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 four-decade long conflict between government forces and anti-government insurgent groups, principally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) 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 areas of the countryside are under guerrilla influence or are contested by security forces. More than 31,000 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. In the wake of the paramilitary demobilization, emerging criminal groups arose, whose members include some former paramilitaries. The Colombian Government has stepped up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, and now has a presence in every one of its administrative departments. However, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders. In January 2011, Colombia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.
Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
Area land: 1,038,700 sq km
Area water: 100,210 sq km
Coastline: 3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
Country name conventional short form: Colombia
Country name former: Republic of Colombia
Population: 44,725,543 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.7% (male 6,109,495/female 5,834,273); 15-64 years: 67.2% (male 14,826,008/female 15,208,799); 65 years and over: 6.1% (male 1,159,691/female 1,587,277) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.156% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 17.49 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5.26 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female; total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 16.39 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 19.92 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 12.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.55 years; male: 71.27 years; female: 78.03 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.15 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.5% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 160,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 14,000 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Colombian(s); adjective: Colombian;
Ethnic groups: mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%;
Languages: Spanish (official);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 90.4%; male: 90.1%; female: 90.7% (2005 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $431.9 billion (2010 est.); $413.7 billion (2009 est.); $410.4 billion (2008);
GDP (official exchange rate): $283.1 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 4.4% (2010 est.); 0.8% (2009 est.); 2.7% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $9,800 (2010 est.); $9,500 (2009 est.); $9,500 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 9.3%; industry: 38%; services: 52.7% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 45.5% (2009);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.8%; highest 10%: 45% (2008);
Labor force: 21.27 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 18%; industry: 13%; services: 68% (2010 est.);
Unemployment rate: 11.8% (2010 est.); 12% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $74.2 billion; expenditures: $83.9 billion (2011 est.);
Industries: textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds;
Industrial production growth rate: 5.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 50.58 billion kWh (2007);
Electricity - consumption: 38.59 billion kWh (2007);
Electricity - exports: 876.7 million kWh (2007);
Electricity - imports: 39.4 million kWh (2007);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
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(Weekly supplement to El Tiempo), Bogotá
(Weekly political-cultural magazine), Bogot
Displaying 1 to 4 of 36 items.
President Santos has taken another step toward breaking from the tactics of a failed war on drugs, and not everyone in Colombia is happy about this.
After 50 years of war, Colombia may finally be waking from its nightmare, but not everyone is pleased with negotiations between President Santos and the FARC.
The FARC rebels and the Colombian government took another important step toward ending armed conflict and finding alternatives to drug policy.
El Quimbo hydropower dam project will create renewable energy for Colombia, but it will flood the region and displace about 3,000 people.