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This article is about the country. Colombia_sentence_0

For other uses, see Colombia (disambiguation) and Columbia. Colombia_sentence_1


Republic of Colombia

República de Colombia (Spanish)Colombia_header_cell_0_0_0


and largest cityColombia_header_cell_0_1_0

Official languagesColombia_header_cell_0_2_0 SpanishColombia_cell_0_2_1
Recognized regional languagesColombia_header_cell_0_3_0 68Colombia_cell_0_3_1
Ethnic groups (2018 Census)Colombia_header_cell_0_4_0 Colombia_cell_0_4_1
Religion (2018)Colombia_header_cell_0_5_0 88.6% Christianity

—73.7% Roman Catholic —14.1% Protestant —0.8% Other Christian 9.6% No religion 1.1% Other religions 0.7% No answerColombia_cell_0_5_1

Demonym(s)Colombia_header_cell_0_6_0 ColombianColombia_cell_0_6_1
GovernmentColombia_header_cell_0_7_0 Unitary presidential constitutional republicColombia_cell_0_7_1
PresidentColombia_header_cell_0_8_0 Iván Duque MárquezColombia_cell_0_8_1
Vice PresidentColombia_header_cell_0_9_0 Marta Lucía RamírezColombia_cell_0_9_1
President of the CongressColombia_header_cell_0_10_0 Lidio García TurbayColombia_cell_0_10_1
President of the Supreme CourtColombia_header_cell_0_11_0 José Luis BarcelóColombia_cell_0_11_1
LegislatureColombia_header_cell_0_12_0 CongressColombia_cell_0_12_1
Upper houseColombia_header_cell_0_13_0 SenateColombia_cell_0_13_1
Lower houseColombia_header_cell_0_14_0 Chamber of RepresentativesColombia_cell_0_14_1
Independence from SpainColombia_header_cell_0_15_0
DeclaredColombia_header_cell_0_16_0 20 July 1810Colombia_cell_0_16_1
RecognizedColombia_header_cell_0_17_0 7 August 1819Colombia_cell_0_17_1
Last unitarisationColombia_header_cell_0_18_0 1886Colombia_cell_0_18_1
Current constitutionColombia_header_cell_0_19_0 4 July 1991Colombia_cell_0_19_1
Area Colombia_header_cell_0_20_0
TotalColombia_header_cell_0_21_0 1,141,748 km (440,831 sq mi) (25th)Colombia_cell_0_21_1
Water (%)Colombia_header_cell_0_22_0 2.1 (as of 2015)Colombia_cell_0_22_1
2020 estimateColombia_header_cell_0_24_0 50,372,424 (28th)Colombia_cell_0_24_1
DensityColombia_header_cell_0_25_0 42.23/km (109.4/sq mi) (173rd)Colombia_cell_0_25_1
GDP (PPP)Colombia_header_cell_0_26_0 2020 estimateColombia_cell_0_26_1
TotalColombia_header_cell_0_27_0 $827.662 billion (31st)Colombia_cell_0_27_1
Per capitaColombia_header_cell_0_28_0 $16,264Colombia_cell_0_28_1
GDP (nominal)Colombia_header_cell_0_29_0 2020 estimateColombia_cell_0_29_1
TotalColombia_header_cell_0_30_0 $343.177 billion (38th)Colombia_cell_0_30_1
Per capitaColombia_header_cell_0_31_0 $6,744Colombia_cell_0_31_1
Gini (2018)Colombia_header_cell_0_32_0 50.4


HDI (2018)Colombia_header_cell_0_33_0 0.761

high · 79thColombia_cell_0_33_1

CurrencyColombia_header_cell_0_34_0 Peso (COP)Colombia_cell_0_34_1
Time zoneColombia_header_cell_0_35_0 UTC−5 (COT)Colombia_cell_0_35_1
Date formatColombia_header_cell_0_36_0 dd−mm−yyyy (CE)Colombia_cell_0_36_1
Driving sideColombia_header_cell_0_37_0 rightColombia_cell_0_37_1
Calling codeColombia_header_cell_0_38_0 +57Colombia_cell_0_38_1
ISO 3166 codeColombia_header_cell_0_39_0 COColombia_cell_0_39_1
Internet TLDColombia_header_cell_0_40_0 .coColombia_cell_0_40_1

Colombia (/kəˈlʌmbiə/ (listen) kə-LUM-bee-ə, /-ˈlɒm-/ -⁠LOM-; Spanish: [koˈlombja (listen)), officially the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: República de Colombia (help·)), is a transcontinental country largely in the north of South America, with territories in North America. Colombia_sentence_2

Colombia is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, the northwest by Panama, the south by Ecuador and Peru, the east by Venezuela, the southeast by Brazil, and the west by the Pacific Ocean. Colombia_sentence_3

It comprises 32 departments and the Capital District of Bogotá, the country's largest city. Colombia_sentence_4

With over 50 million inhabitants Colombia is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse countries in the world, with its rich cultural heritage reflecting influences by various Amerindian civilizations, European settlement, forced African labor, and immigration from Europe and the greater Middle East. Colombia_sentence_5

Urban centres are concentrated in the Andean highlands and the Caribbean coast. Colombia_sentence_6

Colombia has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since at least 12,000 BCE, including the Muisca, Quimbaya, and the Tairona. Colombia_sentence_7

The Spanish landed first in La Guajira in 1499 and by the mid-16th century annexed part of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santafé de Bogotá as its capital. Colombia_sentence_8

Independence from Spain was achieved in 1810, with what is now Colombia emerging as the United Provinces of New Granada. Colombia_sentence_9

The new nation experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858), and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before the Republic of Colombia was finally declared in 1886. Colombia_sentence_10

Panama seceded in 1903, leading to Colombia's present borders. Colombia_sentence_11

Beginning in the 1960s, the country suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Colombia_sentence_12

Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security, stability, and rule of law, as well as unprecedented economic growth and development. Colombia_sentence_13

Colombia is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries and has the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Colombia_sentence_14

Its territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, and deserts, and it is the only country in South America with coastlines and islands along both the Atlantic and Pacific. Colombia_sentence_15

Colombia is considered a regional actor in international affairs, being the only NATO Global Partner in Latin America and a member of several major global and regional institutions, including the OECD, the UN, the World Trade Organization, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, the Association of Caribbean States, an associate member of Mercosur and other international organizations. Colombia_sentence_16

Colombia's diversified economy is the third largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects. Colombia_sentence_17

It is subsequently classified as part of the CIVETS group of leading emerging markets. Colombia_sentence_18

Etymology Colombia_section_0

The name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus (Italian: Cristoforo Colombo, Spanish: Cristóbal Colón). Colombia_sentence_19

It was conceived as a reference to all of the New World. Colombia_sentence_20

The name was later adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed from the territories of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada (modern-day Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, and northwest Brazil). Colombia_sentence_21

When Venezuela, Ecuador, and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, the former Department of Cundinamarca adopted the name "Republic of New Granada". Colombia_sentence_22

New Granada officially changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation. Colombia_sentence_23

In 1863 the name was again changed, this time to United States of Colombia, before finally adopting its present name – the Republic of Colombia – in 1886. Colombia_sentence_24

To refer to this country, the Colombian government uses the terms Colombia and República de Colombia. Colombia_sentence_25

History Colombia_section_1

Main articles: History of Colombia and Timeline of Colombian history Colombia_sentence_26

Pre-Columbian era Colombia_section_2

Main article: Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia Colombia_sentence_27

Owing to its location, the present territory of Colombia was a corridor of early human civilization from Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to the Andes and Amazon basin. Colombia_sentence_28

The oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 kilometres (62 mi) southwest of Bogotá. Colombia_sentence_29

These sites date from the Paleoindian period (18,000–8000 BCE). Colombia_sentence_30

At Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period (~8000–2000 BCE) have been found. Colombia_sentence_31

Vestiges indicate that there was also early occupation in the regions of El Abra and Tequendama in Cundinamarca. Colombia_sentence_32

The oldest pottery discovered in the Americas, found at San Jacinto, dates to 5000–4000 BCE. Colombia_sentence_33

Indigenous people inhabited the territory that is now Colombia by 12,500 BCE. Colombia_sentence_34

Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes at the El Abra, Tibitó and Tequendama sites near present-day Bogotá traded with one another and with other cultures from the Magdalena River Valley. Colombia_sentence_35

A site including eight miles of pictographs that is under study at Serranía de la Lindosa was revealed in November 2020. Colombia_sentence_36

Their age is suggested as being 12,500 years old (c. 10,480 B.C.) by the anthropologists working on the site because of extinct fauna depicted. Colombia_sentence_37

That would have been during the earliest known human occupation of the area now known as Colombia. Colombia_sentence_38

Between 5000 and 1000 BCE, hunter-gatherer tribes transitioned to agrarian societies; fixed settlements were established, and pottery appeared. Colombia_sentence_39

Beginning in the 1st millennium BCE, groups of Amerindians including the Muisca, Zenú, Quimbaya, and Tairona developed the political system of cacicazgos with a pyramidal structure of power headed by caciques. Colombia_sentence_40

The Muisca inhabited mainly the area of what is now the Departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca high plateau (Altiplano Cundiboyacense) where they formed the Muisca Confederation. Colombia_sentence_41

They farmed maize, potato, quinoa, and cotton, and traded gold, emeralds, blankets, ceramic handicrafts, coca and especially rock salt with neighboring nations. Colombia_sentence_42

