For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.
Republic of Colombia
Area: 1.14 million sq. km. (440,000 sq. mi.); about three times the size of Montana; fourth-largest country in South America.
Cities: Capital--Bogot� (pop. 2005 projected: 7.1 million). Other major cities include Medell�n, Cali, Barranquilla, and Cartagena.
Terrain: Flat coastal areas, with extensive coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, three rugged parallel mountain chains, central highlands, and flat eastern grasslands.
Climate: Tropical on coast and eastern plains, cooler in highlands.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Colombian(s).
Population (2005 projected): 46 million.
Annual population growth: 1.8%.
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Attendance--80% of children enter school. Only 5 years of primary school are offered in many rural areas. Literacy--93% in urban areas, 67% in rural areas.
Health: Infant mortality rate--25/1,000. Life expectancy (2000-05 period)--men 69 yrs., women 75 yrs.
Ethnic groups: Mestizo (58%), white (20%), mulatto (14%), black (4%), mixed black-Amerindian (3%), and Amerindian (1%)
Independence: July 20, 1810.
Constitution: July 1991.
Branches: Executive--President (chief of state and head of government). Legislative--Bicameral Congress.
Judicial--Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Council of State, Superior Judicial Council.
Administrative divisions: 32 departments; Bogot�, capital district.
Major political parties: Conservative Party of Colombia, Liberal Party, and numerous small political movements (most of them allied with one or the other major party).
Suffrage: Universal, age 18 and over.
Principal Government Officials
President--Alvaro URIBE V�lez
Vice President--Francisco SANTOS Calder�n
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Carolina BARCO Isakson
Minister of Defense--Camilo OSPINA Bernal
Ambassador to the United States--Andr�s PASTRANA Arango
Ambassador to the Organization of American States--Alvaro TIRADO Mej�a
Ambassador to the United Nations--Mar�a Angela HOLGUIN Cuellar
Colombia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-8338). Consulates are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, San Juan, and Washington.
GDP (2005): $118.1 billion; base year 1994: $104.6 billion.
Annual growth rate (2005 est.): 4.3%.
Per capita GDP (2003): $2,574.30.
Government expenditures (2005): 38.5% of GDP.
Natural resources: Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nickel, gold, silver, copper, platinum, emeralds.
Manufacturing (14.2% of GDP): Types--textiles and garments, chemicals, metal products, cement, cardboard containers, plastic resins and manufactures, beverages, wood products, pharmaceuticals, machinery, electrical equipment.
Agriculture (13.5% of GDP): Products--coffee, bananas, cut flowers, cotton, sugarcane, livestock, rice, corn, tobacco, potatoes, soybeans, sorghum. Cultivated land--8.2% of total area.
Other sectors (by percentage of GDP): Financial services--17.2%; commerce--11.4%; transportation and communications services--8.2%; mining and quarrying--4.8%; construction and public works--5.3%; government, personal and other services--19.5; electricity, gas, and water--3.0%.
Trade: Exports (2005)--$18.8 billion: petroleum, coal, coffee, flowers, textiles and garments, ferronickel, bananas, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, gold, sugar, cardboard containers, printed material, cement, plastic resins and manufactures, emeralds. Major markets--U.S., Venezuela, Germany, Netherlands, Japan. Imports (2005)--$18.6 billion: machinery/equipment, grains, chemicals, transportation equipment, mineral products, consumer products, metals/metal products, plastic/rubber, paper products, aircraft, oil and gas industry equipment, and supplies. Major suppliers--U.S., Germany, Japan, Panama, Venezuela.
Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Thirty cities have a population of 100,000 or more. The nine eastern lowlands departments, constituting about 54% of Colombia's area, have less than 3% of the population and a density of less than one person per square kilometer (two persons per sq. mi.). Ethnic diversity in Colombia is a result of the intermingling of indigenous peoples, Europeans, and Africans. Today, only about 1% of the people can be identified as fully indigenous on the basis of language and customs.
