving: Colombia, with 18 national holidays, came second in the “countries with the most national holidays” list. With its connection to the isthmus of Panama, Colombia was a major center of migration between Central and South America. In recent years Colombia (much like South Korea since the 1990s) has undergone major dedicated efforts to export their pop culture around the globe. Beer is so common in this game, it’s almost a rule. Two civil wars resulted from bitter rivalry between the Conservative and Liberal parties: The War of a Thousand Days (1899-1902) claimed an estimated 100,000 lives and La Violencia (1946-1957) cost another 300,000 Colombians. ), Fixed Lines: 7,115,984, 15 per 100 residents (2016 est. After that the Spaniards founded the first European citi… Colombia's industries include textiles and clothing, leather products, processed foods and beverages, paper and paper products, chemicals and petrochemicals, cement, construction, iron and steel products and metalworking. The Colombia Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers) Ann Farnsworth-Alvear. The bulk of the new investment is in the manufacturing, mining, and petroleum sectors. Further Electronic InformationDepartment of State Web Site. Maybe they were all broke. Taken by Joel Duncan via This is in contrast to other models where the court takes an active role in the investigation. In fact, Colombia is so passionate about its sugar that it went to war with Peru over it. Colombia started off as the Viceroyalty of New Granada, but soon broke up to become the Republic of Colombia. Turnout was 47.9%. Columbia Plateau, a geologic and geographic region in the U.S. Pacific Northwest; Columbia River, in Canada and the United States . )Employment by Occupation: Agriculture: 17%, Industry: 21%, Services: 62% (2011 est. Colombia is a country located in the very north of South America. Refugees: 182,529 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis; includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2018).Internally Displaced Persons: 7,708,465 (conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers since 1985; about 300,000 new IDPs each year since 2000) (2018).Stateless Persons: 11 (2016). Along the way, we learnt many interesting facts about Colombia – we share our favourites below. Colombia is the third largest exporter of coffee in the world after Brazil and Vietnam. 9. Colombia has a vibrant music scene. Colombia’s history dates back to hundreds of years. Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or the regular toll line 1-202-501-4444 for callers outside the U.S. and Canada. TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATIONThe U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program advises Americans traveling and residing abroad through Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings. Everyone and everything is sweet in Colombia, including its local alcohol, Aguardiente. Colombia is a country located in the very north of South America. Colombia forms part of the megadiverse countries’ list. The Muisca capital was a prosperous town called Muequetá. Updated April 07, 2019 Santa Fe de Bogotá is the capital of Colombia. Colombia provides 75% of the world's il… Also in November, Uribe withdrew his support of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s attempts to negotiate with the FARC, escalating tension between the two countries. Narcotics and TerrorismThe U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that more than 80% of the worldwide powdered cocaine supply and as much as 90% of the powdered cocaine smuggled into the United States is produced in Colombia. Colombia maintains an excellent extradition relationship with the United States. 17. 51. In case you are wondering who could top that, it’s India (21). The Conservatives held power until 1930, when revolutionary pressure put the Liberals back in power. A similar tax to be imposed from 2007-2011 is expected to raise up to $3.6 billion. Republic of Gran Colombia formed with Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela. Infoplease is part of the FEN Learning family of educational and reference sites for parents, teachers and students. Bolivar's supporters, who later formed the nucleus of the Conservative Party, sought strong centralized government, alliance with the Roman Catholic Church and a limited franchise. Learn more about the mythic conflict between the Argives and the Trojans. (Venezuela joined in 1973 and announced its departure in 2005; Chile left in 1976 and returned in 2006.) Although the two other major armed groups, left-wing FARC and ELN, continue to finance themselves through kidnapping and drug trafficking, governmental efforts have been successful in significantly reducing the kidnapping rate. Gas production totaled 680 million cubic feet per day. Colombia historically has been the world's leading producer of emeralds, although production has fallen in recent years. A stock exchange (1928) and the main banks are located in the city. Other significant constitutional reforms provide for civil divorce, dual nationality and the establishment of a legal mechanism ("tutela") that allows individuals to appeal government decisions affecting their constitutional rights. All Rights Reserved. Since neither had a majority, a run-off election was held the following month. 