The Tairona inhabited northern Colombia in the isolated mountain range of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Colombia_sentence_43

The Quimbaya inhabited regions of the Cauca River Valley between the Western and Central Ranges of the Colombian Andes. Colombia_sentence_44

Most of the Amerindians practiced agriculture and the social structure of each indigenous community was different. Colombia_sentence_45

Some groups of indigenous people such as the Caribs lived in a state of permanent war, but others had less bellicose attitudes. Colombia_sentence_46

European annexation Colombia_section_3

Alonso de Ojeda (who had sailed with Columbus) reached the Guajira Peninsula in 1499. Colombia_sentence_47

Spanish explorers, led by Rodrigo de Bastidas, made the first exploration of the Caribbean coast in 1500. Colombia_sentence_48

Christopher Columbus navigated near the Caribbean in 1502. Colombia_sentence_49

In 1508, Vasco Núñez de Balboa accompanied an expedition to the territory through the region of Gulf of Urabá and they founded the town of Santa María la Antigua del Darién in 1510, the first stable settlement on the continent. Colombia_sentence_50

Santa Marta was founded in 1525, and Cartagena in 1533. Colombia_sentence_51

Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada led an expedition to the interior in April 1536, and christened the districts through which he passed "New Kingdom of Granada". Colombia_sentence_52

In August 1538, he founded provisionally its capital near the Muisca cacicazgo of Bacatá, and named it "Santa Fe". Colombia_sentence_53

The name soon acquired a suffix and was called Santa Fe de Bogotá. Colombia_sentence_54

Two other notable journeys by early conquistadors to the interior took place in the same period. Colombia_sentence_55

Sebastián de Belalcázar, conqueror of Quito, traveled north and founded Cali, in 1536, and Popayán, in 1537; from 1536 to 1539, German conquistador Nikolaus Federmann crossed the Llanos Orientales and went over the Cordillera Oriental in a search for El Dorado, the "city of gold". Colombia_sentence_56

The legend and the gold would play a pivotal role in luring the Spanish and other Europeans to New Granada during the 16th and 17th centuries. Colombia_sentence_57

The conquistadors made frequent alliances with the enemies of different indigenous communities. Colombia_sentence_58

Indigenous allies were crucial to conquest, as well as to creating and maintaining empire. Colombia_sentence_59

Indigenous peoples in New Granada experienced a decline in population due to conquest as well as Eurasian diseases, such as smallpox, to which they had no immunity. Colombia_sentence_60

Regarding the land as deserted, the Spanish Crown sold properties to all persons interested in colonised territories, creating large farms and possession of mines. Colombia_sentence_61

In the 16th century, the nautical science in Spain reached a great development thanks to numerous scientific figures of the Casa de Contratación and nautical science was an essential pillar of the Iberian expansion. Colombia_sentence_62

Colonial exchange Colombia_section_4

In 1542, the region of New Granada, along with all other Spanish possessions in South America, became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, with its capital in Lima. Colombia_sentence_63

In 1547, New Granada became the Captaincy-General of New Granada within the viceroyalty. Colombia_sentence_64

In 1549, the Royal Audiencia was created by a royal decree, and New Granada was ruled by the Royal Audience of Santa Fe de Bogotá, which at that time comprised the provinces of Santa Marta, Rio de San Juan, Popayán, Guayana and Cartagena. Colombia_sentence_65

But important decisions were taken from the colony to Spain by the Council of the Indies. Colombia_sentence_66

In the 16th century, Europeans began to bring slaves from Africa. Colombia_sentence_67

Spain was the only European power that could not establish factories in Africa to purchase slaves; therefore, the Spanish empire relied on the asiento system, awarding merchants (mostly from Portugal, France, England, and the Dutch Empire) the license to trade enslaved people to their overseas territories. Colombia_sentence_68

Some people defended the human rights and freedoms of oppressed peoples. Colombia_sentence_69

The indigenous peoples could not be enslaved because they were legally subjects of the Spanish Crown. Colombia_sentence_70

To protect the indigenous peoples, several forms of land ownership and regulation were established: resguardos, encomiendas and haciendas. Colombia_sentence_71

The Viceroyalty of New Granada was created in 1717, then temporarily removed, and then re-established in 1739. Colombia_sentence_72

Its capital was Santa Fé de Bogotá. Colombia_sentence_73

This Viceroyalty included some other provinces of northwestern South America that had previously been under the jurisdiction of the Viceroyalties of New Spain or Peru and correspond mainly to today's Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. Colombia_sentence_74

So, Bogotá became one of the principal administrative centers of the Spanish possessions in the New World, along with Lima and Mexico City, though it remained somewhat backward compared to those two cities in several economic and logistical ways. Colombia_sentence_75

After Great Britain declared war on Spain in 1739, Cartagena quickly became the British forces' top target, but an upset Spanish victory during the War of Jenkins' Ear, a war with Great Britain for economic control of the Caribbean, cemented Spanish dominance in the Caribbean until the Seven Years' War. Colombia_sentence_76

The 18th-century priest, botanist and mathematician José Celestino Mutis was delegated by Viceroy Antonio Caballero y Góngora to conduct an inventory of the nature of New Granada. Colombia_sentence_77

Started in 1783, this became known as the Royal Botanical Expedition to New Granada. Colombia_sentence_78

It classified plants and wildlife, and founded the first astronomical observatory in the city of Santa Fe de Bogotá. Colombia_sentence_79

In July 1801 the Prussian scientist Alexander von Humboldt reached Santa Fe de Bogotá where he met with Mutis. Colombia_sentence_80

In addition, historical figures in the process of independence in New Granada emerged from the expedition as the astronomer Francisco José de Caldas, the scientist Francisco Antonio Zea, the zoologist Jorge Tadeo Lozano and the painter Salvador Rizo. Colombia_sentence_81

Independence Colombia_section_5

Since the beginning of the periods of conquest and colonization, there were several rebel movements against Spanish rule, but most were either crushed or remained too weak to change the overall situation. Colombia_sentence_82

The last one that sought outright independence from Spain sprang up around 1810 and culminated in the Colombian Declaration of Independence, issued on 20 July 1810, the day that is now celebrated as the nation's Independence Day. Colombia_sentence_83

This movement followed the independence of St. Colombia_sentence_84

Domingue (present-day Haiti) in 1804, which provided some support to an eventual leader of this rebellion: Simón Bolívar. Colombia_sentence_85

Francisco de Paula Santander also would play a decisive role. Colombia_sentence_86

A movement was initiated by Antonio Nariño, who opposed Spanish centralism and led the opposition against the Viceroyalty. Colombia_sentence_87

Cartagena became independent in November 1811. Colombia_sentence_88

In 1811 the United Provinces of New Granada were proclaimed, headed by Camilo Torres Tenorio. Colombia_sentence_89

The emergence of two distinct ideological currents among the patriots (federalism and centralism) gave rise to a period of instability. Colombia_sentence_90

Shortly after the Napoleonic Wars ended, Ferdinand VII, recently restored to the throne in Spain, unexpectedly decided to send military forces to retake most of northern South America. Colombia_sentence_91

The viceroyalty was restored under the command of Juan Sámano, whose regime punished those who participated in the patriotic movements, ignoring the political nuances of the juntas. Colombia_sentence_92

The retribution stoked renewed rebellion, which, combined with a weakened Spain, made possible a successful rebellion led by the Venezuelan-born Simón Bolívar, who finally proclaimed independence in 1819. Colombia_sentence_93

The pro-Spanish resistance was defeated in 1822 in the present territory of Colombia and in 1823 in Venezuela. Colombia_sentence_94

The territory of the Viceroyalty of New Granada became the Republic of Colombia, organized as a union of the current territories of Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, parts of Guyana and Brazil and north of Marañón River. Colombia_sentence_95

The Congress of Cúcuta in 1821 adopted a constitution for the new Republic. Colombia_sentence_96

Simón Bolívar became the first President of Colombia, and Francisco de Paula Santander was made Vice President. Colombia_sentence_97

However, the new republic was unstable and three countries emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (New Granada, Ecuador and Venezuela). Colombia_sentence_98

Colombia was the first constitutional government in South America, and the Liberal and Conservative parties, founded in 1848 and 1849, respectively, are two of the oldest surviving political parties in the Americas. Colombia_sentence_99

Slavery was abolished in the country in 1851. Colombia_sentence_100

Internal political and territorial divisions led to the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1830. Colombia_sentence_101

The so-called "Department of Cundinamarca" adopted the name "New Granada", which it kept until 1858 when it became the "Confederación Granadina" (Granadine Confederation). Colombia_sentence_102

After a two-year civil war in 1863, the "United States of Colombia" was created, lasting until 1886, when the country finally became known as the Republic of Colombia. Colombia_sentence_103

Internal divisions remained between the bipartisan political forces, occasionally igniting very bloody civil wars, the most significant being the Thousand Days' War (1899–1902). Colombia_sentence_104

20th century Colombia_section_6

The United States of America's intentions to influence the area (especially the Panama Canal construction and control) led to the separation of the Department of Panama in 1903 and the establishment of it as a nation. Colombia_sentence_105

The United States paid Colombia $25,000,000 in 1921, seven years after completion of the canal, for redress of President Roosevelt's role in the creation of Panama, and Colombia recognized Panama under the terms of the Thomson–Urrutia Treaty. Colombia_sentence_106