HISTORY AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
During the pre-Columbian period, the area now known as Colombia was inhabited by indigenous societies situated at different stages of socio-economic development, ranging from hunters and nomadic farmers to the highly structured Chibchas, who are considered to be one of the most developed indigenous groups in South America.
The first permanent settlement in Colombia was at Santa Marta, founded by the Spanish in 1525. Santa Fe de Bogot� was founded in 1538 and, in 1717, became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, which included what are now Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. Bogot� was one of three principal administrative centers of the Spanish possessions in the New World.
On July 20, 1810, the citizens of Bogot� created the first representative council to defy Spanish authority. Full independence was proclaimed in 1813, and in 1819 the Republic of Greater Colombia was formed. The new republic included all the territory of the former Viceroyalty (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama). Simon Bol�var was elected its first president with Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president. Conflicts between the followers of Bol�var and Santander led to the formation of two political parties that have since dominated Colombian politics. Bolivar's supporters, who later formed the nucleus of the Conservative Party, sought strong centralized government, alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, and a limited franchise. Santander's followers, forerunners of the Liberals, wanted a decentralized government, state rather than church control over education and other civil matters, and a broadened suffrage.
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, each party held the presidency for roughly equal periods of time. Colombia maintained a tradition of civilian government and regular, free, elections. Notwithstanding the country's commitment to democratic institutions, Colombia's history also has been characterized by widespread, violent conflict. Two civil wars resulted from bitter rivalry between the Conservative and Liberal parties: The War of a Thousand Days (1899-1903) claimed an estimated 100,000 lives and La Violencia (the Violence) (1946-1957) claimed about 300,000 lives.
La Violencia (The Violence) and the National Front
The assassination of Liberal leader, Jorge Eli�cer Gait�n, in 1948 sparked the bloody conflict known as La Violencia. Conservative Party leader Laureano G�mez came to power in 1950, but was ousted by a military coup led by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in 1953. When Rojas failed to restore democratic rule and became implicated in corrupt schemes, he was overthrown by the military with the support of the Liberal and Conservative Parties. It was out of this alliance between the two parties that the National Front emerged, which ended "La Violencia."
In July 1957, former Conservative President Laureano G�mez (1950-53) and former Liberal President Alberto Lleras Camargo (1945-46) reached an agreement that led to the creation of the National Front, under which their parties would govern jointly. The presidency would be determined by regular elections every 4 years and the two parties would have parity in all other elective and appointive offices. This system was phased out by 1978.
Post-National Front Years
During the post-National Front years, the Colombian Government made efforts to negotiate a peace with the persistent guerrilla organizations that flourished in Colombia's remote and undeveloped remote rural areas. In 1984, President Belisario Betancur, a Conservative, negotiated a cease-fire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Democratic Alliance/M-19 (M-19) that included the release of many imprisoned guerrillas. The National Liberation Army (ELN) rejected the government's cease fire proposal at that time. The M-19 pulled out of the cease-fire when it resumed fighting in 1985. The army suppressed an M-19 attack on the Palace of Justice in Bogot� in November 1985, during which 115 people were killed, including 11 Supreme Court justices. The government and the M-19 renewed their truce in March 1989, which led to a peace agreement and the M-19's reintegration into society and political life. The M-19 was one of the parties that participated in the process to enact a new constitution (see below), which took effect in 1991. The peace process with the FARC did not enjoy similar success; the FARC ended the truce in 1990 after some 2,000-3,000 of its members who had demobilized had been murdered.
The enactment of a new Constitution in 1991 brought about major reforms to Colombia's political institutions. While the new Constitution preserved a presidential, three-branch system of government, it created new institutions such as the Inspector General, a Human Rights Ombudsman, a Constitutional Court, and a Superior Judicial Council. The new Constitution also reestablished the position of Vice President. Other significant constitutional reforms provide for civil divorce, dual nationality, and the establishment of a legal mechanism ("tutela") that allows individuals to appeal government decisions affecting their constitutional rights. The Constitution also authorized the introduction of an accusatory system of criminal justice that is gradually being instituted throughout the country, replacing the previous written inquisitorial system. A Constitutional amendment approved in October 2005 allows the president to hold office for two consecutive 4-year terms.
