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Colombia Government Profile 2016

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Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Colombia
conventional short form: Colombia
local long form: Republica de Colombia
local short form: Colombia
etymology: the country is named after explorer Christopher COLUMBUS
Government typepresidential republic
Capitalname: Bogota
geographic coordinates: 4 36 N, 74 05 W
time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions32 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bogota*, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina (colloquially San Andres y Providencia), Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada
Independence20 July 1810 (from Spain)
National holidayIndependence Day, 20 July (1810)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest promulgated 5 July 1991; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system influenced by the Spanish and French civil codes
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen or permanent resident of Colombia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President German VARGAS Lleras (since 7 August 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (since 7 August 2010); Vice President German VARGAS Lleras (since 7 August 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term; election last held on 25 May 2014 with a runoff election 15 on June 2014 (next to be held on 27 May 2018); note - recent political reform eliminated presidential reelection; beginning in 2018, presidents can only serve one 4-year term
election results: Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon reelected president in runoff; percent of vote - Juan Manuel SANTOS Calderon (U Party) 51.0%, Oscar Ivan ZULUAGA (CD) 45.0%, other 4.0%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; 100 members elected nationally - not by district or state - and two elected on a special ballot for indigenous communities to serve 4-year terms) and the Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (166 seats; members elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 9 March 2014 (next to be held in March 2018); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 9 March 2014 (next to be held in March 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - U Party 21, CD 20, PC 18, PL 17, CR 9, PDA 5, Green Party 5, other 7; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PL 39, U Party 37, PC 27, CD 19, CR 16, Green Party 6, PDA 3, other 19
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of the Civil-Agrarian and Labor Chambers each with 7 judges, and the Penal Chamber with 9 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 magistrates); Council of State (consists of 31 members); Superior Judiciary Council (consists of 13 magistrates)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the Supreme Court members from candidates submitted by the Superior Judiciary Council; judges elected for individual 8-year terms; Constitutional Court magistrates - nominated by the president, by the Supreme Court, and elected by the Senate; judges elected for individual 8-year terms; Council of State members appointed by the State Council plenary from lists nominated by the Superior Judiciary Council
subordinate courts: Superior Tribunals (appellate courts for each of the judicial districts); regional courts; civil municipal courts; Superior Military Tribunal; first instance administrative courts
Political parties and leadersAlternative Democratic Pole or PDA [Clara LOPEZ]
Conservative Party or PC [David BARGUIL]
Democratic Center Party or CD [Alvaro URIBE Velez, Oscar Ivan ZULUAGA]
Green Alliance [Jorge LONDONO, Antonio SANGUINO, Luis AVELLANEDA, Camilo ROMERO]
Liberal Party or PL [Horacio SERPA]
Citizens Option (Opcion Ciudadana) or OC (formerly known as the National Integration Party or PIN) [Angel ALIRIO Moreno]
Radical Change or CR [Carlos Fernando GALAN]
Social National Unity Party or U Party [Roy BARRERAS, Jose David NAME]
note: Colombia has eight major political parties, and numerous smaller movements
Political pressure groups and leadersCentral Union of Workers or CUT
Colombian Confederation of Workers or CTC
General Confederation of Workers or CGT
National Liberation Army or ELN
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC
note: FARC and ELN are the two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia
International organization participationBCIE, BIS, CAN, Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-3, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, Pacific Alliance, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Juan Carlos PINZON Bueno (since 3 August 2015)
chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark (NJ), Orlando, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Boston, Chicago, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Kevin WHITAKER (since 11 June 2014)
embassy: Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50, Bogota, D.C.
mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27, Bogota, D.C.
telephone: [57] (1) 275-2000
FAX: [57] (1) 275-4600
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia's land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity
note: similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center
National symbol(s)Andean condor; national colors: yellow, blue, red
National anthemname: "Himno Nacional de la Republica de Colombia" (National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia)
lyrics/music: Rafael NUNEZ/Oreste SINDICI
note: adopted 1920; the anthem was created from an inspirational poem written by President Rafael NUNEZ

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on October 8, 2016

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