Colombia and Peru went to war because of territory disputes far in the Amazon basin. Colombia_sentence_107

The war ended with a peace deal brokered by the League of Nations. Colombia_sentence_108

The League finally awarded the disputed area to Colombia in June 1934. Colombia_sentence_109

Soon after, Colombia achieved some degree of political stability, which was interrupted by a bloody conflict that took place between the late 1940s and the early 1950s, a period known as La Violencia ("The Violence"). Colombia_sentence_110

Its cause was mainly mounting tensions between the two leading political parties, which subsequently ignited after the assassination of the Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on 9 April 1948. Colombia_sentence_111

The ensuing riots in Bogotá, known as El Bogotazo, spread throughout the country and claimed the lives of at least 180,000 Colombians. Colombia_sentence_112

Colombia entered the Korean War when Laureano Gómez was elected president. Colombia_sentence_113

It was the only Latin American country to join the war in a direct military role as an ally of the United States. Colombia_sentence_114

Particularly important was the resistance of the Colombian troops at Old Baldy. Colombia_sentence_115

The violence between the two political parties decreased first when Gustavo Rojas deposed the President of Colombia in a coup d'état and negotiated with the guerrillas, and then under the military junta of General Gabriel París. Colombia_sentence_116

After Rojas' deposition, the Colombian Conservative Party and Colombian Liberal Party agreed to create the National Front, a coalition that would jointly govern the country. Colombia_sentence_117

Under the deal, the presidency would alternate between conservatives and liberals every 4 years for 16 years; the two parties would have parity in all other elective offices. Colombia_sentence_118

The National Front ended "La Violencia", and National Front administrations attempted to institute far-reaching social and economic reforms in cooperation with the Alliance for Progress. Colombia_sentence_119

Despite the progress in certain sectors, many social and political problems continued, and guerrilla groups were formally created such as the FARC, the ELN and the M-19 to fight the government and political apparatus. Colombia_sentence_120

Since the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict between government forces, leftist guerrilla groups and right wing paramilitaries. Colombia_sentence_121

The conflict escalated in the 1990s, mainly in remote rural areas. Colombia_sentence_122

Since the beginning of the armed conflict, human rights defenders have fought for the respect for human rights, despite staggering opposition. Colombia_sentence_123

Several guerrillas' organizations decided to demobilize after peace negotiations in 1989–1994. Colombia_sentence_124

The United States has been heavily involved in the conflict since its beginnings, when in the early 1960s the U.S. Colombia_sentence_125

government encouraged the Colombian military to attack leftist militias in rural Colombia. Colombia_sentence_126

This was part of the U.S. fight against communism. Colombia_sentence_127

Mercenaries and multinational corporations such as Chiquita Brands International are some of the international actors that have contributed to the violence of the conflict. Colombia_sentence_128

Beginning in the mid-1970s Colombian drug cartels became major producers, processors and exporters of illegal drugs, primarily marijuana and cocaine. Colombia_sentence_129

On 4 July 1991, a new Constitution was promulgated. Colombia_sentence_130

The changes generated by the new constitution are viewed as positive by Colombian society. Colombia_sentence_131

21st century Colombia_section_7

The administration of President Álvaro Uribe (2002–10), adopted the democratic security policy which included an integrated counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency campaign. Colombia_sentence_132

The Government economic plan also promoted confidence in investors. Colombia_sentence_133

As part of a controversial peace process the AUC (right-wing paramilitaries) as a formal organization had ceased to function. Colombia_sentence_134

In February 2008, millions of Colombians demonstrated against FARC and other outlawed groups. Colombia_sentence_135

After peace negotiations in Cuba, the Colombian government of President Juan Manuel Santos and guerrilla of FARC-EP announced a final agreement to end the conflict. Colombia_sentence_136

However, a referendum to ratify the deal was unsuccessful. Colombia_sentence_137

Afterward, the Colombian government and the FARC signed a revised peace deal in November 2016, which the Colombian congress approved. Colombia_sentence_138

In 2016, President Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Colombia_sentence_139

The Government began a process of attention and comprehensive reparation for victims of conflict. Colombia_sentence_140

Colombia shows modest progress in the struggle to defend human rights, as expressed by HRW. Colombia_sentence_141

A Special Jurisdiction of Peace has been created to investigate, clarify, prosecute and punish serious human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law which occurred during the armed conflict and to satisfy victims' right to justice. Colombia_sentence_142

During his visit to Colombia, Pope Francis paid tribute to the victims of the conflict. Colombia_sentence_143

Colombia's relations with Venezuela have fluctuated due to ideological differences between both governments. Colombia_sentence_144

Colombia has offered humanitarian support with food and medicines to mitigate the shortage of supplies in Venezuela. Colombia_sentence_145

Colombia's Foreign Ministry said that all efforts to resolve Venezuela's crisis should be peaceful. Colombia_sentence_146

Colombia proposed the idea of the Sustainable Development Goals and a final document was adopted by the United Nations. Colombia_sentence_147

2019–20 Colombian protests are a series of country-wide protests against inequality, police brutality, corruption and in favor of the Colombian peace process. Colombia_sentence_148

Geography Colombia_section_8

Main articles: Geography of Colombia and Geology of Colombia Colombia_sentence_149

Further information: List of national parks of Colombia and List of rivers in Colombia Colombia_sentence_150

The geography of Colombia is characterized by its six main natural regions that present their own unique characteristics, from the Andes mountain range region shared with Ecuador and Venezuela; the Pacific Coastal region shared with Panama and Ecuador; the Caribbean coastal region shared with Venezuela and Panama; the Llanos (plains) shared with Venezuela; the Amazon Rainforest region shared with Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador; to the insular area, comprising islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Colombia_sentence_151

It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia_sentence_152

Colombia is bordered to the northwest by Panama, to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, and to the south by Ecuador and Peru; it established its maritime boundaries with neighboring countries through seven agreements on the Caribbean Sea and three on the Pacific Ocean. Colombia_sentence_153

It lies between latitudes 12°N and 4°S and between longitudes 67° and 79°W. Colombia_sentence_154

Part of the Ring of Fire, a region of the world subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, in the interior of Colombia the Andes are the prevailing geographical feature. Colombia_sentence_155

Most of Colombia's population centers are located in these interior highlands. Colombia_sentence_156

Beyond the Colombian Massif (in the southwestern departments of Cauca and Nariño), these are divided into three branches known as cordilleras (mountain ranges): the Cordillera Occidental, running adjacent to the Pacific coast and including the city of Cali; the Cordillera Central, running between the Cauca and Magdalena River valleys (to the west and east, respectively) and including the cities of Medellín, Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia; and the Cordillera Oriental, extending northeast to the Guajira Peninsula and including Bogotá, Bucaramanga, and Cúcuta. Colombia_sentence_157

Peaks in the Cordillera Occidental exceed 4,700 m (15,420 ft), and in the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental they reach 5,000 m (16,404 ft). Colombia_sentence_158

At 2,600 m (8,530 ft), Bogotá is the highest city of its size in the world. Colombia_sentence_159

East of the Andes lies the savanna of the Llanos, part of the Orinoco River basin, and in the far southeast, the jungle of the Amazon rainforest. Colombia_sentence_160

Together these lowlands comprise over half Colombia's territory, but they contain less than 6% of the population. Colombia_sentence_161

To the north the Caribbean coast, home to 21.9% of the population and the location of the major port cities of Barranquilla and Cartagena, generally consists of low-lying plains, but it also contains the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, which includes the country's tallest peaks (Pico Cristóbal Colón and Pico Simón Bolívar), and the La Guajira Desert. Colombia_sentence_162

By contrast the narrow and discontinuous Pacific coastal lowlands, backed by the Serranía de Baudó mountains, are sparsely populated and covered in dense vegetation. Colombia_sentence_163

The principal Pacific port is Buenaventura. Colombia_sentence_164

The main rivers of Colombia are Magdalena, Cauca, Guaviare, Atrato, Meta, Putumayo and Caquetá. Colombia_sentence_165

Colombia has four main drainage systems: the Pacific drain, the Caribbean drain, the Orinoco Basin and the Amazon Basin. Colombia_sentence_166

The Orinoco and Amazon Rivers mark limits with Colombia to Venezuela and Peru respectively. Colombia_sentence_167

Protected areas and the "National Park System" cover an area of about 14,268,224 hectares (142,682.24 km) and account for 12.77% of the Colombian territory. Colombia_sentence_168

Compared to neighboring countries, rates of deforestation in Colombia are still relatively low. Colombia_sentence_169

Colombia is the sixth country in the world by magnitude of total renewable freshwater supply, and still has large reserves of freshwater. Colombia_sentence_170

Climate Colombia_section_9

Main article: Climate of Colombia Colombia_sentence_171

The climate of Colombia is characterized for being tropical presenting variations within six natural regions and depending on the altitude, temperature, humidity, winds and rainfall. Colombia_sentence_172

The diversity of climate zones in Colombia is characterized for having tropical rainforests, savannas, steppes, deserts and mountain climate. Colombia_sentence_173

Mountain climate is one of the unique features of the Andes and other high altitude reliefs where climate is determined by elevation. Colombia_sentence_174

Below 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) in elevation is the warm altitudinal zone, where temperatures are above 24 °C (75.2 °F). Colombia_sentence_175

About 82.5% of the country's total area lies in the warm altitudinal zone. Colombia_sentence_176

