Everything you need to know about Colombia: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more
Colombia: From Simon Bolivar to FARC in the Andean Country
The Republic of Colombia with its capital Bogotá has a long and illustrious past going back to the Incan Civilisation, which explains its high cultural heterogeneity. Colombia traces its name to Christopher Columbus who visited the country in 1502 and later on the Spanish colonised it. Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander played a leading role in freeing Colombians of the Spanish yoke and Simon Bolivar became Colombia’s first President and Santander became the second. Colombia has had a troubled past with constant fighting between the left wing FARC, the right-wing paramilitary groups and the Government forces. These non-state groups have thrived largely on account of widespread drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion rackets run by different mafias in the country.
Colombiana Quick Facts:· National Name: República de Colombia
Geoghraphy and Climate of Colombia:
Colombia, South America’s 4th largest country borders Brazil and Venezuela in the east and by Ecuador and Peru in the south. It has unique location in that it is the only South American country to border both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. The imposing Andes mountains dominate the Colombian landscape and consist of Volcanic branches or cordilleras on which famous Colombian cities like Cali, Medellin, Bogota and Cucuta are situated. To the north are situated major Colombian port cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla and east of the Andes lies the Savanna lowlands. To the southeast lie the Amazon rainforests, as a result of this mind-boggling diversity, Colombia is part of the 17 mega-diverse countries.
Colombia has a largely tropical climate being located close to the Equator and the weather is also influenced by the El Nino and La Nina phenomena.
Economy of Colombia:
Colombia is a fairly robust South-American economy owing to abundance of natural resources like Petroleum, Coal and Coffee. However, Colombia also has the dubious record as one of the highest exporters of illegal drugs, on which a number of drug cartels thrive. Colombia has enjoyed relatively low inflation over the past few years.
Culture of Colombia:
Colombians display cultural influences from Spain, America, Europe, Caribbean and Africa owing to Colombia’s unique location. Colombianos have strong regional affinities owing to the relative isolation of different regions from each other. The Bogotanos, the paisas of Antioquia and central highland residents display great variation in their dress, music, food and accent.
Colombia has a well-developed sports scenario and has produced many football and racing personalities like Freddy Rincon, Juan Pablo Montoya. Apart from this Colombia is also home to famous artists like the Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the singer Shakira and actors like Sofia Vergara among many others.
Tourist Attractions of Colombia:
Colombia offers a heady mix of Carnivals, Museums, Festivals and beautiful Scenery to the tourist visiting this beautiful country. The Bogota Festival, Cali’s Fair, the Barranquilla’s Carnival are just some of the Colombian festivals to be relished. Travellers may also enjoy the fine cruise along the cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta. Apart from this other Colombians sites to visit include:
The tiny northeast Indian state of Tripura has turned into the second largest producer of natural rubber in the country largely because several hundred former militants of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) were rehabilitated a decade ago and allotted land.
Rio de Janeiro, May 16 (IANS/EFE) A two-day Brazilian oil and natural gas auction has received strong demand from companies based in Brazil, Colombia, Portugal, France, Britain and other countries, with bid prices far exceeding the regulator's expectations.
San Juan, May 16 (IANS/EFE) Puerto Rico's ex-Miss Universe Denise Quiñones announced her return as a singer with performances May 30-31.
Madrid, May 14 (IANS) Barcelona have confirmed that striker Leo Messi will miss the rest of the season as a result of the muscle injury which forced him out of his side's 2-1 win away over Atletico Madrid.
Apiay (Colombia), May 11 (IANS/EFE) Colombian authorities presented the country's first domestically produced flight simulator for training operators of unmanned drones.
Durban, May 8 (IANS) South African gold-mining company AngloGold Ashanti has appointed Indian-origin Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as it new chief executive officer with immediate effect.
Quito, May 6 (IANS/EFE) Countries that share the Amazon basin resolved in the Ecuadorian city of Coca to create an observation center charged with promoting studies and coordinating actions to protect the rain forest, considered the lung of the planet.
