Colombia

Article

July 3, 2022

Colombia, in long form the Republic of Colombia (in Spanish: Colombia or República de Colombia audio) is a unitary republic of South America comprising 32 departments. The country is located in the northwest of the South American continent; it is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, to the northwest by Panama, to the north by the Caribbean Sea (giving access to the Atlantic Ocean), to the northeast by Venezuela, to the southeast by Brazil, to the south by Peru and to the southwest by Ecuador. Colombia is the 26th largest country by area and the 4th in South America. With more than 51 million inhabitants, Colombia is the 28th most populous country in the world and the 2nd of all Spanish-speaking countries after Mexico. Colombia is a middle power, the 4th largest economy in Latin America, and the 3rd in South America. The production of coffee, flowers, emeralds, coal and oil forms the main sector of the Colombian economy. Colombia today covers a territory that was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples including the Muiscas, Quimbayas and Tayronas. The Spaniards arrived in 1499 and launched a colonization leading to the creation of the Kingdom of New Granada and then the Viceroyalty of New Granada (including the current countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Northwestern Brazil and Panama ), with its capital in Bogotá. Colombian independence was achieved in 1819, but in 1830 Gran Colombia collapsed with the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador. The future countries of Colombia and Panama then form the Republic of New Granada. The new nation experimented with federalism by becoming the Granada Confederation (1858), then the United States of Colombia (1863), before becoming a centralized country again under the current name of the Republic of Colombia in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903 following the Thousand Days War (1899-1902). Colombia is the first constitutional government in South America and an important promoter of Pan American organizations, first through the Congress of Panama and later as a founder of the Organization of American States. The Liberal and Conservative parties, founded in 1848 and 1849 respectively, are two of the oldest political parties still active in America. Colombia is ethnically diverse. The interaction between the descendants of the first indigenous inhabitants, the Spanish settlers, the African populations deported to the country as slaves and the 20th century immigration from Europe and the Middle East, produced a varied cultural heritage, also influenced by the great geographical variety of the country. The majority of urban centers are located in the highlands of the Andes, but Colombian territory also encompasses the Amazon rainforest, the Llanos, and the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Ecologically, Colombia is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world, and it is considered the most megadiverse country per square kilometer.

Toponymy

The name "Colombia" was conceived by the Venezuelan Francisco de Miranda to name the territory corresponding to the current Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, in homage to Christopher Columbus (in Spanish: Cristóbal Colón) (in Italian: Cristoforo Colombo). On February 15, 1819, during the Congress of Angostura, the State was proclaimed which adopted the official name of "Republic of Colombia" ("República de Colombia"), today known as Gran Colombia in order to avoid confusion with present-day Colombia. The sovereignty of this state extended over the territories hitherto called Viceroyalty of New Granada (Virreinato de Nueva Granada), Royal Audience of Quito (Real Audiencia de Quito) and Captaincy General of Venezuela (Capitanía Gen