The temperate climate altitudinal zone located between 1,001 and 2,000 meters (3,284 and 6,562 ft) is characterized for presenting an average temperature ranging between 17 and 24 °C (62.6 and 75.2 °F). Colombia_sentence_177

The cold climate is present between 2,001 and 3,000 meters (6,565 and 9,843 ft) and the temperatures vary between 12 and 17 °C (53.6 and 62.6 °F). Colombia_sentence_178

Beyond lies the alpine conditions of the forested zone and then the treeless grasslands of the páramos. Colombia_sentence_179

Above 4,000 meters (13,123 ft), where temperatures are below freezing, the climate is glacial, a zone of permanent snow and ice. Colombia_sentence_180

Biodiversity Colombia_section_10

Main article: Biodiversity of Colombia Colombia_sentence_181

See also: Fauna of Colombia and Flora of Colombia Colombia_sentence_182

Colombia is one of the megadiverse countries in biodiversity, ranking first in bird species. Colombia_sentence_183

As for plants, the country has between 40,000 and 45,000 plant species, equivalent to 10 or 20% of total global species, which is even more remarkable given that Colombia is considered a country of intermediate size. Colombia_sentence_184

Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, lagging only after Brazil which is approximately 7 times bigger. Colombia_sentence_185

Colombia is the country with the planet's highest biodiversity, having the highest rate of species by area as well as the largest number of endemisms (species that are not found naturally anywhere else) of any country. Colombia_sentence_186

About 10% of the species of the Earth live in Colombia, including over 1,900 species of bird, more than in Europe and North America combined. Colombia_sentence_187

Colombia has 10% of the world's mammals species, 14% of the amphibian species and 18% of the bird species of the world. Colombia_sentence_188

Colombia has about 2,000 species of marine fish and is the second most diverse country in freshwater fish. Colombia_sentence_189

It is also the country with the most endemic species of butterflies, is first in orchid species", and had approximately 7,000 species of beetles. Colombia_sentence_190

Colombia is second in the number of amphibian species and is the third most diverse country in reptiles and palms. Colombia_sentence_191

There are about 1,900 species of mollusks and according to estimates there are about 300,000 species of invertebrates in the country. Colombia_sentence_192

In Colombia there are 32 terrestrial biomes and 314 types of ecosystems. Colombia_sentence_193

Government and politics Colombia_section_11

Main article: Government of Colombia Colombia_sentence_194

See also: Colombian Constitution of 1991 Colombia_sentence_195

The government of Colombia takes place within the framework of a presidential participatory democratic republic as established in the Constitution of 1991. Colombia_sentence_196

In accordance with the principle of separation of powers, government is divided into three branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. Colombia_sentence_197

As the head of the executive branch, the President of Colombia serves as both head of state and head of government, followed by the Vice President and the Council of Ministers. Colombia_sentence_198

The president is elected by popular vote to serve four-year term (In 2015, Colombia's Congress approved the repeal of a 2004 constitutional amendment that changed the one-term limit for presidents to a two-term limit). Colombia_sentence_199

At the provincial level executive power is vested in department governors, municipal mayors and local administrators for smaller administrative subdivisions, such as corregimientos or comunas. Colombia_sentence_200

All regional elections are held one year and five months after the presidential election. Colombia_sentence_201

The legislative branch of government is represented nationally by the Congress, a bicameral institution comprising a 166-seat Chamber of Representatives and a 102-seat Senate. Colombia_sentence_202

The Senate is elected nationally and the Chamber of Representatives is elected in electoral districts. Colombia_sentence_203

Members of both houses are elected to serve four-year terms two months before the president, also by popular vote. Colombia_sentence_204

The judicial branch is headed by four high courts, consisting of the Supreme Court which deals with penal and civil matters, the Council of State, which has special responsibility for administrative law and also provides legal advice to the executive, the Constitutional Court, responsible for assuring the integrity of the Colombian constitution, and the Superior Council of Judicature, responsible for auditing the judicial branch. Colombia_sentence_205

Colombia operates a system of civil law, which since 2005 has been applied through an adversarial system. Colombia_sentence_206

Despite a number of controversies, the democratic security policy has ensured that former President Uribe remained popular among Colombian people, with his approval rating peaking at 76%, according to a poll in 2009. Colombia_sentence_207

However, having served two terms, he was constitutionally barred from seeking re-election in 2010. Colombia_sentence_208

In the run-off elections on 20 June 2010 the former Minister of defense Juan Manuel Santos won with 69% of the vote against the second most popular candidate, Antanas Mockus. Colombia_sentence_209

A second round was required since no candidate received over the 50% winning threshold of votes. Colombia_sentence_210

Santos won nearly 51% of the vote in second-round elections on 15 June 2014, beating right-wing rival Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who won 45%. Colombia_sentence_211

Iván Duque won in the second round with 54% of the vote, against 42% for his left-wing rival, Gustavo Petro. Colombia_sentence_212

His term as Colombia's president runs for four years beginning 7 August 2018. Colombia_sentence_213

Foreign affairs Colombia_section_12

Main article: Foreign relations of Colombia Colombia_sentence_214

See also: Diplomatic missions of Colombia Colombia_sentence_215

The foreign affairs of Colombia are headed by the President, as head of state, and managed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Colombia_sentence_216

Colombia has diplomatic missions in all continents. Colombia_sentence_217

Colombia was one of the 4 founding members of the Pacific Alliance, which is a political, economic and co-operative integration mechanism that promotes the free circulation of goods, services, capital and persons between the members, as well as a common stock exchange and joint embassies in several countries. Colombia_sentence_218

Colombia is also a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, and the Andean Community of Nations. Colombia_sentence_219

Colombia is a global partner of NATO. Colombia_sentence_220

Military Colombia_section_13

Main article: Military of Colombia Colombia_sentence_221

The executive branch of government is responsible for managing the defense of Colombia, with the President commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Colombia_sentence_222

The Ministry of Defence exercises day-to-day control of the military and the Colombian National Police. Colombia_sentence_223

Colombia has 455,461 active military personnel. Colombia_sentence_224

And in 2016 3.4% of the country's GDP went towards military expenditure, placing it 24th in the world. Colombia_sentence_225

Colombia's armed forces are the largest in Latin America, and it is the second largest spender on its military after Brazil. Colombia_sentence_226

In 2018, Colombia signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Colombia_sentence_227

The Colombian military is divided into three branches: the National Army of Colombia; the Colombian Air Force; and the Colombian Navy. Colombia_sentence_228

The National Police functions as a gendarmerie, operating independently from the military as the law enforcement agency for the entire country. Colombia_sentence_229

Each of these operates with their own intelligence apparatus separate from the National Intelligence Directorate (DNI, in Spanish). Colombia_sentence_230

The National Army is formed by divisions, brigades, special brigades, and special units, the Colombian Navy by the Naval Infantry, the Naval Force of the Caribbean, the Naval Force of the Pacific, the Naval Force of the South, the Naval Force of the East, Colombia Coast Guards, Naval Aviation, and the Specific Command of San Andres y Providencia and the Air Force by 15 air units. Colombia_sentence_231

The National Police has a presence in all municipalities. Colombia_sentence_232

Administrative divisions Colombia_section_14

Main articles: Departments of Colombia and Municipalities of Colombia Colombia_sentence_233

See also: List of cities in Colombia and Corregimientos of Colombia Colombia_sentence_234

Colombia is divided into 32 departments and one capital district, which is treated as a department (Bogotá also serves as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca). Colombia_sentence_235

Departments are subdivided into municipalities, each of which is assigned a municipal seat, and municipalities are in turn subdivided into corregimientos in rural areas and into comunas in urban areas. Colombia_sentence_236

Each department has a local government with a governor and assembly directly elected to four-year terms, and each municipality is headed by a mayor and council. Colombia_sentence_237

There is a popularly elected local administrative board in each of the corregimientos or comunas. Colombia_sentence_238

In addition to the capital four other cities have been designated districts (in effect special municipalities), on the basis of special distinguishing features. Colombia_sentence_239

These are Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Buenaventura. Colombia_sentence_240

Some departments have local administrative subdivisions, where towns have a large concentration of population and municipalities are near each other (for example, in Antioquia and Cundinamarca). Colombia_sentence_241

Where departments have a low population (for example Amazonas, Vaupés and Vichada), special administrative divisions are employed, such as "department corregimientos", which are a hybrid of a municipality and a corregimiento. Colombia_sentence_242

Click on a department on the map below to go to its article. Colombia_sentence_243

Largest cities and towns Colombia_section_15

Colombia is a highly urbanized country with 77.1% of the population living in urban areas. Colombia_sentence_244

The largest cities in the country are Bogotá, with 7,387,400 inhabitants, Medellín, with 2,382,399 inhabitants, Cali, with 2,172,527 inhabitants, and Barranquilla, with 1,205,284 inhabitants. Colombia_sentence_245

Economy Colombia_section_16

Main article: Economy of Colombia Colombia_sentence_246

See also: Agriculture in Colombia and Industry of Colombia Colombia_sentence_247

Historically an agrarian economy, Colombia urbanised rapidly in the 20th century, by the end of which just 15.8% of the workforce were employed in agriculture, generating just 6.6% of GDP; 19.6% of the workforce were employed in industry and 64.6% in services, responsible for 33.4% and 59.9% of GDP respectively. Colombia_sentence_248

The country's economic production is dominated by its strong domestic demand. Colombia_sentence_249