Bogota, May 3 (IANS/EFE) The Bogota International Book Fair, whose guest of honour was Portugal this year, drew 18,000 more visitors than the 2012 edition, with total visitors hitting 433,000, organizers said.
Cape Town, May 1 (IANS) The South African Football Association (SAFA) has called for an independent probe into claims that it was involved in match-fixing schemes before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Havana, April 30 (IANS) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels will be able to participate in the country's political life once they are disarmed, said the Colombian government delegation which is holding peace talks with them.
Los Angeles, April 28 (IANS) She is known for her high-flying lifestyle, but socialite Paris Hilton took time out from her busy schedule to visit a children's hospital in Colombia.
Rio de Janeiro, April 27 (IANS) South American football's governing body, Conmebol, has launched an investigation into a wild brawl after a Copa Libertadores match between Chile's Huachipato and Brazil's Gremio earlier this month.
New York, Apr 26 (ANI): Paris Hilton, who has expanded her business by opening a store in Colombia, insists that she's not a spoil brat.
Mexico City, April 26 (IANS/EFE) Bulletproof vests and backpacks for children will be sold beginning this week in Mexico, where drug-related violence has claimed tens of thousands of lives over the past six years.
Buenos Aires, April 20 (IANS) Eight teams qualified for the round of 16 of Copa Libertadores, a football tournament organised by the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), and will play against one another beginning April 24.
Rio de Janeiro, April 20 (IANS) Gremio will request a Conmebol probe into the alleged physical assault of their football coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo during a wild post-match brawl.
London, Apr. 18 (ANI): Hundreds of women attended the opening of the trial in France of five executives of a firm which supplied thousands of faulty breast implants.
Rio de Janeiro, April 17 (IANS/EFE) Seven of Brazil's former justice ministers Tuesday released a letter advocating the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.
Rio de Janeiro, April 17 (IANS/EFE) Sixty-four companies have received authorization to participate in the bidding for new oil exploration blocks in Brazil next month, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said.
Havana, April 13 (IANS) Cuban Ana Leydis Arias will represent her country at the Pan American Triathlon Cup scheduled April 21 in Bridgetown aiming to accumulate points for a continental ranking.
Monteria (Colombia), April 11 (IANS/EFE) President Juan Manuel Santos travelled to the northern province of Cordoba Wednesday to preside over the restoration of lands taken away from 60 peasant families by the founders of Colombia's murderous AUC militia movement.
Bogota (Colombia), April 10 (IANS) Independiente Santa Fe secured their passage to the Copa Liberatdores knockout phase with a 2-1 away victory over Deportes Tolima in an all-Colombian clash.
New Delhi, April 9 (ANI): Bollywood celebrities attended the glamorous and the grand night of The Times of India Film Awards 2013 at Vancouver.
New York, Apr. 8 (ANI): Shakira's former boyfriend has filed a 100-million dollar lawsuit against her, claiming that he was her manager during their 11-year courtship, scored lucrative music deals for her, and is owed a big chunk of her earnings.
Rio de Janeiro, April 5 (IANS/EFE) A total of 71 oil companies are expected to take part in an auction of Brazilian exploration blocks next month, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said.
Caracas, April 4 (IANS/EFE) Gustavo Dudamel and Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra are on a tour of Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, the orchestra's programming chief, Carolina Marquez, said.
London, April 4 (IANS/EFE) Set for release April 23, Carlos Vives' next album features a duet with Brazil's Michel Telo.
London, Apr 3 (ANI): A woman from Bradford, who was raised by monkeys in Colombia after she was kidnapped as a child, has revealed that she had difficulty standing straight on her feet and walked naked on all fours.
Mexico City, April 3 (IANS/EFE) Mexican restaurant operator Alsea said it acquired the remaining 18 percent of Cafe Sirena, a company created in 2002 to operate Starbucks coffee shops in Mexico, from US-based Starbucks Coffee International, giving it sole ownership of the Starbucks coffee business in Mexico.
