Colombia

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 45.3
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 77%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.6%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 1,138,910


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Half-caste72
Europeans 20.1
Africans 3.9
Native Americans 1.1
Indians1
Other 1.9



Main Cities Population
Bogotá 7 887 044
Medellín 3 316 358
Cali 2 537 936
Barranquilla 1 694 675
Bucaramanga 1 014 657



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Bogotá (GMT-5 ).



Languages
Official language: Spanish
Spoken languages: paez, wayuu and the other native languages
Business language: Spanish, English.

Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free English-Spanish-English translation of texts and web pages

Systran
Free French-Spanish-French translation of texts and web pages

Dictionarios.com
Free Spanish-Catalan-English-French Dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Catholics 95.2%
Others 4.8%.


Political context

Colombia is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy where the executive branch dominates government structure. Colombia (official name: Republic of Colombia) is one of the most violent countries in the world.
President is both chief of the state and head of the government. President holds the executive powers . President and the Vice-President are elected by popular vote for a four-year term.
The legislature in Colombia is bicameral. The parliament called Congress consists of: Senate (the upper house) and the House of Representatives (the lower house). The members of both the houses are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The political rights of the people of the country are limited.
The judiciary is not independent and the country's judicial system remains slow and infected with corruption and extortion. The main source of the law in Colombia is the constitution of 1991 which is based on the Spanish law. Laws also originate from the judicial reviews of the executive and legislative acts. A new criminal code modelled after US procedures was enacted into law in 2004 and is gradually being implemented in the country. Spanish is the judicial language in Columbia; an interpreter can always be arranged.
Colombia is not ruled by law. The government is not able to guarantee the security of its citizens due to politically motivated and drug-related violence in the country. Foreign nationals can get almost the same treatment from judiciary as the natives, though there have been a few complaints. A high degree of corruption exists in the country. Corruption affects virtually all aspects of public life and extends far beyond the narcotics trade.


Major political parties

The major political parties in Colombia are: PC (Conservative Party), PDA (Alternative Democratic Pole), PL (Liberal Party), PSUN (Social National Unity Party), CR (Radical Change), Colombia First. Colombia has about 60 formally recognized political parties, most of which do not have a presence in either house of the Congress.


Major political leaders

President: Alvaro URIBE Velez (since August 2002, re-elected May 2006) – Colombia First, backed by PC, PL dissidents and independents.


Next political election dates

Presidential: May 2010
Senate and the House of Representatives: both in March 2010




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Colombia 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 791 933 1,053
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-Museum of Gold in Bogota
-The Caribbean Sea coasts and San Andres y Providenzia Islands, off Nicaragua

For more information about tourism in Colombia , check out the following web site(s) :
Informations portal on tourism in Colombia



Food


Traditional dishes
The Colombian food is very similar to the Spanish food.
Ajiaco: dish based of marinaded chicken and potatoes.


Food-related taboos
There are no food taboos in Colombia.

Last modified on December 2006

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