Consumption expenditure by households is the largest component of GDP. Colombia_sentence_250

Colombia's market economy grew steadily in the latter part of the 20th century, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing at an average rate of over 4% per year between 1970 and 1998. Colombia_sentence_251

The country suffered a recession in 1999 (the first full year of negative growth since the Great Depression), and the recovery from that recession was long and painful. Colombia_sentence_252

However, in recent years growth has been impressive, reaching 6.9% in 2007, one of the highest rates of growth in Latin America. Colombia_sentence_253

According to International Monetary Fund estimates, in 2012, Colombia's GDP (PPP) was US$500 billion (28th in the world and third in South America). Colombia_sentence_254

Total government expenditures account for 27.9 percent of the domestic economy. Colombia_sentence_255

External debt equals 39.9 percent of gross domestic product. Colombia_sentence_256

A strong fiscal climate was reaffirmed by a boost in bond ratings. Colombia_sentence_257

Annual inflation closed 2017 at 4.09% YoY (vs. 5.75% YoY in 2016). Colombia_sentence_258

The average national unemployment rate in 2017 was 9.4%, although the informality is the biggest problem facing the labour market (the income of formal workers climbed 24.8% in 5 years while labor incomes of informal workers rose only 9%). Colombia_sentence_259

Colombia has free-trade zone (FTZ), such as Zona Franca del Pacifico, located in the Valle del Cauca, one of the most striking areas for foreign investment. Colombia_sentence_260

The financial sector has grown favorably due to good liquidity in the economy, the growth of credit and the positive performance of the Colombian economy. Colombia_sentence_261

The Colombian Stock Exchange through the Latin American Integrated Market (MILA) offers a regional market to trade equities. Colombia_sentence_262

Colombia is now one of only three economies with a perfect score on the strength of legal rights index, according to the World Bank. Colombia_sentence_263

The electricity production in Colombia comes mainly from Renewable energy sources. Colombia_sentence_264

69.93% is obtained from the hydroelectric generation. Colombia_sentence_265

Colombia's commitment to renewable energy was recognized in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI), ranking among the top 10 nations in the world in terms of greening efficiency sectors. Colombia_sentence_266

Colombia is rich in natural resources, and its main exports include mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, fruit and other agricultural products, sugars and sugar confectionery, food products, plastics, precious stones, metals, forest products, chemical goods, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, electronic products, electrical equipments, perfumery and cosmetics, machinery, manufactured articles, textile and fabrics, clothing and footwear, glass and glassware, furniture, prefabricated buildings, military products, home and office material, construction equipment, software, among others. Colombia_sentence_267

Principal trading partners are the United States, China, the European Union and some Latin American countries. Colombia_sentence_268

Non-traditional exports have boosted the growth of Colombian foreign sales as well as the diversification of destinations of export thanks to new free trade agreements. Colombia_sentence_269

In 2017, the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) reported that 26.9% of the population were living below the poverty line, of which 7.4% in "extreme poverty". Colombia_sentence_270

The multidimensional poverty rate stands at 17.0 percent of the population. Colombia_sentence_271

The Government has also been developing a process of financial inclusion within the country's most vulnerable population. Colombia_sentence_272

Recent economic growth has led to a considerable increase of new millionaires, including the new entrepreneurs, Colombians with a net worth exceeding US$1 billion. Colombia_sentence_273

The contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was US$5,880.3bn (2.0% of total GDP) in 2016. Colombia_sentence_274

Tourism generated 556,135 jobs (2.5% of total employment) in 2016. Colombia_sentence_275

Foreign tourist visits were predicted to have risen from 0.6 million in 2007 to 4 million in 2017. Colombia_sentence_276

Science and technology Colombia_section_17

Main article: Science and technology in Colombia Colombia_sentence_277

Colombia has more than 3,950 research groups in science and technology. Colombia_sentence_278

iNNpulsa, a government body that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in the country, provides grants to startups, in addition to other services it and institutions like provide. Colombia_sentence_279

Co-working spaces have arisen to serve as communities for startups large and small. Colombia_sentence_280

Organizations such as the Corporation for Biological Research (CIB) for the support of young people interested in scientific work has been successfully developed in Colombia. Colombia_sentence_281

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture based in Colombia investigates the increasing challenge of global warming and food security. Colombia_sentence_282

Important inventions related to medicine have been made in Colombia, such as the first external artificial pacemaker with internal electrodes, invented by the electronics engineer Jorge Reynolds Pombo, invention of great importance for those who suffer from heart failure. Colombia_sentence_283

Also invented in Colombia were the microkeratome and keratomileusis technique, which form the fundamental basis of what now is known as LASIK (one of the most important techniques for the correction of refractive errors of vision) and the Hakim valve for the treatment of Hydrocephalus, among others. Colombia_sentence_284

Colombia has begun to innovate in military technology for its army and other armies of the world; especially in the design and creation of personal ballistic protection products, military hardware, military robots, bombs, simulators and radar. Colombia_sentence_285

Some leading Colombian scientists are Joseph M. Tohme, researcher recognized for his work on the genetic diversity of food, Manuel Elkin Patarroyo who is known for his groundbreaking work on synthetic vaccines for malaria, Francisco Lopera who discovered the "Paisa Mutation" or a type of early-onset Alzheimer's, Rodolfo Llinás known for his study of the intrinsic neurons properties and the theory of a syndrome that had changed the way of understanding the functioning of the brain, Jairo Quiroga Puello recognized for his studies on the characterization of synthetic substances which can be used to fight fungus, tumors, tuberculosis and even some viruses and Ángela Restrepo who established accurate diagnoses and treatments to combat the effects of a disease caused by the Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, among other scientists. Colombia_sentence_286

Transportation Colombia_section_18

Main article: Transport in Colombia Colombia_sentence_287

Transportation in Colombia is regulated within the functions of the Ministry of Transport and entities such as the National Roads Institute (INVÍAS) responsible for the Highways in Colombia, the Aerocivil, responsible for civil aviation and airports, the National Infrastructure Agency, in charge of concessions through public–private partnerships, for the design, construction, maintenance, operation, and administration of the transport infrastructure, the General Maritime Directorate (Dimar) has the responsibility of coordinating maritime traffic control along with the Colombian Navy, among others and under the supervision of the Superintendency of Ports and Transport. Colombia_sentence_288

The road network in Colombia has a length of about 215,000 km of which 23,000 are paved. Colombia_sentence_289

Rail transportation in Colombia is dedicated almost entirely to freight shipments and the railway network has a length of 1,700 km of potentially active rails. Colombia_sentence_290

Colombia has 3,960 kilometers of gas pipelines, 4,900 kilometers of oil pipelines, and 2,990 kilometers of refined-products pipelines. Colombia_sentence_291

The target of Colombia's government is to build 7,000 km of roads for the 2016–2020 period and reduce travel times by 30 per cent and transport costs by 20 per cent. Colombia_sentence_292

A toll road concession programme will comprise 40 projects, and is part of a larger strategic goal to invest nearly $50bn in transport infrastructure, including: railway systems; making the Magdalena river navigable again; improving port facilities; as well as an expansion of Bogotá's airport. Colombia_sentence_293

Demographics Colombia_section_19

Main article: Demographics of Colombia Colombia_sentence_294

See also: List of Colombian Departments by population Colombia_sentence_295

With an estimated 50 million people in 2020, Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Colombia_sentence_296

At the beginning of the 20th century, Colombia's population was approximately 4 million. Colombia_sentence_297

Since the early 1970s Colombia has experienced steady declines in its fertility, mortality, and population growth rates. Colombia_sentence_298

The population growth rate for 2016 is estimated to be 0.9%. Colombia_sentence_299

About 26.8% of the population were 15 years old or younger, 65.7% were between 15 and 64 years old, and 7.4% were over 65 years old. Colombia_sentence_300

The proportion of older persons in the total population has begun to increase substantially. Colombia_sentence_301

Colombia is projected to have a population of 55.3 million by 2050. Colombia_sentence_302

The population is concentrated in the Andean highlands and along the Caribbean coast, also the population densities are generally higher in the Andean region. Colombia_sentence_303

The nine eastern lowland departments, comprising about 54% of Colombia's area, have less than 6% of the population. Colombia_sentence_304

Traditionally a rural society, movement to urban areas was very heavy in the mid-20th century, and Colombia is now one of the most urbanized countries in Latin America. Colombia_sentence_305

The urban population increased from 31% of the total in 1938 to nearly 60% in 1973, and by 2014 the figure stood at 76%. Colombia_sentence_306

The population of Bogotá alone has increased from just over 300,000 in 1938 to approximately 8 million today. Colombia_sentence_307

In total seventy-two cities now have populations of 100,000 or more (2015). Colombia_sentence_308

As of 2012 Colombia has the world's largest populations of internally displaced persons (IDPs), estimated to be up to 4.9 million people. Colombia_sentence_309

The life expectancy is 74.8 years in 2015 and infant mortality is 13.1 per thousand in 2016. Colombia_sentence_310

In 2015, 94.58% of adults and 98.66% of youth are literate and the government spends about 4.49% of its GDP in education. Colombia_sentence_311

Languages Colombia_section_20

Main article: Languages of Colombia Colombia_sentence_312

See also: Colombian Spanish Colombia_sentence_313

More than 99.2% of Colombians speak Spanish, also called Castilian; 65 Amerindian languages, two Creole languages, the Romani language and Colombian Sign Language are also used in the country. Colombia_sentence_314