25 Interesting Facts about Colombia 1. Learn about one of the world's oldest and most popular religions. In the 1970s and 1980s, Colombia became one of the international centers for illegal drug production and trafficking, and at times the drug cartels (the Medellin and Cali cartels were the most notorious) virtually controlled the country. A U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) study shows that Colombian tax rates (both personal and corporate) are among the highest in Latin America. )Growth Rate: 1.7% (2017 est. There are many Colombia facts a lot more interesting than Pablo Escobar or the FARC. Spain discovered a mountain, Cerro Rico, filled with silver….precious silver. 16. They are guerrilla organizations known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia and the Army of National Liberation. GDP/PPP: $712.5 billion (2017 est. Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. It has some prime real estate, with … A cityscape of gorgeous Medellín, Colombia. On July 20, 1810, the citizens of Bogota created the first representative council to defy Spanish authority. In 1538 they established the colony of New Granada, the area's name until 1861. 48. The M-19 was one of the parties that participated in the process to enact a new constitution (see below), which took effect in 1991. In 1508, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa reached Colombia alongside Martín Fernández de Enciso. The Spaniards lead by Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. Signed back on November 22, 2006, the agreement was made to eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers for goods and services between Colombia and the United States. The United States is Colombia's largest trading partner, representing about 40% of Colombia's exports and 26.6% of its imports. 58. He promised to maintain the policies of former president Uribe, including the campaign against FARC guerrillas and forging a close relationship with the United States. 36. The United States provides equipment to the Colombian military and police through the military assistance program, foreign military sales and the international narcotics control program. It is the hub of air travel in Colombia and the home of Avianca (Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia), the first commercial airline in South America. Traditional music and classical music are also widely regarded. U.S. EmbassyCalle 22D Bis, No. It loves its holidays, organizing salsa parades, flower parades, carnivals and more. Manufacturing exports include textiles, chemicals, garments, and metal products. In late 2006, the Supreme Court began investigations and ordered the arrest of some members of Congress for actions on behalf of paramilitary groups. In May 2004, the UN announced that Colombia's 39-year-long drug war had created the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere. Guerrillas and paramilitary groups also entered into drug trafficking as a way to finance their military operations. In 2006, gas reserves totaled 7,349 billion cubic feet. In December 2003, the Colombian Self-Defense Forces (AUC) paramilitary group entered into a peace agreement with the government that has led to the collective demobilization of over 31,000 AUC members. Many People sell phone minutes on the street ( you can make a phone call from someone else´s phone for a … In January 2007, Colombian leaders presented a new strategy to consolidate and build on progress under Plan Colombia, called the "Strategy to Strengthen Democracy and Social Development." Panama separated from Colombia, partly due to the United States involvement in building the Panama Canal. Since 2003, the right-wing paramilitary group AUC has been involved in peace talks with the government, but despite demobilizing 4,000 troops, the vigilante group seemed as vigorous as ever in 2005. Colombian governments have had to contend with the combined terrorist activities of left-wing guerrillas, the rise of paramilitary self-defense forces in the 1990s and the drug cartels. Industry and Agriculture The most industrially diverse member of the five-nation Andean Community, Colombia has four major industrial centers--Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla--each located in a distinct geographical region. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Different studies and research have found out that humans settled in modern Colombia more than 20,000 years ago, a fun fact about Colombia. 1829-30 - Gran Colombia dissolved when Venezuela and Ecuador split off, leaving present-day Colombia and Panama a separate state known as … Colombia is a huge country of around 50 million people, so it can be hard to generalize. Other Contact InformationU.S. Now here’s the skinny on Medellin’s history and other interesting facts that will help you get a great idea about the immense Colombian City! This is because Colombia... 3. Age is an important factor in Colombia. 