Departments of Colombia

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Capital district and departments of Colombia
Distrito Capital y los Departamentos de Colombia (Spanish)
La Guajira Department Magdalena Department Atlántico Department Cesar Department Bolívar Department Norte de Santander Department Sucre Department Córdoba Department Santander Department Antioquia Department Boyacá Department Arauca Department Chocó Department Caldas Department Cundinamarca Department Casanare Department Vichada Department Valle del Cauca Department Tolima Department Meta Department Huila Department Guainía Department Guaviare Department Cauca Department Vaupés Department Nariño Department Caquetá Department Putumayo Department Amazonas Department Risaralda Department Risaralda Department Quindío Department Quindío Department Bogotá Bogotá Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa CatalinaDepartments of colombia.svg
About this image
Category Unitary state
Location Republic of Colombia
Number 32 Departments
1 Capital District
Populations (Departments only):33,152 (Vaupés) – 5,750,478 (Antioquia)
Areas (Departments only):50 km2 (19.3 sq mi) (San Andrés) – 109,665.0 km2 (42,341.89 sq mi) (Amazonas)
Government Department government, National government
Subdivisions Municipality
Coat of arms of Colombia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Colombia

Colombia is a unitary republic formed by thirty-two departments (Spanish: departamentos, sing. departamento) and a Capital District (Distrito Capital).[1] Each department has a Governor (gobernador) and a Department Assembly (Asamblea Departamental), elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The governor cannot be re-elected in consecutive periods. Departments are country subdivisions and are granted a certain degree of autonomy.

Departments are formed by a grouping of municipalities (municipios, sing. municipio). Municipal government is headed by mayor (alcalde) and administered by a Municipal Council (concejo municipal), both of which are elected for four-year periods.

Chart of departments[edit]

Each one of the departments of Colombia in the map below links to a corresponding article.

Department Capital Area (km²) Population Date of establishment
- Bogotá, Capital District - 1,587 8,254,722 1538-08-06
01 Amazonas Leticia 109,665 80,360 1991-10-05
02 Antioquia Medellín 63,612 5,750,478 1826-??-??
03 Arauca Arauca 23,818 282,302 1991-07-04
04 Atlántico Barranquilla 3,388 2,365,663 1910-07-14
05 Bolívar Cartagena 25,978 2,229,967 1857-06-15
06 Boyacá Tunja 23,189 1,411,239 1539-??-??
07 Caldas Manizales 7,888 1,170,187 1905-??-??
08 Caquetá Florencia 88,965 463,333 1982-??-??
09 Casanare Yopal 44,640 325,713 1991-07-04
10 Cauca Popayán 29,308 1,363,054 1857-06-15
11 Cesar Valledupar 22,905 1,050,303 1967-12-21[2]
12 Chocó Quibdó 46,530 413,173 1947-11-03
13 Córdoba Montería 25,020 1,392,905 1952-06-18
14 Cundinamarca Bogotá 24,210 2,680,041 1857-06-15
15 Guainía Inirida 72,238 43,314 1963-06-13
16 Guaviare San José del Guaviare   53,460 133,236 1991-07-04
17 Huila Neiva 19,890 994,218 1905-??-??
18 La Guajira Riohacha 20,848 524,619 1965-07-01
19 Magdalena Santa Marta 23,188 1,403,318 1824-07-25
20 Meta Villavicencio 85,635 771,089 1960-07-01
21 Nariño Pasto 33,268 1,775,139 1904-08-06
22 Norte de Santander Cúcuta 21,658 1,493,932 1910-07-25
23 Putumayo Mocoa 24,885 378,483 1991-??-??
24 Quindío Armenia 1,845 613,375 1966-07-01
25 Risaralda Pereira 4,140 1,024,362 1966-07-01
26 San Andrés y Providencia   San Andrés 52 83,491 1991-07-04
27 Santander Bucaramanga 30,537 2,085,084 1857-05-13
28 Sucre Sincelejo 10,917 868,648 1966-08-18
29 Tolima Ibagué 23,562 1,312,972 1886-08-04
30 Valle del Cauca Cali 22,140 4,524,678 1910-04-16
31 Vaupés Mitú 54,135 33,152 1991-07-04
32 Vichada Puerto Carreño 100,242 97,276 1991-07-05
  • Estimate for Cundinamarca includes the country's capital, Bogotá.

Territorios indígenas[edit]

The indigenous territories are at the third level of administrative division in Colombia, as are the municipalities. Indigenous territories are created by agreement between the government and indigenous communities. In cases where indigenous territories covering more than one department or municipality, local governments jointly administer them with the indigenous councils, as set out in Articles 329 and 330 of the Colombian Constitution of 1991. Also indigenous territories may achieve local autonomy if they meet the requirements of the law.

Article 329 of the 1991 constitution recognizes the collective indigenous ownership of indigenous territories and repeats that are inalienable. Law 160 of 1994 created the National System of Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Campesino, and replaced Law 135 of 1961 on Agrarian Social Reform; it establishes and sets out the functions of INCORA, one of the most important being to declare which territories will acquire the status of indigenous protection and what extension of existing ones will be allowed. Decree 2164 of 1995 interprets Law 160 of 1994, providing, among other things, a legal definition of indigenous territories.[3]

Indigenous territories in Colombia are mostly in the departments of Amazonas, Cauca, La Guajira, Guaviare and Vaupés.[1]

History[edit]

República de la Gran Colombia[edit]

When it was first established in 1819, República de la Gran Colombia had three departments. Venezuela, Cundinmarca (now Colombia) and Quito (now Ecuador).[4] In 1824 the Distrito del Centro (which became Colombia) was divided into five departments, and further divided into seventeen provices. One department, Istmo Department, consisting of two provinces later became Panama.[5]

República de la Nueva Granada[edit]

With the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1826 by the Revolution of the Morrocoyes (La Cosiata), New Granada kept its 17 provinces. In 1832 the provinces of Vélez and Barbacoas were created, and in 1835 those of Buenaventura and Pasto were added. In 1843 those of Cauca, Mompós and Túquerres were created. At this time the cantons (cantones) and parish districts were created, which provided the basis for the present-day municipalities.[5][6]

By 1853 the number of provinces had increased to thirty-six, namely:Antioquia, Azuero, Barbacoas, Bogotá, Buenaventura, Cartagena, Casanare, Cauca, Chiriquí, Chocó, Córdova, Cundinamarca, García Rovira, Mariquita, Medellín, Mompós, Neiva, Ocaña, Pamplona, Panamá, Pasto, Popayán, Riohacha, Sabanilla, Santa Marta, Santander, Socorro, Soto, Tequendama, Tunja, Tundama, Túquerres, Valle de Upar, Veraguas, Vélez and Zipaquirá.[6] However, the new constitution of 1853 introduced federalism, which lead to the consolidation of provinces into states. By 1858 this process was complete, with a resulting eight federal states: Panamá was formed in 1855, Antioquia in 1856, Santander in May 1857, and Bolívar, Boyacá, Cauca, Cundinamarca and Magdalena were formed in June 1858. 1861 saw the creation of the final federal state of Tolima.[7]

República de Colombia[edit]

The Colombian Constitution of 1886 converted the states of Colombia into departments, with the state presidents renamed as governors. The states formed the following original departments:

Maps gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Division Política de Colombia" (in Spanish). Portal ColombiaYA.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "History of Cesar" (in Spanish). Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute. Archived from the original on 24 October 2003. 
  3. ^ Decree 2164 of 1995 provides "Reserva Indígena. Es un globo de terreno baldío ocupado por una o varias comunidades indígenas que fué delimitado y legalmente asignado por el INCORA a aquellas para que ejerzan en él los derechos de uso y usufructo con exclusión de terceros. Las reservas indígenas constituyen tierras comunales de grupos étnicos, para los fines previstos en el artículo 63 de la Constitución Política y la ley 21 de 1991. […] Territorios Indígenas. Son las áreas poseidas en forma regular y permanente por una comunidad, parcialidad o grupo indígena y aquellas que, aunque no se encuentren poseidas en esa forma, constituyen el ámbito tradicional de sus actividades sociales, económicas y culturales. " Art. 21: "Los resguardos son una institución legal y sociopolítica de carácter especial, conformada por una o más comunidades indígenas, que con un título de propiedad colectiva que goza de las garantías de la propiedad privada, poseen su territorio y se rigen para el manejo de éste y su vida interna por una organización autónoma amparada por el fuero indígena y su sistema normativo propio."
  4. ^ Guhl Nannetti, Ernesto (1991). "Capítulo XII: División Política de la Gran Colombia". Las fronteras políticas y los límites naturales: escritos geograficos [Political Boundaries and Their Natural Limits: Geographic writings] (in Spanish). Bogotá: Fondo FEN. ISBN 978-958-9129-22-7. 
  5. ^ a b Aguilera Peña, Mario (January 2002). "División política administrativa de Colombia". Credential Historia (in Spanish). Bogotá: Banco de la República. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Oficina Nacional de Estadística (Office of National Statistics) (1876). "Estadística de Colombia" [Colombian Statistics] (PDF) (in Spanish). Bogotá: Oficina Nacional de Estadística. Retrieved 23 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Domínguez, Camilo; Chaparro, Jeffer; Gómez, Carla (2006). "Construcción y deconstrucción territorial del Caribe Colombiano durante el siglo XIX". Scripta Nova (Revista Electrónica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales). 10 (218 (75)). 

External links[edit]