English has official status in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Colombia_sentence_315

Including Spanish, a total of 101 languages are listed for Colombia in the Ethnologue database. Colombia_sentence_316

The specific number of spoken languages varies slightly since some authors consider as different languages what others consider to be varieties or dialects of the same language. Colombia_sentence_317

Best estimates recorded 71 languages that are spoken in-country today – most of which belong to the Chibchan, Tucanoan, Bora–Witoto, Guajiboan, Arawakan, Cariban, Barbacoan, and Saliban language families. Colombia_sentence_318

There are currently about 850,000 speakers of native languages. Colombia_sentence_319

Ethnic groups Colombia_section_21

Main article: Human biological diversity and ethnicity in Colombia Colombia_sentence_320

Colombia is ethnically diverse, its people descending from the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, Africans originally brought to the country as slaves, and 20th-century immigrants from Europe and the Middle East, all contributing to a diverse cultural heritage. Colombia_sentence_321

The demographic distribution reflects a pattern that is influenced by colonial history. Colombia_sentence_322

Whites live all throughout the country, mainly in urban centers and the burgeoning highland and coastal cities. Colombia_sentence_323

The populations of the major cities also include mestizos. Colombia_sentence_324

Mestizo campesinos (people living in rural areas) also live in the Andean highlands where some Spanish conquerors mixed with the women of Amerindian chiefdoms. Colombia_sentence_325

Mestizos include artisans and small tradesmen that have played a major part in the urban expansion of recent decades. Colombia_sentence_326

The 2018 census reported that the "non-ethnic population", consisting of whites and mestizos (those of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry), constituted 87.58% of the national population. Colombia_sentence_327

6.68% is of African ancestry. Colombia_sentence_328

Indigenous Amerindians comprise 4.31% of the population. Colombia_sentence_329

Raizal people comprise 0.06% of the population. Colombia_sentence_330

Palenquero people comprise 0.02% of the population. Colombia_sentence_331

0.01% of the population are Roma. Colombia_sentence_332

An extraofficial estimate considers that the 49% of the Colombian population is Mestizo or of mixed European and Amerindian ancestry, and that approximately 37% is White, mainly of Spanish lineage, but there is also a large population of Middle East descent; in some sectors of society there is a considerable input of German and Italian ancestry. Colombia_sentence_333

Many of the Indigenous peoples experienced a reduction in population during the Spanish rule and many others were absorbed into the mestizo population, but the remainder currently represents over eighty distinct cultures. Colombia_sentence_334

Reserves (resguardos) established for indigenous peoples occupy 30,571,640 hectares (305,716.4 km) (27% of the country's total) and are inhabited by more than 800,000 people. Colombia_sentence_335

Some of the largest indigenous groups are the Wayuu, the Paez, the Pastos, the Emberá and the Zenú. Colombia_sentence_336

The departments of La Guajira, Cauca, Nariño, Córdoba and Sucre have the largest indigenous populations. Colombia_sentence_337

The Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC), founded at the first National Indigenous Congress in 1982, is an organization representing the indigenous peoples of Colombia. Colombia_sentence_338

In 1991, Colombia signed and ratified the current international law concerning indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989. Colombia_sentence_339

Black Africans were brought as slaves, mostly to the coastal lowlands, beginning early in the 16th century and continuing into the 19th century. Colombia_sentence_340

Large Afro-Colombian communities are found today on the Pacific Coast. Colombia_sentence_341

British and Jamaicans migrated mainly to the islands of San Andres and Providencia. Colombia_sentence_342

A number of other Europeans and North Americans migrated to the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including people from the former USSR during and after the Second World War. Colombia_sentence_343

Many immigrant communities have settled on the Caribbean coast, in particular recent immigrants from the Middle East and Europe. Colombia_sentence_344

Barranquilla (the largest city of the Colombian Caribbean) and other Caribbean cities have the largest populations of Lebanese, Palestinian, and other Levantines. Colombia_sentence_345

There are also important communities of Chinese, Japanese, Romanis and Jews. Colombia_sentence_346

There is a major migration trend of Venezuelans, due to the political and economic situation in Venezuela. Colombia_sentence_347

In August 2019, Colombia offered citizenship to more than 24,000 children of Venezuelan refugees who were born in Colombia. Colombia_sentence_348

Religion Colombia_section_22

Main article: Religion in Colombia Colombia_sentence_349

See also: Freedom of religion in Colombia and Jews in Colombia Colombia_sentence_350

The National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) does not collect religious statistics, and accurate reports are difficult to obtain. Colombia_sentence_351

However, based on various studies and a survey, about 90% of the population adheres to Christianity, the majority of which (70.9%–79%) are Roman Catholic, while a significant minority (16.7%) adhere to Protestantism (primarily Evangelicalism). Colombia_sentence_352

Some 4.7% of the population is atheist or agnostic, while 3.5% claim to believe in God but do not follow a specific religion. Colombia_sentence_353

1.8% of Colombians adhere to Jehovah's Witnesses and Adventism and less than 1% adhere to other religions, such as the Baháʼí Faith, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Indigenous religions, Hare Krishna movement, Rastafari movement, Orthodox Catholic Church, and spiritual studies. Colombia_sentence_354

The remaining people either did not respond or replied that they did not know. Colombia_sentence_355

In addition to the above statistics, 35.9% of Colombians reported that they did not practice their faith actively. Colombia_sentence_356

While Colombia remains a mostly Roman Catholic country by baptism numbers, the 1991 Colombian constitution guarantees freedom of religion and all religious faiths and churches are equally free before the law. Colombia_sentence_357

Culture Colombia_section_23

Main article: Culture of Colombia Colombia_sentence_358

See also: Festivals in Colombia and Colombian folklore Colombia_sentence_359

Colombia lies at the crossroads of Latin America and the broader American continent, and as such has been hit by a wide range of cultural influences. Colombia_sentence_360

Native American, Spanish and other European, African, American, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, as well as other Latin American cultural influences, are all present in Colombia's modern culture. Colombia_sentence_361

Urban migration, industrialization, globalization, and other political, social and economic changes have also left an impression. Colombia_sentence_362

Many national symbols, both objects and themes, have arisen from Colombia's diverse cultural traditions and aim to represent what Colombia, and the Colombian people, have in common. Colombia_sentence_363

Cultural expressions in Colombia are promoted by the government through the Ministry of Culture. Colombia_sentence_364

Literature Colombia_section_24

Main article: Colombian literature Colombia_sentence_365

Colombian literature dates back to pre-Columbian era; a notable example of the period is the epic poem known as the Legend of Yurupary. Colombia_sentence_366

In Spanish colonial times, notable writers include Juan de Castellanos (Elegías de varones ilustres de Indias), Hernando Domínguez Camargo and his epic poem to San Ignacio de Loyola, Pedro Simón, Juan Rodríguez Freyle (El Carnero), Lucas Fernández de Piedrahita, and the nun Francisca Josefa de Castillo, representative of mysticism. Colombia_sentence_367

Post-independence literature linked to Romanticism highlighted Antonio Nariño, José Fernández Madrid, Camilo Torres Tenorio and Francisco Antonio Zea. Colombia_sentence_368

In the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century the literary genre known as costumbrismo became popular; great writers of this period were Tomás Carrasquilla, Jorge Isaacs and Rafael Pombo (the latter of whom wrote notable works of children's literature). Colombia_sentence_369

Within that period, authors such as José Asunción Silva, José Eustasio Rivera, León de Greiff, Porfirio Barba-Jacob and José María Vargas Vila developed the modernist movement. Colombia_sentence_370

In 1872, Colombia established the Colombian Academy of Language, the first Spanish language academy in the Americas. Colombia_sentence_371

Candelario Obeso wrote the groundbreaking Cantos Populares de mi Tierra (1877), the first book of poetry by an Afro-Colombian author. Colombia_sentence_372

Between 1939 and 1940 seven books of poetry were published under the name Stone and Sky in the city of Bogotá that significantly impacted the country; they were edited by the poet Jorge Rojas. Colombia_sentence_373

In the following decade, Gonzalo Arango founded the movement of "nothingness" in response to the violence of the time; he was influenced by nihilism, existentialism, and the thought of another great Colombian writer: Fernando González Ochoa. Colombia_sentence_374

During the boom in Latin American literature, successful writers emerged, led by Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez and his magnum opus, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Eduardo Caballero Calderón, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, and Álvaro Mutis, a writer who was awarded the Cervantes Prize and the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters. Colombia_sentence_375

Other leading contemporary authors are Fernando Vallejo, William Ospina (Rómulo Gallegos Prize) and Germán Castro Caycedo. Colombia_sentence_376

Visual arts Colombia_section_25

Main article: Colombian art Colombia_sentence_377

Colombian art has over 3,000 years of history. Colombia_sentence_378

Colombian artists have captured the country's changing political and cultural backdrop using a range of styles and mediums. Colombia_sentence_379

There is archeological evidence of ceramics being produced earlier in Colombia than anywhere else in the Americas, dating as early as 3,000 BCE. Colombia_sentence_380

The earliest examples of gold craftsmanship have been attributed to the Tumaco people of the Pacific coast and date to around 325 BCE. Colombia_sentence_381

Roughly between 200 BCE and 800 CE, the San Agustín culture, masters of stonecutting, entered its "classical period". Colombia_sentence_382

