CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Colombia

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Introduction Colombia
Background: 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. An anti-insurgent army of paramilitaries has grown to be several thousand strong in recent years, challenging the insurgents for control of territory and the drug trade, and also the government's ability to exert its dominion over rural areas. While Bogota steps up efforts to reassert government control throughout the country, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.
 
Geography Colombia
Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 72 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 1,138,910 sq km
land: 1,038,700 sq km
note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, Serrana Bank, and Serranilla Bank
water: 100,210 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Land boundaries: total: 6,004 km
border countries: Brazil 1,643 km, Ecuador 590 km, Panama 225 km, Peru 1,496 km (est.), Venezuela 2,050 km
Coastline: 3,208 km (Caribbean Sea 1,760 km, North Pacific Ocean 1,448 km)
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
Terrain: flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Cristobal Colon 5,775 m
note: nearby Pico Simon Bolivar also has the same elevation
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
Land use: arable land: 2.42%
other: 95.91% (2001)
permanent crops: 1.67%
Irrigated land: 8,500 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil and water quality damage from overuse of pesticides; air pollution, especially in Bogota, from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreements: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note: only South American country with coastlines on both North Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea
 
People Colombia
Population: 42,310,775 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 31% (male 6,644,080; female 6,489,677)
15-64 years: 63.9% (male 13,171,416; female 13,879,115)
65 years and over: 5% (male 940,762; female 1,185,725) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 25.8 years
male: 24.9 years
female: 26.7 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.53% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 21.19 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate: 5.61 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 21.72 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 25.69 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.43 years
male: 67.58 years
female: 75.41 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.59 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 190,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,600 (2003 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%
Languages: Spanish
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.5%
male: 92.4%
female: 92.6% (2003 est.)
 
Government Colombia
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
conventional short form: Colombia
local short form: Colombia
local long form: Republica de Colombia
Government type: republic; executive branch dominates government structure
Capital: Bogota
Administrative divisions: 32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Distrito Capital de Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Independence: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 20 July (1810)
Constitution: 5 July 1991
Legal system: based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted in 1992-93; judicial review of executive and legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Alvaro URIBE Velez (since 7 August 2002); Vice President Francisco SANTOS (since 7 August 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet consists of a coalition of the two dominant parties - the PL and PSC - and independents
elections: president and vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 26 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2006)
election results: President Alvaro URIBE Velez received 53% of the vote; Vice President Francisco SANTOS was elected on the same ticket
Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held NA March 2006); House of Representatives - last held 10 March 2002 (next to be held NA March 2006)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 28, PSC 13, independents and smaller parties (many aligned with conservatives) 61; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 54, PSC 21, independents and other parties 91
Judicial branch: four roughly coequal, supreme judicial organs; Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (highest court of criminal law; judges are selected by their peers from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms); Council of State (highest court of administrative law; judges are selected from the nominees of the Superior Judicial Council for eight-year terms); Constitutional Court (guards integrity and supremacy of the constitution; rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the constitution, and international treaties); Superior Judicial Council (administers and disciplines the civilian judiciary; resolves jurisdictional conflicts arising between other courts; members are elected by three sister courts and Congress for eight-year terms)
Political parties and leaders: Conservative Party or PSC [Carlos HOLGUIN Sardi]; Liberal Party or PL [Camilo SANCHEZ]; Colombian Communist Party or PCC [Jaime CAICEDO]; Democratic Pole or PDI [Antonio NAVARRO Wolff]
note: Colombia has about 60 formally recognized political parties, most of which do not have a presence in either house of Congress
Political pressure groups and leaders: two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia - Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and National Liberation Army or ELN; largest anti-insurgent paramilitary group is United Self-Defense Groups of Colombia or AUC
International organization participation: BCIE, CAN, CDB, FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Luis Alberto MORENO Mejia
chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Washington, DC
consulate(s): Atlanta
FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
mailing address: Carrera 45 #22D-45, Bogota, D.C., APO AA 34038
telephone: [57] (1) 315-0811
FAX: [57] (1) 315-2197
Flag description: three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center
 