53. Colombia is considered to be a hierarchical societyand people earn respect due to their position and their age. The FARC is believed responsible for more than half of the cocaine entering the United States. Interesting facts about Colombia. In 2006, a U.S. government survey acknowledged that coca production in the country had in fact increased by 26%, and that aerial spraying of the illegal crops—the primary strategy of Plan Colombia—was failing. Colombia has proven recoverable coal reserves of about 7.4 billion short tons, the majority of which are located in the north of the country. mi.). In addition, it has signed free trade agreements with Chile, Mexico and Venezuela. Interesting facts about Medellin Colombia. This system was phased out by 1978. All the hard work did work out, and Spain finally mined out silver, lots and lots of silver. Peso (COP) is the currency of Colombia. Let’s explore it! Colombia is one of the 17 mega diverse countries in the world namely: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, United States and Venezuela. Here’s something about drugs: 15 tons of raw pure cocaine — that’s how much white powder just one man shipped into the U.S. alone each day, at one point in time. The Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), which has been extended through February 2008, also plays a pivotal role in Colombia's economic growth. Colombia has a staggering population of over 6 million internally displaced persons. The eastern half is a low, jungle-covered plain, drained by spurs of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, inhabited mostly by isolated tropical-forest Indian tribes. 34. Yes, Colombians love to drink down the Avena, which is literally oatmeal juice. 99% of the population speak Spanish, the official language of Colombia. Among his promises was to continue to pursue the broad goals of Plan Colombia within the framework of a long-term security strategy. 8. Check our encyclopedia for a gloss on thousands of topics from biographies to the table of elements. After Colombian security forces killed Medellin cartel leader Pablo Escobar in December 1993, indiscriminate acts of violence associated with his organization abated as the "cartels" were broken into multiple and smaller trafficking organizations that competed against each other in the drug trade. 24. The current president, for example, comes from the same party. In July 1957, an alliance between former Conservative President Laureano Gomez (1950-53) and former Liberal President Alberto Lleras Camargo (1945-46) led to the creation of the National Front. The different cultures that occupied Colombia shared much in common in terms of diet and material culture. Religion. The FARC negotiated with the government only fitfully while continuing to mount attacks and expand coca production, seriously undermining the government's efforts to reach an agreement. The United States responded to the Colombian Government's request for international support for Plan Colombia by providing substantial assistance designed to increase Colombia's counter-narcotics capabilities and support human rights, humanitarian assistance, alternative development and economic and judicial reforms. On July 2, 2008, after being held for six years by FARC rebels, 15 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, were freed by commandos who infiltrated FARC's leadership. Starbucks opened its 1000th store in Latin America, and the first in the city of Medellín, Colombia. The FARC has rejected several government proposals aimed at bringing about an exchange of some 45 hostages. Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is a mecca for street artists. One of the Pablo Escobar facts that started everything. In Aug. 2001, Pastrana signed “war legislation,” which expanded the rights of the military in dealing with rebels. Coffee is not native to Colombia. This shouldn’t be the case, Colombia offers diverse natural wonders, delicious cuisine, year-round consistent weather and lots of beautiful villages to explore. The two main civilizations that formed were the Tairona and the Muisca peoples. 22. 38. These people are little known internationally because they left few enduring monuments. Colombia is named for Christopher Columbus. Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas and several almanacs loaded with facts. Local amerindian populations formed an important part of the labor force and the economy, so their depopulation posed serious long-term problems to colonial authorities. On March 1, 2008, Colombian forces crossed into Ecuadorean territory and killed FARC rebel leader, Raúl Reyes, and 23 other rebels. According to his defense minister, during 2003 more than 16,000 suspected leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary vigilantes either surrendered, were apprehended, or were killed. 14 Weird Facts about Colombia. By 2006, the United States had invested $4 billion into Plan Colombia, the joint U.S.-Colombia coca antinarcotics plan begun in 2000. In response, Venezuela and Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia and sent troops to the Colombian borders, although both countries denied any ties to FARC. A cityscape of gorgeous Medellín, Colombia. Official name: Republic of Colombia (República de Colombia), Land area: 401,042 sq mi (1,038,699 sq km), Total area: 439,736 sq mi (1,138,910 sq km), Other large cities: Medellin 3.934 million; Cali 2.726 million; Barranquilla 2.218 million; Bucaramanga 1.295 million; Cartagena 1.047 million; Cucuta 913,000 (2018), National Holiday: Independence Day (7/20), Population Change: Growth rate: 0.99%; 16.1 births/1,000 population, 5.5 deaths/1,000 population, -0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population; infant mortality rate: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est. New security measures and increased drilling activity have slowed the drop in petroleum production, allowing Colombia to continue to export through 2010 or 2011, given current production estimates. Popular music is probably the country's best known export (with musicians like Shakira, Carlos Vives, and Juanes). Its capital and largest city is Bogotá, D.C. Spanish is the official language of Colombia. 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