Rio de Janeiro, April 2 (IANS) Peru international striker Paolo Guerrero will miss Corinthians' Copa Libertadores away clash against Colombia's Millonarios Wednesday due to a thigh injury.
Bogota, April 2 (IANS/EFE) Colombia's FARC rebels criticised authorities for seeking to implicate the guerrillas in drug trafficking.
New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp Monday reported a decline of 11.35 percent in its sales for March, which stood at 468,283 units from 528,290 units sold in the corresponding month of 2012.
London, Mar 31 (ANI): A woman from Yorkshire, who as a child was kidnapped and left to fend for herself in the Columbian rainforest, said she was "mesmerised" by the small carablanca monkeys which became her companions.
La Paz, March 27 (IANS) Argentina missed the chance to all but secure their place at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bolivia here.
Bogota, March 27 (IANS) Colombian police have seized more than 7.7 tonnes of marijuana that allegedly belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), reports Xinhua.
Washington, March 27 (Xinhua-ANI): U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday appointed U.S. Secret Service official Julia Pierson to be the agency's first female director.
Bogota, March 26 (IANS) Colombian football coach Francisco Maturana escaped serious injury when his car crashed in the northern city of Medellin.
La Paz, March 26 (IANS) Lionel Messi said Argentina will be wary of the threat posed by the altitude of La Paz when they meet Bolivia here in Tuesday's football World Cup qualifier for 2014 Brazil.
Sydney, Mar. 24 (ANI): Phones using operating systems based on the open-source platforms Linux and Mozilla's Firefox will be hitting the market this year, challenging the stranglehold of the two market leaders, Google's Android and Apple's iOS.
New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Can mosquitos be injected with a vaccine to prevent them from transmitting the dengue virus to humans? That's what Australian scientists are working on.
London, March 24 (ANI): Gerard Butler is reportedly engrossed in becoming a monk and roaming around the world after filming his action film 'Olympus Has Fallen'.
Buenos Aires, March 23 (IANS) Lionel Messi set up two goals and scored another as Argentina defeated Venezuela 3-0 to extend their lead at the top of the South American World Cup qualifying standings.
Bogota (Colombia), March 23 (IANS) Colombia defeated Bolivia 5-0 in front of 42,000 fans gathered in the Metropolitano stadium here, during the South American qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Football Cup.
Miami, March 22 (IANS/EFE) The 15th Miami Fashion Week is underway, showcasing the work of more than 60 designers and with Spanish actress Ana Obregon as its official face.
Panama City, March 16 (IANS/EFE) "Paradise Lost", a romance-thriller involving the niece of late Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, to be played by Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, will be shot in Panama, an official source told EFE.
New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Fusion is the flavour of the new jazz being heard in India, Latin America and Europe, where this genre of music has either evolved as an extension of the New Orleans jazz spiked with local influences, or charted an independent path to
New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Despite an unimpressive performance in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifiers, India jumped 24 places and are ranked 143 in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday.
Lima, March 13 (IANS) Trade between member countries of the Andean Community (CAN) saw a 12-percent annual growth in 2012, the sub-regional bloc said here in a statement.
Bogota, March 13 (IANS/EFE) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the Andean nation's largest guerrilla group, the FARC, now has fewer than 8,000 fighters.
Vienna, March 12 (IANS/EFE) Current international policy against drugs has failed, creating more violence and operating as an "instrument of geopolitical domination", Bolivian President Evo Morales said here Monday before the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
Rome, March 12 (IANS) Thirty three kilograms of cocaine was seized at the port of an Italian town Monday, Xinhua reported.
Quito, March 9 (IANS) Ecuador's Colombian coach Reinaldo Rueda called up 23 players for a World Cup qualifier against Paraguay here March 26.
Hyderabad, March 5 (IANS) The bilateral trade between India and Latin America is likely to double in five years from the current level of $30 billion, said a senior Indian official Tuesday.
Bogota, March 5 (IANS) The Colombian Navy has seized 1.564 tonnes of cocaine which were being smuggled by boat to central America, officials said.
