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Columbia

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. While Bogota continues to try to negotiate a settlement, neighboring countries worry about the violence spilling over their borders.
note: includes Isla de Malpelo, Roncador Cay, Serrana Bank, and Serranilla Bank
Area – comparative: slightly less than three times the size of Montana
Climate: tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
highest point: Nevado del Huila 5,750 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower
Population: 39,685,655 (July 2000 est.)
0-14 years: 32%,15-64 years: 63%, 65 years and over: 5%
Infant mortality rate: 24.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)
Ethnic groups: mestizo 58%, white 20%, mulatto 14%, black 4%, mixed black-Amerindian 3%, Amerindian 1%
Government type: republic; executive branch dominates government structure
Administrative divisions: 32 departments
Independence: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)
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
GDP: purchasing power parity – $245.1 billion (1999 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $6,200

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