South America: Colombia

About Colombia

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.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Bogota
Population: 40,349,388 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 55% (1999)
Language: Spanish
Date of independence: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: president
Natural Resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
Environmental Issues: deforestation; soil damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions
Agricultural Products: coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
Imports: industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Exports: petroleum, coffee, coal, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: US 35%, EU 16%, Andean Community of Nations 15%, Japan 5% (2000 est.)
EXPORTS: US 50%, EU 14%, Andean Community of Nations 16%, Japan 2% (2000 est.)


Colombia Headlines


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