Economy Colombia
Economy - overview: Colombia's economy suffers from weak domestic and foreign demand, austere government budgets, and serious internal armed conflict, but seems poised for recovery. Other economic problems facing President URIBE range from reforming the pension system to reducing high unemployment. Two of Colombia's leading exports, oil and coffee, face an uncertain future; new exploration is needed to offset declining oil production, while coffee harvests and prices are depressed. On the positive side, several international financial institutions have praised the economic reforms introduced by URIBE, which includes measures designed to reduce the public-sector deficit below 2.5% of GDP in 2004. The government's economic policy and democratic security strategy have engendered a growing sense of confidence in the economy, particularly within the business sector, and GDP growth in 2003 was among the highest in Latin America.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $263.2 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3.7% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,300 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 13.7%
industry: 32.1%
services: 54.2% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 15.9% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line: 55% (2001)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 44% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 57.1 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force: 20.34 million (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 24%, services 46% (1990)
Unemployment rate: 14.2% (2003 est.)
Budget: revenues: $24 billion
expenditures: $25.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2004 est.)
Public debt: 51.9% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products: coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
Industries: textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
Industrial production growth rate: 3.5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production: 42.99 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 39.81 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports: 210 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports: 40 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production: 614,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption: 252,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports: NA (2001)
Oil - imports: NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves: 1.8 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production: 5.7 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 5.7 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 132 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance: $-1.417 billion (2003)
Exports: $12.96 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, coffee, coal, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
Exports - partners: US 47.1%, Ecuador 6%, Venezuela 5.3% (2003)
Imports: $13.06 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities: industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, electricity
Imports - partners: US 29.6%, Brazil 5.5%, Mexico 5.4%, Venezuela 5.2%, China 5%, Japan 4.6%, Germany 4.4% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $10.92 billion (2003)
Debt - external: $38.26 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: NA
Currency: Colombian peso (COP)
Currency code: COP
Exchange rates: Colombian pesos per US dollar - 2,877.65 (2003), 2,504.24 (2002), 2,299.63 (2001), 2,087.9 (2000), 1,756.23 (1999)
Fiscal year: calendar year
 
Communications Colombia
Telephones - main lines in use: 8,768,100 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 6,186,200 (2003)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern system in many respects
domestic: nationwide microwave radio relay system; domestic satellite system with 41 earth stations; fiber-optic network linking 50 cities
international: country code - 57; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 1 Inmarsat; 3 fully digitalized international switching centers; 8 submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations: AM 454, FM 34, shortwave 27 (1999)
Radios: 21 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 60 (includes seven low-power stations) (1997)
Televisions: 4.59 million (1997)
Internet country code: .co
Internet hosts: 115,158 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 18 (2000)
Internet users: 2,732,200 (2003)
 
Transportation Colombia
Railways: total: 3,304 km
standard gauge: 150 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 3,154 km 0.914-m gauge (2003)
Highways: total: 110,000 km
paved: 26,000 km
unpaved: 84,000 km (2000)
Waterways: 9,187 km (2004)
Pipelines: gas 4,360 km; oil 6,134 km; refined products 3,140 km (2004)
Ports and harbors: Bahia de Portete, Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Leticia, Puerto Bolivar, San Andres, Santa Marta, Tumaco, Turbo
Merchant marine: total: 13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 35,427 GRT/46,301 DWT
by type: bulk 4, cargo 5, container 1, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 16 (2004 est.)
Airports: 980 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 101
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 12 (2004 est.)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 39
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 879
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 34
under 914 m: 572 (2004 est.)
914 to 1,523 m: 272
Heliports: 1 (2003 est.)
 
Military Colombia
Military branches: Army (Ejercito Nacional), Navy (Armada Nacional, including Naval Aviation, Marines, and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Colombiana)
Military manpower - military age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 24 months (2004)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 11,252,027 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 7,495,462 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 392,656 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $3.3 billion (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 3.4% (FY01)
This page was last updated on 1 January 2003



This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005