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Colombia Colombia - Country Profile

Geography: (Map) Size: 1 141 748 km2. The country has access to both oceans (Pazific and Carribean coast 3200 km) and is the natural bridge between North and South America. Amazon lowlands in the east with jungle and savanna, separated from the coasts by rge Cordilleras, the northern branch of the Andes (highest peak: Huila 5750 m). The main rivers Cauca - with main towns of Colombia: Medellin and Cali - and Magdalena with width plains are flowing from the Cordilleras to the carribean coast.

Natural Resources: The region of Chocó is full of gold, platinum, silver, bauxite, manganese, radioactive cobalt, zinc, chrome, nickel, copper, exotic wood and large fishing resources. Colombia is home to 10% of the world's biodiversity. The oil resources in Colombia are enormous. Other important resources: coal, iron-ore and uranium.

Agriculture: The different climate zones - from tropical at the Pacific coast and in the Amazon lowland to a temperate zone in the upland allows a broad variety of cultivation. The main plants are: coffee (except of oil the most important exports), rice, bananas, corn, sugar-cane, cotton, flowers; illegal: coca and poppy.

Industry: oil production, mining, food (Coca-Cola), textile, chemistry.

Population: (2000) 37,7 million. Inhabitants; 20% Europeans and Creol, 30% Afro-Colombians (which are mainly living in the lowlands at the pacific coast; see PCN), Indigenous, Mestizos, Mulattos, Zambos.

Political Partition: Capital: Santafé de Bogotá (2645 alt.); 32 Provinces: Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caquetá, Cauca, Choco, Cordoba, Guajira, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Santander, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada...

soldatosHistory: 1536/38 conquest by Spanish troops (called: New Granada). In 1740 vicekingdom. Independence in 1819 with Simon Bolivar (Republic) - including Ecuador and Venezuela until 1830 - and Panamá. In 1903 the US orchestrated the separation of Panama from Colombia in order to maintain control of this region. The Panama canal opened in 1914. 1948 - 1958 Colombia was disordered by a civil war known as 'La Violencia'. Since then Guerilla troops (FARC and ELN) are fighting against the Colombian army and paramilitaries and millions of people have been killed and displaced. The expenses for this fights are payed by narcotraffic from both sides - paramilitaries and guerilla. Colombia supplies approximately 90% of the coca used in the production of cocaine and roughly 60% of the opium poppy used to produce the heroin that flows into the United States. In 2000 politicans and media told us to implement the Plan Colombia in order to fight the narcotraffic and the "terrorism". But what has been done? Adding Fuel to the Fire! Through the 1990s, Colombia has been the leading recipient of U.S. military aid in Latin America. Massive fumigations are not only affecting coca plants but also important food (corn, bananas ...), the biodiversity and the health of people and animals. More on Plan Colombia, fumigations, displacements ... President (since May 2002): Alvaro Uribey.

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