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Colombia - Country facts

Map

Small map of Colombia
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Flag

Country flag: Colombia

Capital

Bogota

Currency

Colombian peso (COP)

Internet Code

.co

Location

Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama

Background

Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela). A 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 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.

Climate

tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands

Terrain

flat coastal lowlands, central highlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains

Population

42,954,279 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%

Religions

Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%

Languages

Spanish

Map of Colombia

Large map of Colombia
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