Medellin (Colombia), Mar 2 (IANS/EFE) This metropolis in northwestern Colombia was named Friday as the winner of the Innovative City of the Year competition, beating out New York and Tel Aviv.
Rio de Janeiro, Mar 1 (IANS) Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato admits he is still "a long way off" from rediscovering the form that made him one of the world's most sought-after strikers.
Acapulco (Mexico), Feb 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Second seed Rafael Nadal shot into the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 tournament here Thursday, eliminating Argentine qualifier Martin Alund.
Rio de Janeiro, Feb 27 (IANS) Brazilian side Corinthians failed in its bid to overturn a decision forcing the club to play its Copa Libertadores group matches behind closed doors.
London, February 27 (ANI): A team of astronomers from Colombia has traced the origin of the meteor that struck central Russia earlier this month injuring about 1,000 people.
London, Feb 25 (ANI): Mozilla, which is a not-for-profit organization, behind the Firefox web browser has announced handsets based on its operating system for mobile phones.
Bogota, Feb 25 (IANS/EFE) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said that if peace talks with the FARC make no progress, "we're getting up from the negotiating table", adding that the guerrillas will not get the truce they are asking for.
Bogota, Feb 21 (IANS/EFE) Colombia only has enough oil to last another eight years and must urgently step up exploration efforts to locate more reserves, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said.
London, Feb 19 (ANI): Sofia Vergara has admitted that she doesn't mind being typecast as a Latina sex symbol.
New York, February 19 (ANI): A woman from Colombia poured boiling water onto her husband's genitals as he slept after finding out he had been unfaithful, it has been claimed.
Bogota, Feb 16 (IANS/EFE) Colombia's FARC rebels have released two police officers taken prisoner last month, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
Lausanne (Switzerland), Feb 14 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Buenos Aires of Argentina, Glasgow of Britain and Colombia's Medellin have been shortlisted in the bid for the third Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2018.
Mexico City, Feb 13 (IANS/EFE) Billionaires Carlos Slim and Bill Gates said they planned to use their foundations to promote research and the development of agricultural technology to increase farmers' productivity and reduce hunger among the world's poor people.
Bogota, Feb 12 (IANS) The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group hs announced the imminent release of two police officers and a soldier captured in January.
Bogota, Feb 9 (IANS/EFE) Colombia's government has suspended a scheduled auction of 4G mobile broadband service after learning about a potential merger deal involving two of the participants, Information Technologies and Communications Minister Diego Molano said.
Miami, Feb 9 (IANS/EFE) Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes will perform in Sunday's Grammy Awards ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, his record label, Universal Music, said in a statement.
Santiago, Feb 7 (IANS) Former World No.1 Rafael Nadal won his first singles match after a seven-month absence, beating Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the Vina Del Mar ATP tournament.
Asuncion, Feb 4 (IANS/EFE) A Paraguayan exporter was arrested in a police operation that found 338 kg of cocaine hidden in a shipment of 1,400 cans of a tomato product being sent to Spain, officials said.
San Juan, Feb 4 (IANS/EFE) Puerto Rican salsa legends Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz celebrated Saturday their 50th year of making music together by recalling their greatest hits and giving thanks they're still alive after their bouts with drugs and alcohol.
Bogota, Feb 2 (IANS/EFE) A man identified by Colombian authorities as the commander of the FARC guerrilla group's 5th Front was killed along with five other insurgents in an airstrike on a rebel camp in the northern province of Cordoba, the military said.
Washington, Feb 2 (ANI): US Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan is set to quit after nearly seven years in the post and three decades with the agency.
Bogota, Jan 31 (IANS/EFE) The team representing the FARC guerrilla group in peace talks with the Colombian government said Wednesday that insurgents have the right to hold police and soldiers who are fall into their hands in combat.
Washington, Jan 30 (IANS) The Barack Obama administration Wednesday slapped sanctions on a Colombian criminal organisation and its key drug trafficker.
