The Colombia Portal

Republic of Colombia
República de Colombia  (Spanish)
Location of Colombia (dark green) in South America (grey)
Location of Colombia (dark green)

in South America (grey)

ISO 3166 codeCO

Colombia (/kəˈlʌmbiə/ , /-ˈlɒm-/; Spanish: [koˈlombja] ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country mostly in South America with insular regions in North America. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east and northeast, Brazil to the southeast, Ecuador and Peru to the south and southwest, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Panama to the northwest. Colombia is divided into 32 departments. The Capital District of Bogotá is also the country's largest city hosting the main financial and cultural hub. Other major urbes include Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Cúcuta, Ibagué, Villavicencio and Bucaramanga. It covers an area of 1,141,748 square kilometers (440,831 sq mi), and has a population of around 52 million. Its rich cultural heritage—including language, religion, cuisine, and art—reflects its history as a colony, fusing cultural elements brought by mass immigration from Europe and the Middle East, with those brought by the African diaspora, as well as with those of the various Indigenous civilizations that predate colonization. Spanish is the official language, although English and 64 other languages are recognized regionally.

Colombia has been home to many indigenous peoples and cultures since at least 12,000 BCE. The Spanish first landed in La Guajira in 1499, and by the mid-16th century they had colonized much of present-day Colombia, and established the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santa Fé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from the Spanish Empire was achieved in 1819, with what is now Colombia emerging as the United Provinces of New Granada. The new polity experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation (1858) and then the United States of Colombia (1863), before becoming a republic—the current Republic of Colombia—in 1886. With the backing of the United States and France, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, resulting in Colombia's present borders. Beginning in the 1960s, the country has suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security, stability and rule of law, as well as unprecedented economic growth and development. Colombia is recognized for its healthcare system, being the best healthcare in Latin America according to the World Health Organization and 22nd in the world. Its diversified economy is the third-largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects.

Colombia is one of the world's seventeen megadiverse countries; it has the highest level of biodiversity per square mile in the world and the second-highest level overall. Its territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands and deserts. It is the only country in South America with coastlines (and islands) along both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Colombia is a key member of major global and regional organizations including the UN, the WTO, the OECD, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance and the Andean Community; it is also a NATO Global Partner and a major non-NATO ally of the United States. (Full article...)

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A Colombian Police Bell 212 deploying troops on the roof of the Palace of Justice during the siege

The Palace of Justice siege was a 1985 attack on the Supreme Court of Colombia, in which members of the leftist M-19 guerrilla group took over the Palace of Justice in Bogotá and held the Supreme Court hostage, intending to hold a trial against President Belisario Betancur. The guerrilla group called themselves the "Iván Marino Ospina Company" after an M-19 commander who had been killed by the Colombian military on 28 August 1985. Hours later, after a military raid, the incident had left almost half of the twenty-five Supreme Court Justices dead.

Luis Otero was in charge of directing the military aspects of the siege. (Full article...)
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Rentería with the Cincinnati Reds in 2011

Édgar Enrique Rentería Herazo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈeðɣaɾ renteˈɾi.a]; born August 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Barranquilla Baby", is a Colombian former professional baseball shortstop. He threw and batted right-handed. He played for the Florida Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, and Cincinnati Reds.

Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, Rentería was signed by the Florida Marlins in 1992. He debuted with them in 1996, and he finished second to Todd Hollandsworth in Rookie of the Year Award balloting. In 1997, his RBI single off Charles Nagy in the eleventh inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series won the first World Series in Marlins' history over the Cleveland Indians. In the 2010 World Series against the Texas Rangers, Rentería won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award with the San Francisco Giants after he hit game-winning home runs in Game 2 and Game 5. (Full article...)

Did you know (auto-generated)

  • ... that Colombian singer Juanita Lascarro became a soprano at the Oper Frankfurt, where she appeared as both Calypso and Penelope in a new production of Dallapiccola's Ulisse?
  • ... that Colombian-born Susan Bernal is developing new cements that can reduce the substantial CO2 emissions currently caused by concrete?
  • ... that none of the actors in Poppy Garden, a film depicting a father and son's struggle for survival during the Colombian conflict, had previously acted in a film?
  • ... that Lewis Hamilton's physiotherapist, Angela Cullen, once cycled from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, to northern Colombia?
  • ... that Encanto character Bruno Madrigal was originally named Oscar, but his name was changed due to the number of real-life Oscar Madrigals in Colombia?
  • ... that in local Afro-Colombian and Catholic tradition, residents of Guapi sing and dance while sailing the Virgin Mary down their coconut-candlelit river to church every Christmas Eve?

General images

The following are images from various Colombia-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Largest cities

Largest cities or towns in Colombia
According to the 2018 Census[2]
Rank Name Department Pop. Rank Name Department Pop.
1 Bogotá Distrito Capital 7,387,400 11 Ibagué Tolima 492,554 Cali
2 Medellín Antioquia 2,382,399 12 Villavicencio Meta 492,052
3 Cali Valle del Cauca 2,172,527 13 Santa Marta Magdalena 455,299
4 Barranquilla Atlántico 1,205,284 14 Valledupar Cesar 431,794
5 Cartagena Bolívar 876,885 15 Manizales Caldas 405,234
6 Cúcuta Norte de Santander 685,445 16 Montería Córdoba 388,499
7 Soacha Cundinamarca 655,025 17 Pereira Risaralda 385,838
8 Soledad Atlántico 602,644 18 Neiva Huila 335,994
9 Bucaramanga Santander 570,752 19 Pasto Nariño 308,095
10 Bello Antioquia 495,483 20 Armenia Quindío 287,245
  1. ^ "ARC" stands for "Armada Nacional de la República de Colombia."
  2. ^ "Largest cities" (PDF). Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadistica (DANE). Retrieved 10 February 2020.


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