miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2009

Republic Of Colombia

“Official name: República de Colombia (Republic of Colombia). Form of government: unitary multiparty republic with two legislative houses (Senate [102]; House of Representatives [166]). Head of state and government: President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (from 2002). Capital: Bogotá. Official language: Spanish. Official religion: none. Monetary unit: 1 peso (Col$) = 100 centavos; valuation (1 Jul 2008) US$1 = Col$1,905.60.
Demography.
Area: 440,762 sq mi, 1, 141,568 sq km. Population (2007): 42, 870,000. Density (2007): persons per sq mi 97.2, persons per sq km 37.5. Urban (2005): 72.7%. Sex distribution (2005): male 49.25%; female 50.75%. Age breakdown (2005): under 15, 30.3%; 15–29, 27.1%; 30–44, 21.6%; 45–59, 13.4%; 60–74, 5.6%; 75–84, 1.6%; 85 and over, 0.4%. Ethnic composition (2000): mestizo 47.3%; mulatto 23.0%; white 20.0%; black 6.0%; black- Amerindian 1.0%; Amerindian/other 2.7%. Religious affiliation (2005): Roman Catholic 92.5%; Protestant 2.8%; independent Christian 2.4%; Mormon 0.3%; Muslim 0.2%; other 1.8%. Major cities (2005): Bogotá 6, 763,325; Medellín 2, 187,356; Cali 2, 039,626; Barranquilla 1, 109,067; Cartagena 845,801. Location: northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, the Pacific Ocean, and Panama.
Vital statistics.
Birth rate per 1,000 population (2006): 20.5 (world avg. 20.3). Death rate per 1,000 population (2006): 5.6 (world avg. 8.6). Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (2006): 14.9 (world avg. 11.7). Total fertility rate (avg. births per childbearing woman; 2006): 2.54. Life expectancy at birth (2006): male 68.2 years; female 76.0 years.
National economy.
Budget (2003–04). Revenue: Col$39, 951, 400,- 000,000 (tax revenue 92.0%; nontax revenue 8.0%).
Expenditures: Col$53, 934, 600, 000,000 (transfers debt (external, outstanding; 2005): US$22, 491, 000,000. Population economically active (2005): total 20, 575,200; activity rate 46.1% (participation rates: ages 12–55, 65.7%; female 42.1%; unemployed 11.8%). Production (metric tons except as noted). Agriculture, forestry, fishing (2005): sugarcane 39,850,000, plantains 3,457,000, rice 2,502,000 (also major producer of cut flowers; export value [2006] US$1,000,000,000); livestock (number of live animals) 25,699,000 cattle, 3,332,993 sheep, 2,553,621 horses; roundwood 9,658,000 cu m, of which fuelwood 83%; fisheries production 181,074 (from aquaculture 33%). Mining and quarrying (2004): nickel (metal content) 75,032; gold 37,739 kg; emeralds 9, 825,000 carats. Manufacturing (value added in Col$’000, 000,000; 2003): processed food 6,471; chemicals 5,737; petroleum products 3,712. Energy production (consumption): electricity (kW-hr; 2004) 50,291,000,000 (48,657,- 000,000); coal (metric tons; 2004) 53,700,000 (3,144,000); crude petroleum (barrels; 2004) 189,200,000 (112,400,000); petroleum products (metric tons; 2004) 14,106,000 (9,164,000); natural gas (cu m; 2004) 6,354,000,000 (6,219,000,000). Land use as % of total land area (2003): in temporary crops 2.0%, in permanent crops 1.3%, in pasture 34.5%; overall forest area (2005) 58.5%. Gross national income (2006): US$125, 898, 000,000 (US$2,763 per capita). Households. Average household size (2004) 3.8; sources of income (2002): wages 42.6%, self-employment 38.9%; expenditure (1992): food 34.2%, transportation 18.5%, housing 7.8%, health care 6.4%. Selected balance of payments data. Receipts from (US$’000,000): tourism (2005) 1,218; remittances (2006) 4,200; foreign direct investment (FDI) (2001–05 avg.) 3,946; oficial development assistance (2005) 838 (commitments).
Disbursements for (US$’000,000): tourism (2005) 1,127; remittances (2006) 66; FDI (2001–05 avg.) 1,315.
Foreign trade.
Imports (2006; f.o.b. in balance of trade and c.i.f. in commodities and trading partners): US$26, 162, 000,000 (chemicals and chemical products 20.2%; transportation equipment 15.3%; nonelectrical machinery 11.2%; telecommunications equipment 8.6%). Major import sources: US 26.5%; Mexico 8.8%; China 8.5%; Brazil 7.2%; Venezuela 5.7%. Exports.
