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Colombia Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Colombia
    conventional short form: Colombia
    local long form: Republica de Colombia
    local short form: Colombia

    Data code: CO

    Government type: republic; executive branch dominates government structure

    Capital: Bogota

    Administrative divisions: 32 departments (departamentos, singular—departamento) and 1 capital district* (distrito capital); Amazonas, Antioquia, Arauca, Atlantico, Bolivar, Boyaca, Caldas, Caqueta, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Cundinamarca, Guainia, Guaviare, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Narino, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindio, Risaralda, San Andres y Providencia, Distrito Capital de Santa Fe de Bogota*, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupes, Vichada

    Independence: 20 July 1810 (from Spain)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 20 July (1810)

    Constitution: 5 July 1991

    Legal system: based on Spanish law; a new criminal code modeled after US procedures was enacted in 1992-93; judicial review of executive and legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Andres PASTRANA (since 7 August 1998); Vice President Gustavo BELL (since 7 August 1998); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Andres PASTRANA (since 7 August 1998); Vice President Gustavo BELL (since 7 August 1998); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Cabinet
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 31 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002); vice president elected by popular vote for a four-year term in a new procedure that replaces the traditional designation of vice presidents by newly elected presidents; election last held 31 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2002)
    election results: no candidate received more than 50% of the total vote, therefore, a run-off election to select a president from the two leading candidates was held 21 June 1998; Andres PASTRANA elected president; percent of vote—NA; Gustavo BELL elected vice president; percent of vote—NA

    Legislative branch: bicameral Congress or Congreso consists of the Senate or Senado (102 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (161 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: Senate—last held NA March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2002); House of Representatives—last held NA March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2002)
    election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—PL 50%, PC 24%, smaller parties (many aligned with conservatives) 26%; seats by party—PL 51, PC 24, smaller parties 27; House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—PL 52%, PC 17%, other 31%; seats by party—NA

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justical), highest court of criminal law, judges are selected from the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms; Council of State, highest court of administrative law, judges are selected from the nominees of the Higher Council of Justice for eight-year terms; Constitutional Court, guards integrity and supremacy of the constitution, rules on constitutionality of laws, amendments to the constitution, and international treaties

    Political parties and leaders: Liberal Party or PL [Horaero SERPA]; Conservative Party or PC [Omar YEPES Alzate]; New Democratic Force or NDF [Andres PASTRANA Arango]; Democratic Alliance M-19 or AD/M-19 is a coalition of small leftist parties and dissident liberals and conservatives [leader NA]; Patriotic Union or UP is a legal political party formed by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC and Colombian Communist Party or PCC [leader NA]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: two largest insurgent groups active in Colombia—Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC; and National Liberation Army or ELN

    International organization participation: BCIE, CAN, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G- 3, G-11, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Luis Alberto MORENO Mejia
    chancery: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 387-8338
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-8643
    consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Washington, DC
    consulate(s): Atlanta and Tampa

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Curtis Warren KAMMAN
    embassy: Calle 22D-BIS, numbers 47-51, Apartado Aereo 3831
    mailing address: APO AA 34038
    telephone: [57] (1) 315-0811
    FAX: [57] (1) 315-2197

    Flag description: three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; similar to the flag of Ecuador, which is longer and bears the Ecuadorian coat of arms superimposed in the center

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)