New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) India is set to deepen its ties with Latin America, where China has a marked presence, with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to visit Argentina, Colombia and Chile on a 10-day visit.
United Nations, Jan 26 (IANS) The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has appealed for nearly $1.4 billion to meet the immediate, life-saving needs of children in 45 countries and regions gripped by conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies this year.
Miami, Jan 26 (IANS/EFE) In his first book, "Chasing the Sun", to be released April 2, Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes talks about some of the more intimate aspects of his life that influenced him as a musician and as a person, publisher Celebra Books said.
Medellin (Colombia), Jan 25 (IANS/EFE) Designers are reinventing sportswear with new synthetic fibres that combine design and technology, and are on display at the Colombiatex 2013 fair in this northwestern Colombian city.
Rio de Janeiro, Jan 21 (IANS) Chile president Sebastian Pinera has dismissed suggestions that the country is set to lose its status as chief host of the 2014 Dakar Rally.
Washington, January 18 (ANI): Researchers have found that drug abuse negatively affects sexual performance in men even after years of abstinence.
Mexico City, Jan 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Venezuelan law-enforcers have seized a light plane transporting 530 kg of cocaine but the plane's crew managed to escape.
London, Jan 12(ANI): A radio show host in Canada was fired from his job after he had asked a Canadian politician how it felt to be a sexually attractive mother.
Islamabad, Jan 11 (IANS) The European Commission (EC) will provide 42 million euro (around $55 million) in humanitarian aid to Pakistan this year, a media report said Friday.
Washington, Jan. 11 (ANI): A Drug Enforcement Administration agent hired a prostitute for the US Secret Service agent in Colombia in advance of President Barack Obama's visit to the country last year, according to a Justice Department report.
Washington, Jan 10 (ANI): Business-oriented social network LinkedIn has 200 million users, with nearly two new members signing up every second, a report has said.
Moscow, Jan 2 (IANS/RIA Novosti) World No.1 Victoria Azarenka overcame the first hurdle of the new season Wednesday with a straight-sets win over former Wimbledon semi-finalist Sabine Lisicki at the Brisbane International.
Bogota, Jan 2 (IANS) At least 13 rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been killed by government soldiers, an official said Tuesday.
Bogota, Dec 31 (IANS) At least five people died, seven were seriously injured and 20 are still trapped following a landslide which occurred Saturday in Colombia, the authorities said.
Bogota, Dec 26 (IANS/EFE) Two Colombian engineers kidnapped while working for US-based Occidental Petroleum were freed in the northeastern province of Arauca, authorities said Tuesday.
New Delhi, Dec 25 (IANS) A record hike in retail prices of transport fuels and the decision to slash subsidies on cooking gas were the high points of India's oil economy in 2012, as the sector awaited pricing reforms and a new thrust in the production of hydrocarbons to attain energy security.
Rio de Janeiro, Dec 21 (IANS/EFE) Brazilian oil giant Petrobras said it found oil in a well in the upper basin of the Magdalena river in Colombia's Tolima province.
Brussels, Dec. 20 (ANI): The European Union has donated its 2012 Nobel peace prize cash, plus a one million-euro top-up, to thousands of children impacted by war in Syria, Colombia, Congo and Pakistan.
Nairobi, Dec 19 (IANS) Kenyan referee Samuel Langat has refuted claims of match fixing in one of the matches he officiated in the 2010 World Cup involving hosts South Africa.
Miami, Dec 18 (IANS/EFE) Nearly half a million people viewed the live online broadcast of Alejandro Sanz's Dec 6 concert in Miami, the web site Terra reported Monday.
Bogota, Dec 17 (IANS/EFE) Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol has announced plans to invest more than $9.5 billion in 2013 as it strives to boost output to 1 million barrels per day by 2015.
London, December 16 (ANI): A gay couple has sparked outrage for displaying a 'homosexual nativity scene' outside their Colombian home.
Havana, Dec 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Colombian rescuers saved 14 people and recovered eight bodies after a cargo ship sank in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia.