Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country located in South America and has islands in North America. It is bordered by Panama to the northwest, the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela and Brazil to the east, Ecuador and Peru to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is the 4th largest country in South America and the 26th largest country in the world by surface area. The country is divided into 32 departments and the Capital Region of Bogotá, which is also the largest city.
With a population of over 50 million, Colombia is one of the most linguistically and ethnically diverse countries in the world. It is the second most populous country among Spanish-speaking countries, after Mexico. Indigenous civilizations, European settlers, African slaves, and immigrants from Europe and the Middle East form the sources of the country’s rich cultural heritage. The country’s population centers are concentrated in the Andes and the Caribbean coast.
The earliest evidence of human life on the territory of present-day Colombia dates to 12,000 BC. Indigenous cultures such as the Chipcha (Muisca), Quimbaya, and Tairona are the earliest known civilizations in the region. The Spanish set foot in La Guajira in 1499 and started the colonization process. By the 16th century, various parts of the region were colonized and the New Kingdom of Granada was established, with the capital city of Santafé de Bogotá. In 1810, independence from the Spanish Empire was declared as the United Provinces of New Granada. Federal governments such as the Granada Confederation (1858) and the United States of Colombia (1863) were tried in the country, but these governments did not last long and the Republic of Colombia was established in 1886. With the secession of Panama in 1903, Colombia reached its present borders. Low-intensity armed conflicts and political violence increased in the country in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s. Since 2005, progress has been made in the areas of security, stability and the rule of law, while at the same time there has been an unprecedented period of economic growth and development.
Colombia is the second country with the highest level of biodiversity in the world, after Brazil. The country’s territory includes many different regions such as the Amazon rainforest, mountain ranges, grasslands, and deserts. It is the only country in South America that has coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Colombia is a regional power and has the third largest economy in South America. The coffee, flower, emerald, coal and oil industries are major sectors of the Colombian economy. It is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Organization of American States, the Pacific Alliance, and the Andean Community. It is also a global partner of NATO.
In the territory of present-day Colombia, the natives of the region were engaged in trade and gold processing. The cultures of the Inca Empire, Muisca, Tayrona, Sinú, Quimbaya, and San Agustín have lived here for centuries.
Columbus never set foot on the territory of the country, which is named after Christopher Columbus. Colombian lands were found and colonized by the Spanish under the command of Ganzalo Jiménez de Quesada and Sebastian de Belalcázar in the early 16th century. In 1525, Rodrigo de Bastidas founded the city of Santa Marta. After this, the city of Cartagena was founded on the Caribbean Sea in the north of the country. In 1538, Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada captured the settlement that the locals called Bacatá and founded the city of Bogotá there.
Great Republic of Colombia
Until the eighteenth century, the country was ruled by whites of Spanish descent. The North American and French Revolutions further strengthened the independence struggle that started after that. In 1808, when Napoleon invaded Spain, the Spanish colonies in America declared their war of independence. Thus, the forces led by Simón Bolívar declared their independence in Cartagena, and in 1821 a federation was established under the name of Great Colombia, comprising the territories of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela. Venezuela broke away from the federation in 1829 and Ecuador in 1830.
United States of Colombia and the Republic of Colombia
In 1886, the country was named after Columbus, who discovered the continent, and the Republic of Colombia was proclaimed. In 1903, Panama, which was included in the territory of the country, separated from Colombia with the help of the USA and became an independent state. In the same year, Panama gave the right to use the Panama Canal to the USA. Because of this separation, there was a tension between the USA and Colombia that lasted until 1921. After this date, the two major parties, the Liberals Party and the Conservatives Party, dominated the Colombian government. But the frictions between these two parties caused internal turmoil and the country was ruled by dictators for a long time. Today, internal turmoil continues in Colombia, which is governed by a civilian government.
La Violencia era
Between 1948 and 1953 there was great turmoil within Colombia. Violence, called violencia, occurred. Conservative Mariano Ospina Pérez took over in 1950, and another conservative, Laureano Gómez, exercised strict rule with his deputy, Roberto Urdaneta. It is estimated that 80,000 people died during the three-year mission. Violencia lasted until 1963. During this time, 200,000 people died. The leftist guerrilla group FARC fought against Violencia. Due to the turmoil in the country, President Álvaro Uribe Vélez declared a 90-day state of emergency on 12 August 2002.
Colombia’s climate varies from region to region. Tropical climates are observed in the valleys and temperate climates are observed in the higher elevations. There is always snow on the peaks of the country’s mountains in the hot climate zone. Nearly half of the country’s territory is covered with dense forests.
Various animals such as monkeys, jaguars, crocodiles, cougars, tapirs and armadillos live in the Amazon Jungle. In addition, tropical birds such as parrots and colibri and migratory birds migrating from North America also spend the winter here. Large South American vultures, called Andean Condors, nest in high mountain areas. In addition to many species of butterflies, spiders and insects, crocodiles and caimans live in the Magdalena River.
Mount Cristóbal Colón and Mount Simón Bolívar are the country’s highest elevations (both 5775 meters high). The Western, Central, and Eastern Cordilleras, the three major mountain ranges of the Andes system, run across the western half of the country and converge on the Ecuadorian border. The tributaries of the Amazon and Orinoko rivers run along the low eastern plain. The 1600 km long Magdalena River flows northward and empties into the Caribbean Sea.