(2006): US$24, 391, 000,000 (crude and refined petroleum 26.0%; coal 11.9%; chemicals and chemical products 7.4%; base metals 6.6%; food, beverages, and tobacco 6.5%; coffee 6.0%; textiles and clothing 5.4%). Major export destinations: US 39.6%; EU 13.7%; Venezuela 11.1%; Ecuador 5.1%; Peru 2.8%.
Transport and communications.
Transport. Railroads: route length (2004) 3,304 km; metric ton-km cargo (1999) 473, 000,000. Roads
(2000): total length 112,998 km (paved 23%). Vehicles (1999): cars 1, 803,201; trucks 319,294. Air transport (2005): passenger-km 7, 764, 000,000; metric ton-km cargo 252, 852,000. Communications, in total units (units per 1,000 persons). Daily newspaper circulation (2005): 1, 294,000 (30); televisions (2004): 11, 358,000 (268); telephone landlines (2006): 7, 865,000 (170); cellular telephone subscribers (2006): 29, 763,000 (643); personal computers (2005): 1, 892,000 (44); total Internet users (2006): 6, 705,000 (145); broadband Internet subscribers (2006): 628,000 (14).
Education and health.
Educational attainment (2005). Percentage of population ages 25 and over having: no schooling/unknown 10.2%; primary education 40.1%; secondary 34.2%; higher 15.5%. Literacy (2003): population ages 15 and over literate 92.5%; males literate 92.4%; females literate 92.6%. Health (2004): physicians 59,235 (1 per 714 persons); hospital beds 50,773 (1 per 833 persons); infant mortality rate (2006) 20.4. Food (2005): daily per capita caloric intake 2,744 (vegetable products 83%, animal products 17%); 150% of FAO recommended minimum.
Military.
Total active duty personnel (2006): 207,000 (army 86.0%, navy 10.6%, air force 3.4%). Military expenditure as percentage of GDP (2005): 3.7%; per capita expenditure US$106.
Background.
The Spanish arrived in what is now Colombia c. 1500 and by 1538 had defeated the area’s Chibchanspeaking Indians and made the area subject to the Viceroyalty of Peru. After 1740 authority was transferred to the newly created Viceroyalty of New Granada. Parts of Colombia threw off Spanish jurisdiction in 1810, and full independence came after Spain’s defeat by Simón Bolívar in 1819. Civil war in 1840 checked development. Conflict between the Liberal and Conservative parties led to the War of a Thousand Days (1899–1903). Years of relative peace followed, but hostility erupted again in 1948; the two parties agreed in 1958 to a scheme for alternating governments. A new constitution was adopted in 1991, but democratic power remained threatened by civil unrest. Many leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups funded their activities through kidnappings and narcotics trafficking.
Recent Developments.
Problems continued in Colombia stemming from the presence of right-wing paramilitaries—the United Self- Defense Forces of Colombia—and those on the left— the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army. FARC continued to demand a demilitarized zone before it would begin to discuss a prisoner exchange, and the government continued to refuse to cede territory to the group. The 11 provincial legislators held by FARC since 2002 were killed when the guerrillas came under attack from what the FARC said was an “unidentified group.”
Colombian troops raided a FARC base in Ecuador and killed the group’s second in command, Raúl Reyes, in March 2008. Ecuador and Venezuela both massed troops on their borders with Colombia, but peace was reestablished at a summit in the Dominican Republic later that month. In July 2008, former member of congress and presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, along with 14 other hostages, was freed from FARC captivity in a daring Colombian army raid.”[i].

See also: Caribs,[i]ENCYCLOPÆDIA Britannica 2009 ALMANAC. In Association with TIME.

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