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South America


Colombia is notorious for its drug cartels and its massive illegal drug trade network, however there is much more to this country, including a rich history and a very willing and determined people who have a desire to reform the country and deal with the problems they face.






Colombian National Army

The history of Colombia begins around 10,000 BC as hunter gatherer groups that lived near what is today Bogota. Columbia eventually witnessed the rise of two distinct cultures around 1000BC. The Tayaronas and Muiscas developed two the most complex systems of government in South America. During the 16th and 17th centuries the Spanish lay conquest to the region and brought with them smallpox, leading to reduction in the population of the indeginous people. They also began to bring slaves to Africa. This state of Spanish rule lasted till the early 19th century, when Colombia gained its independance once again through rebellion. One of the leaders, Simon Bolivar, eventually became the first president of Colombia. Throughout the 19th century Colombia experienced a succesion of civil wars that caused parts of the nation to succeed from the union. The 20th century ushered in a new era of not civil war but polititcal unrest that resulted in militia and military political parties. In the 1970s, the drug cartel entered Colombia and gained tremdous power in the illegal drug trade. The cartel evuntually gained so much power that they could influence national political policy through bribery and corruption. In recent years fighting guerrilla war and and a continuing battle with drug trade have been the main concerns in stabalizing the country.  






Nevado del Ruiz

Columbia is subject to volcanic eruption due to its location on the Pacific Rim Of Fire. There are 15 major volcanos and the position of the country also puts in the way of El Nino storm patterns that have caused significant damage and loss of life throughout the history of the country. Deforestation has also been a problem in the country because of the constant expansion of farmland. The larger urbanization of the cities have placed a stress on the water supply, as well as creating pollution. This problem also carries over to the illegal cartels, who are deforesting land just to plant illegal crops of coca.

2.1.3 Describe and interpret the physical processes that shape places and regions (Location, Region, Place)




Garbage in Cartagena












Alvaro Uribe

Colombia was once primarily dominated by a liberal party in the 19th century, followed by a conservative party around the 1850s. In the 1950s the formation of the National Front created a party that embraced both liberal and conservative ideals. However this last only till 1974, when political dissolution again separated political lines. There is again a Liberal and Conservative party; the current president Alvaro Uribe is from the Liberal Party. After serving two terms his term is over much like the US. Today the system has been under scrutiny for political scandal, though the president has a approval rating in the 90 percentile. 

2.1.3a Examine and explain constitutional principles that establish and limit government









Colombia has had a history of conflict since its early history, including conquset from Spain, a civil war, and war of independance from Spain. Its main conflict today is in the illegal drug trade. Columbia has been fighing a battle with the drug catels who produce and ship cocain and heroin into the United States. 

1st Coat of Arms

Current Coat of Arms






United Nations

Colombia is involved in many missions in the United States including the Organization of Industrial Development and Conference on Trade and Development. 

Current Issues

Colombia is in an on going battle with the drug trade.