They erected raised ceremonial centres, sarcophagi, and large stone monoliths depicting anthropomorphic and zoomorphic forms out of stone. Colombia_sentence_383

Colombian art has followed the trends of the time, so during the 16th to 18th centuries, Spanish Catholicism had a huge influence on Colombian art, and the popular baroque style was replaced with rococo when the Bourbons ascended to the Spanish crown. Colombia_sentence_384

More recently, Colombian artists Pedro Nel Gómez and Santiago Martínez Delgado started the Colombian Murial Movement in the 1940s, featuring the neoclassical features of Art Deco. Colombia_sentence_385

Since the 1950s, the Colombian art started to have a distinctive point of view, reinventing traditional elements under the concepts of the 20th century. Colombia_sentence_386

Examples of this are the Greiff portraits by Ignacio Gómez Jaramillo, showing what the Colombian art could do with the new techniques applied to typical Colombian themes. Colombia_sentence_387

Carlos Correa, with his paradigmatic "Naturaleza muerta en silencio" (silent dead nature), combines geometrical abstraction and cubism. Colombia_sentence_388

Alejandro Obregón is often considered as the father of modern Colombian painting, and one of the most influential artist in this period, due to his originality, the painting of Colombian landscapes with symbolic and expressionist use of animals, (specially the Andean condor). Colombia_sentence_389

Fernando Botero, Omar Rayo, Enrique Grau, Édgar Negret, David Manzur, Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, Oscar Murillo, Doris Salcedo and Oscar Muñoz are some of the Colombian artists featured at the international level. Colombia_sentence_390

The Colombian sculpture from the sixteenth to 18th centuries was mostly devoted to religious depictions of ecclesiastic art, strongly influenced by the Spanish schools of sacred sculpture. Colombia_sentence_391

During the early period of the Colombian republic, the national artists were focused in the production of sculptural portraits of politicians and public figures, in a plain neoclassicist trend. Colombia_sentence_392

During the 20th century, the Colombian sculpture began to develop a bold and innovative work with the aim of reaching a better understanding of national sensitivity. Colombia_sentence_393

Colombian photography was marked by the arrival of the daguerreotype. Colombia_sentence_394

Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros was who brought the daguerreotype process to Colombia in 1841. Colombia_sentence_395

The Piloto public library has Latin America's largest archive of negatives, containing 1.7 million antique photographs covering Colombia 1848 until 2005. Colombia_sentence_396

The Colombian press has promoted the work of the cartoonists. Colombia_sentence_397

In recent decades, fanzines, internet and independent publishers have been fundamental to the growth of the comic in Colombia. Colombia_sentence_398

Architecture Colombia_section_26

Main article: Architecture of Colombia Colombia_sentence_399

See also: Muisca architecture Colombia_sentence_400

Throughout the times, there have been a variety of architectural styles, from those of indigenous peoples to contemporary ones, passing through colonial (military and religious), Republican, transition and modern styles. Colombia_sentence_401

Ancient habitation areas, longhouses, crop terraces, roads as the Inca road system, cemeteries, hypogeums and necropolises are all part of the architectural heritage of indigenous peoples. Colombia_sentence_402

Some prominent indigenous structures are the preceramic and ceramic archaeological site of Tequendama, Tierradentro (a park that contains the largest concentration of pre-Columbian monumental shaft tombs with side chambers), the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in South America, located in San Agustín, Huila, Lost city (an archaeological site with a series of terraces carved into the mountainside, a net of tiled roads, and several circular plazas), and the large villages mainly built with stone, wood, cane, and mud. Colombia_sentence_403

Architecture during the period of conquest and colonization is mainly derived of adapting European styles to local conditions, and Spanish influence, especially Andalusian and Extremaduran, can be easily seen. Colombia_sentence_404

When Europeans founded cities two things were making simultaneously: the dimensioning of geometrical space (town square, street), and the location of a tangible point of orientation. Colombia_sentence_405

The construction of forts was common throughout the Caribbean and in some cities of the interior, because of the dangers that represented the English, French, and Dutch pirates and the hostile indigenous groups. Colombia_sentence_406

Churches, chapels, schools, and hospitals belonging to religious orders cause a great urban impact. Colombia_sentence_407

Baroque architecture is used in military buildings and public spaces. Colombia_sentence_408

Marcelino Arroyo, Francisco José de Caldas and Domingo de Petrés were great representatives of neo-classical architecture. Colombia_sentence_409

The National Capitol is a great representative of romanticism. Colombia_sentence_410

Wood was extensively used in doors, windows, railings, and ceilings during the colonization of Antioquia. Colombia_sentence_411

The Caribbean architecture acquires a strong Arabic influence. Colombia_sentence_412

The Teatro Colón in Bogotá is a lavish example of architecture from the 19th century. Colombia_sentence_413

The quintas houses with innovations in the volumetric conception are some of the best examples of the Republican architecture; the Republican action in the city focused on the design of three types of spaces: parks with forests, small urban parks and avenues and the Gothic style was most commonly used for the design of churches. Colombia_sentence_414

Deco style, modern neoclassicism, eclecticism folklorist and art deco ornamental resources significantly influenced the architecture of Colombia, especially during the transition period. Colombia_sentence_415

Modernism contributed with new construction technologies and new materials (steel, reinforced concrete, glass and synthetic materials) and the topology architecture and lightened slabs system also have a great influence. Colombia_sentence_416

The most influential architects of the modern movement were Rogelio Salmona and Fernando Martínez Sanabria. Colombia_sentence_417

The contemporary architecture of Colombia is designed to give greater importance to the materials, this architecture takes into account the specific natural and artificial geographies and is also an architecture that appeals to the senses. Colombia_sentence_418

The conservation of the architectural and urban heritage of Colombia has been promoted in recent years. Colombia_sentence_419

Music Colombia_section_27

Main article: Music of Colombia Colombia_sentence_420

Colombia has a vibrant collage of talent that touches a full spectrum of rhythms. Colombia_sentence_421

Musicians, composers, music producers and singers from Colombia are recognized internationally such as Shakira, Juanes, Carlos Vives and others. Colombia_sentence_422

Colombian music blends European-influenced guitar and song structure with large gaita flutes and percussion instruments from the indigenous population, while its percussion structure and dance forms come from Africa. Colombia_sentence_423

Colombia has a diverse and dynamic musical environment. Colombia_sentence_424

Guillermo Uribe Holguín, an important cultural figure in the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, Luis Antonio Calvo and Blas Emilio Atehortúa are some of the greatest exponents of the art music. Colombia_sentence_425

The Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the most active orchestras in Colombia. Colombia_sentence_426

Caribbean music has many vibrant rhythms, such as cumbia (it is played by the maracas, the drums, the gaitas and guacharaca), porro (it is a monotonous but joyful rhythm), mapalé (with its fast rhythm and constant clapping) and the "vallenato", which originated in the northern part of the Caribbean coast (the rhythm is mainly played by the caja, the guacharaca, and accordion). Colombia_sentence_427

The music from the Pacific coast, such as the currulao, is characterized by its strong use of drums (instruments such as the native marimba, the conunos, the bass drum, the side drum, and the cuatro guasas or tubular rattle). Colombia_sentence_428

An important rhythm of the south region of the Pacific coast is the contradanza (it is used in dance shows due to the striking colours of the costumes). Colombia_sentence_429

Marimba music, traditional chants and dances from the Colombia South Pacific region are on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Colombia_sentence_430

Important musical rhythms of the Andean Region are the danza (dance of Andean folklore arising from the transformation of the European contredance), the bambuco (it is played with guitar, tiple and mandolin, the rhythm is danced by couples), the pasillo (a rhythm inspired by the Austrian waltz and the Colombian "danza", the lyrics have been composed by well-known poets), the guabina (the tiple, the bandola and the requinto are the basic instruments), the sanjuanero (it originated in Tolima and Huila Departments, the rhythm is joyful and fast). Colombia_sentence_431

Apart from these traditional rhythms, salsa music has spread throughout the country, and the city of Cali is considered by many salsa singers to be 'The New Salsa Capital of the World'. Colombia_sentence_432

The instruments that distinguish the music of the Eastern Plains are the harp, the cuatro (a type of four-stringed guitar) and maracas. Colombia_sentence_433

Important rhythms of this region are the joropo (a fast rhythm and there is also tapping as a result of its flamenco ancestry) and the galeron (it is heard a lot while cowboys are working). Colombia_sentence_434

The music of the Amazon region is strongly influenced by the indigenous religious practices. Colombia_sentence_435

Some of the musical instruments used are the manguaré (a musical instrument of ceremonial type, consisting of a pair of large cylindrical drums), the quena (melodic instrument), the rondador, the congas, bells, and different types of flutes. Colombia_sentence_436

The music of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina is usually accompanied by a mandolin, a tub-bass, a jawbone, a guitar and maracas. Colombia_sentence_437

Some popular archipelago rhythms are the Schottische, the Calypso, the Polka and the Mento. Colombia_sentence_438

Popular culture Colombia_section_28

Main articles: Theater of Colombia, Cinema of Colombia, and Media of Colombia Colombia_sentence_439

Theater was introduced in Colombia during the Spanish colonization in 1550 through zarzuela companies. Colombia_sentence_440

Colombian theater is supported by the Ministry of Culture and a number of private and state owned organizations. Colombia_sentence_441

The Ibero-American Theater Festival of Bogotá is the cultural event of the highest importance in Colombia and one of the biggest theater festivals in the world. Colombia_sentence_442

Other important theater events are: The Festival of Puppet The Fanfare (Medellín), The Manizales Theater Festival, The Caribbean Theatre Festival (Santa Marta) and The Art Festival of Popular Culture "Cultural Invasion" (Bogotá). Colombia_sentence_443

Although the Colombian cinema is young as an industry, more recently the film industry was growing with support from the Film Act passed in 2003. Colombia_sentence_444

Many film festivals take place in Colombia, but the two most important are the Cartagena Film Festival, which is the oldest film festival in Latin America, and the Bogotá Film Festival. Colombia_sentence_445

Some important national circulation newspapers are El Tiempo and El Espectador. Colombia_sentence_446

Television in Colombia has two privately owned TV networks and three state-owned TV networks with national coverage, as well as six regional TV networks and dozens of local TV stations. Colombia_sentence_447

Private channels, RCN and Caracol are the highest-rated. Colombia_sentence_448

The regional channels and regional newspapers cover a department or more and its content is made in these particular areas. Colombia_sentence_449

Colombia has three major national radio networks: Radiodifusora Nacional de Colombia, a state-run national radio; Caracol Radio and RCN Radio, privately owned networks with hundreds of affiliates. Colombia_sentence_450

There are other national networks, including Cadena Super, Todelar, and Colmundo. Colombia_sentence_451

Many hundreds of radio stations are registered with the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications. Colombia_sentence_452

Cuisine Colombia_section_29

Main article: Colombian cuisine Colombia_sentence_453

Colombia's varied cuisine is influenced by its diverse fauna and flora as well as the cultural traditions of the ethnic groups. Colombia_sentence_454

Colombian dishes and ingredients vary widely by region. Colombia_sentence_455

Some of the most common ingredients are: cereals such as rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; assorted legumes; meats, including beef, chicken, pork and goat; fish; and seafood. Colombia_sentence_456

Colombia cuisine also features a variety of tropical fruits such as cape gooseberry, feijoa, arazá, dragon fruit, mangostino, granadilla, papaya, guava, mora (blackberry), lulo, soursop and passionfruit. Colombia_sentence_457

Colombia is one of the world's largest consumers of fruit juices. Colombia_sentence_458

Among the most representative appetizers and soups are patacones (fried green plantains), sancocho de gallina (chicken soup with root vegetables) and ajiaco (potato and corn soup). Colombia_sentence_459

Representative snacks and breads are pandebono, arepas (corn cakes), aborrajados (fried sweet plantains with cheese), torta de choclo, empanadas and almojábanas. Colombia_sentence_460

Representative main courses are bandeja paisa, lechona tolimense, mamona, tamales and fish dishes (such as arroz de lisa), especially in coastal regions where kibbeh, suero, costeño cheese and carimañolas are also eaten. Colombia_sentence_461

Representative side dishes are papas chorreadas (potatoes with cheese), remolachas rellenas con huevo duro (beets stuffed with hard-boiled egg) and arroz con coco (coconut rice). Colombia_sentence_462

Organic food is a current trend in big cities, although in general across the country the fruits and veggies are very natural and fresh. Colombia_sentence_463

Representative desserts are buñuelos, natillas, Maria Luisa cake, bocadillo made of guayaba (guava jelly), cocadas (coconut balls), casquitos de guayaba (candied guava peels), torta de natas, obleas, flan de mango, roscón, milhoja, manjar blanco, dulce de feijoa, dulce de papayuela, torta de mojicón, and esponjado de curuba. Colombia_sentence_464

Typical sauces (salsas) are hogao (tomato and onion sauce) and Colombian-style ají. Colombia_sentence_465

Some representative beverages are coffee (Tinto), champús, cholado, lulada, avena colombiana, sugarcane juice, aguapanela, aguardiente, hot chocolate and fresh fruit juices (often made with water or milk). Colombia_sentence_466

Sports Colombia_section_30

Main article: Sport in Colombia Colombia_sentence_467

Tejo is Colombia's national sport and is a team sport that involves launching projectiles to hit a target. Colombia_sentence_468

But of all sports in Colombia, football is the most popular. Colombia_sentence_469

Colombia was the champion of the 2001 Copa América, in which they set a new record of being undefeated, conceding no goals and winning each match. Colombia_sentence_470

Colombia has been awarded "mover of the year" twice. Colombia_sentence_471

Colombia is a hub for roller skaters. Colombia_sentence_472

The national team is a perennial powerhouse at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships. Colombia_sentence_473

Colombia has traditionally been very good in cycling and a large number of Colombian cyclists have triumphed in major competitions of cycling. Colombia_sentence_474

Baseball is popular in cities like Cartagena and Barranquilla. Colombia_sentence_475

Of those cities have come good players like: Orlando Cabrera, Édgar Rentería, who was champion of the World Series in 1997 and 2010 and others who have played in Major League Baseball. Colombia_sentence_476

Colombia was world amateur champion in 1947 and 1965. Colombia_sentence_477

Boxing is one of the sports that has produced more world champions for Colombia. Colombia_sentence_478

Motorsports also occupies an important place in the sporting preferences of Colombians; Juan Pablo Montoya is a race car driver known for winning 7 Formula One events. Colombia_sentence_479

Colombia also has excelled in sports such as BMX, judo, shooting sport, taekwondo, wrestling, high diving and athletics, also has a long tradition in weightlifting and bowling. Colombia_sentence_480

Health Colombia_section_31

Main article: Health care in Colombia Colombia_sentence_481

The overall life expectancy in Colombia at birth is 74.8 years (71.2 years for males and 78.4 years for females). Colombia_sentence_482

Healthcare reforms have led to massive improvements in the healthcare systems of the country, with health standards in Colombia improving very much since the 1980s. Colombia_sentence_483

Although this new system has widened population coverage by the social and health security system from 21% (pre-1993) to 96% in 2012, health disparities persist. Colombia_sentence_484

Through health tourism, many people from over the world travel from their places of residence to other countries in search of medical treatment and the attractions in the countries visited. Colombia_sentence_485

Colombia is projected as one of Latin America's main destinations in terms of health tourism due to the quality of its health care professionals, a good number of institutions devoted to health, and an immense inventory of natural and architectural sites. Colombia_sentence_486

Cities such as Bogotá, Cali, Medellín and Bucaramanga are the most visited in cardiology procedures, neurology, dental treatments, stem cell therapy, ENT, ophthalmology and joint replacements because of the quality of medical treatment. Colombia_sentence_487

A study conducted by América Economía magazine ranked 21 Colombian health care institutions among the top 44 in Latin America, amounting to 48 percent of the total. Colombia_sentence_488

A cancer research and treatment centre was declared as a Project of National Strategic Interest. Colombia_sentence_489

Education Colombia_section_32

Main article: Education in Colombia Colombia_sentence_490

The educational experience of many Colombian children begins with attendance at a preschool academy until age five (Educación preescolar). Colombia_sentence_491

Basic education (Educación básica) is compulsory by law. Colombia_sentence_492

It has two stages: Primary basic education (Educación básica primaria) which goes from first to fifth grade – children from six to ten years old, and Secondary basic education (Educación básica secundaria), which goes from sixth to ninth grade. Colombia_sentence_493

Basic education is followed by Middle vocational education (Educación media vocacional) that comprises the tenth and eleventh grades. Colombia_sentence_494

It may have different vocational training modalities or specialties (academic, technical, business, and so on.) Colombia_sentence_495

according to the curriculum adopted by each school. Colombia_sentence_496

After the successful completion of all the basic and middle education years, a high-school diploma is awarded. Colombia_sentence_497

The high-school graduate is known as a bachiller, because secondary basic school and middle education are traditionally considered together as a unit called bachillerato (sixth to eleventh grade). Colombia_sentence_498

Students in their final year of middle education take the ICFES test (now renamed Saber 11) to gain access to higher education (Educación superior). Colombia_sentence_499

This higher education includes undergraduate professional studies, technical, technological and intermediate professional education, and post-graduate studies. Colombia_sentence_500

Technical professional institutions of Higher Education are also opened to students holder of a qualification in Arts and Business. Colombia_sentence_501

This qualification is usually awarded by the SENA after a two years curriculum. Colombia_sentence_502

Bachilleres (high-school graduates) may enter into a professional undergraduate career program offered by a university; these programs last up to five years (or less for technical, technological and intermediate professional education, and post-graduate studies), even as much to six to seven years for some careers, such as medicine. Colombia_sentence_503

In Colombia, there is not an institution such as college; students go directly into a career program at a university or any other educational institution to obtain a professional, technical or technological title. Colombia_sentence_504

Once graduated from the university, people are granted a (professional, technical or technological) diploma and licensed (if required) to practice the career they have chosen. Colombia_sentence_505

For some professional career programs, students are required to take the Saber-Pro test, in their final year of undergraduate academic education. Colombia_sentence_506

Public spending on education as a proportion of gross domestic product in 2015 was 4.49%. Colombia_sentence_507

This represented 15.05% of total government expenditure. Colombia_sentence_508

The primary and secondary gross enrolment ratios stood at 113.56% and 98.09% respectively. Colombia_sentence_509

School-life expectancy was 14.42 years. Colombia_sentence_510

A total of 94.58% of the population aged 15 and older were recorded as literate, including 98.66% of those aged 15–24. Colombia_sentence_511

See also Colombia_section_33


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