In the census carried out in October 2006, it was determined that 41,966,004 people live in the Colombian territory of 1,141,748 km2. 60% of the population is Spanish and indigenous mestizos, 20% are Hispanic whites, and 14% are mixed European-African mulattos. Afrocolombians live in coastal areas. Other ethnic groups include Lebanese Colombians of Arab descent.
The capital of Colombia is Bogota. The largest administrative units of the country are departments and there are 32 departments. Bogotá is a special region (Capital Province). This department is divided into districts, there are 1128 districts in total. In addition, the country is divided into 5 regions considering geographical, demographic and economic conditions, but these regions do not represent any administrative structure.
Colombia, United Nations (1943), Organization of American States (1948), G-77 (1964), Andean Commonwealth (1969), G-24 (1971), Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (1978), Union of South American Nations (2004) ), is one of the founding members of international organizations such as the Commonwealth of Latin American and Caribbean States CELAC (2010) and the Pacific Alliance (2013).
Freedom of belief is guaranteed in the Colombian Constitution. Although the Colombian government does not legally document the issue of religion, a 2001 poll conducted by the newspaper El Tiempo revealed the following:
10% non-Protestant Catholics
3.5% Protestant Christians
3.6% other beliefs
Colombia is one of the most important producing countries in South America and one of the largest non-OECD economies. GDP per capita has doubled in the last 6 years, and the middle class is expanding. The country’s economy grew by 4% in 2012 and is estimated to have grown by 4.2% in 2013.
CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa Rep.), the new developing countries classification determined by the Economist Intelligence Unit in addition to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), includes only Colombia from Latin America. takes. These countries are seen as the star economies of the future with their populations, dynamic and stable economies.
In a report prepared by HSBC, which includes projections for the growth of world economies in 2050, Colombia is shown as the 26th best economy. It is predicted that the GDP of the country will reach 725 billion dollars in 2050 with an increase of 155%, and a significant improvement will be achieved in the per capita income, population and investment indicators. Colombia is expected to be the country with the highest growth among Latin American countries.
Despite being the second-third largest coffee producer in the world, Colombia is the most well-known coffee producing country. The reason for this is that Colombia takes coffee production seriously, follows production standards closely and works hard for perfection. The result of this effort made by coffee production associations is the trust and brand value they provide in coffee quality.
Colombia, which ranks first in the world in clove production, ranks second in coffee production after Brazil in the world. With the development of transportation in the country, the industry also shows a rapid growth.
Thanks to the sale of agricultural products and transportation, the economy is developing further. The basis of agricultural production in the country is coffee, cut flowers, rice, tobacco, corn, sugar cane, cocoa, oil seeds, vegetables and fruits such as lemon, orange, banana, mango and guava. Forestry, fishing and animal husbandry are also important sectors.
Products such as timber, paper and plywood are obtained from dense forests. The world’s most valuable emeralds are mined here. There are rich emerald (world’s first) platinum, gold, silver, copper, coal, iron, salt, nickel, phosphate, manganese, mica and quartz deposits. Some of the oil extracted near the borders of Venezuela and Ecuador is sold to foreign countries. In addition to the modern textile and clothing industry, chemicals, pharmaceutical raw materials, hardware, cement and motor vehicle industries are also developing.
Fernando Botero is a Colombian-born modern art painter who draws famous fat people around the world. Gabriel García Márquez, an author of Colombian literature, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Catalina Sandino Moreno won the Best Actress award with Charlize Theron at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004 for her film Maria Full of Grace. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in this movie. There are also internationally recognized Colombian artists such as Shakira, Juanes, J Balvin, Danna García, César López.
Writers such as Antonio Nariño, José Fernández Madrid, Camilo Torres Tenorio and Francisco Antonio Zea have come to the fore in the post-independence literature associated with romanticism. In the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the literary genre known as costumbrismo became popular; great writers of this period were Tomás Carrasquilla, Jorge Isaacs and Rafael Pombo (the latter wrote notable works in children’s literature). During this period, writers such as José Asunción Silva, José Eustasio Rivera, León de Greiff, Porfirio Barba-Jacob, and José María Vargas Vila developed the modernist movement. In 1872, Colombia founded the Colombian Language Academy, the first Spanish language academy in the Americas. Candelario Obeso wrote the groundbreaking Cantos Populares de mi Tierra (1877), the first poetry book by an Afro-Colombian author.
Between 1939 and 1940, seven books of poetry were published in the city of Bogotá under the title Stone and Sky; The poems were edited by the poet Jorge Rojas. Over the next decade, Gonzalo Arango founded the “nothingness” movement in response to the violence of time; influenced by nihilism, existentialism, and the thinking of another great Colombian writer, Fernando González Ochoa. During the boom in Latin American literature, successful writers emerged, led by Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez and the magnum opus, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Eduardo Caballero Calderón, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, and a Cervantes Prize winner, Álvaro Mutis.
Football, cycling, boxing, baseball, basketball and tejo (local sports) are the most popular sports in Colombia. Football is played in leagues, the largest of which is Liga Postobón. Two of the teams that have been able to win the Libertadores Cup (Once Caldas and Atlético Nacional) are teams. Football clubs are gathered under the umbrella of the Colombian Football Federation.