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Tuesday 28th May
Colombia Information - Page 2
During the 1530s the Spanish founded Santa Fe de Bogota (Bogota). Present-day Colombia became part of the Spanish Vice Royalty of Peru.

Spanish rule lasted for almost three hundred years until liberation by Simon de Bolivar (1819). Following independence from Spain, the Republic of Gran Colombia was formed by Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela.

Gran Colombia dissolved in 1830 and Colombia and Panama became the state of Nueva Granada. Panama declared independence following a civil war between 1899 and 1903.

Civil war flared again in 1948 continuing until 1957. A number of guerrilla organizations were formed and political unrest persisted.

In the summer of 2000 the government was given military aid from the USA for the fight against drug cartels.

The services sector provides the largest percentage of Colombia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), industry, especially extractive industries, also accounts for a significant amount, with agriculture producing the smallest percentage.

Colombia's traditional export is coffee. Other agricultural products include bananas, maize, rice, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables, tobacco and flowers. Cattle ranching is part of the agricultural sector.

Industries are oil, gas, coal, gold, emeralds, cement, chemicals, textiles, clothing, footwear, food processing and beverages.

Colombia was one of the first Latin American countries to establish a modern printing and publishing industry. Tourism, particularly along the Caribbean coast, is a growing industry. (2011)

The Gold Museum in Bogota houses many pre-Hispanic items made from gold and silver: earrings, necklaces, bracelets and ceremonial bowls. The Museum also documents the history and culture of the Native Americans of Colombia.

Colombia's art is as varied as its people. Spanish and African influences are present as well as indigenous traditions.

In 1982 Gabriel Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, an acknowledged masterpiece, is about a poor family living in the Caribbean lowlands of Colombia.

Football is the most popular sport in Colombia. Other sports are car racing, bicycle racing and horse-racing. The tradition of bullfighting also draws large crowds.

Water sports are available along the coast.

Religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas are celebrated. Non-religious holidays include Labour Day (1 May) and Independence Day (20 July).

Carnivals and fairs are popular throughout Colombia.

News from Colombia is available from Newslink.

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Read One Hundred Years of Solitude


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