Location: Colombia, the only nation named after Christopher Columbus, situated in the north west of south America, extends up to the Isthmus of Panama. It is the only South American country that borders on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
History: Colombia was discovered by Alonso de Ojeda in 1499. It was once a part of the South American Spanish Empire. In 1819, Simon Bolivar, the first President, broke the hold of Spain. Bolivar united New Granada, as it was called, with Venezuela and Ecuador in the Greater Colombia Confederation in 1819. Venezuela and Ecuador broke away in 1929-30 and Panama withdrew in 1903.
The country is caught in the grip of a vicious guerrilla war that has claimed 40,000 lives in the past decade. The two main Left-wing guerilla groups are the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the smaller National Liberation Army.
Colombia is plagued by violence, mainly resulting from drug trafficking and Govt.'s control measures. In recent years, the country has recorded the highest incidence of homicides per capita in the world.
Crops & Minerals: Colombia is the largest producer of exporter of mild coffee. Other products are bananas, fresh flowers, cotton fibre, sugar, rice, tobacco, maize and wheat. The country is the world's leading producer of emeralds (50% world output) and is a substantial producer of platinum and gold; it holds the largest coal reserves in Latin America, rich nickel deposits and natural gas fields.
Industries: Industries include textiles, cement, motor vehicles, beverages, food products, chemicals and non-metallic minerals.
Colombia has 36 universities. The oldest-the Javeriana Pontificial Catholic University was founded in 1622, and the National University in 1868. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the internationally renowned writer, is Colombia's most famous son.
Mission in India:
Embassy of Colombia
4/21, Shanti Niketan
New Delhi - 110 021
Tel: 011 - 26872771, 26110773, 26110824
Fax: 011 - 26112486
Indian Mission in Colombia:
Embassy of India
Cerrera 7, No.71-21 Officina 1001
Edificio Bancafe, Bogota DC, Colombia
Tel: 00 - 57 - 1 - 3174865
Fax: 00 - 57 - 1 - 3174976