Colombian governments have had to contend with the combined terrorist activities of left-wing guerrillas, the rise of paramilitary self-defense forces in the 1990s, and the drug cartels. Narco-terrorists assassinated three presidential candidates during the election campaign of 1990. After Colombian security forces killed Medell�n cartel leader Pablo Escobar in December 1993, indiscriminate acts of violence associated with his organization abated as the "cartels" were broken into multiple, smaller and often-competing trafficking organizations. Guerrillas and paramilitary groups also entered into drug trafficking as a way to finance their military operations.
The administration of Andr�s Pastrana (1998-2002), a Conservative, faced increased countrywide attacks by the FARC, the ELN, widespread drug production, and the expansion of paramilitary groups. The Pastrana administration unveiled its "Plan Colombia" in 1999 as a strategy to deal with these longstanding problems, and sought support from the international community. Plan Colombia is a comprehensive program to combat narco-terrorism; spur economic recovery; strengthen democratic institutions and respect for human rights; and provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons.
In November 1998, Pastrana ceded a sparsely populated area the size of Switzerland in south-central Colombia to the FARC's control to serve as a neutral zone where peace negotiations could take place. The FARC negotiated with the government only fitfully while continuing to mount attacks and expand coca production, seriously undermining the government's efforts to reach an agreement. Negotiations with the rebels in 2000 and 2001 were marred by rebel attacks, kidnappings, and fighting between rebels and paramilitaries for control of coca-growing areas in Colombia. In February 2002, after the FARC hijacked a commercial aircraft and kidnapped a senator, Pastrana ordered the military to attack rebel positions and reassert control over the neutral zone. FARC withdrew into the jungle and increased attacks against Colombia's infrastructure, while avoiding large-scale direct conflicts with the military.
Alvaro Uribe, an independent, was elected president in May 2002 on a platform to restore security to the country. Among his promises was to continue to pursue the broad goals of Plan Colombia within the framework of a long-term security strategy. In the fall of 2002, Uribe released a national security strategy that employed political, economic and military means to weaken all illegal narco-terrorist groups. The Uribe government offered to negotiate a peace agreement with these groups with the condition that they agree to a unilateral cease fire and to end drug trafficking and kidnapping.
In December 2003, the Colombian Self-Defense Forces (AUC) paramilitary group entered into a peace agreement with the government that, as of February 2006, has led to the bloc by bloc demobilization of over 20,000 AUC members. In addition, over 8,000 members of the AUC and other illegal armed groups have individually decided to surrender their arms. In July 2005, President Uribe signed the Justice and Peace Law, which established a legal framework for these demobilizations. Under this law, participants have to renounce violence and return illegal assets in exchange for reduced punishments; the assets are to be used to provide reparations to victims.
The ELN and the government began a round of talks with the Colombian Government mediated by the Mexican Government in mid-2004. The ELN withdrew from the talks after the Mexican Government voted to condemn Cuba's human rights record at the United Nations in April 2005. In December 2005, the ELN began a new round of talks with the Colombian Government in Cuba, which resulted in an agreement to meet again in early 2006.
As a result of the government's military and police operations, the strength of the FARC has been reduced in major areas, drastically in some areas. Since 2000, the FARC has not carried out large scale multi-front attacks, although it has more recently mounted some operations that indicate it has not yet been broken.
The FARC has rejected several government proposals aimed at bringing about an exchange of some 63 hostages being held for political reasons. Three American citizens, who were working on counternarcotics programs, were captured by the FARC in February 2003. Their safe return is a priority goal of the United States and Colombia.
Colombia maintains an excellent extradition relationship with the United States. The Uribe administration has extradited more than 300 fugitives to the United States. Among those extradited in 2005 were Cali Cartel leaders Gilberto Rodr�guez Orejuela and his brother Miguel and FARC leaders Juvenal Ovidio Palmera Pineda (aka "Sim�n Trinidad") and Omaira Rojas Cabrera (aka "Sonia").
Nearing the end of his four-year term, President Uribe enjoys record high popularity ratings. For the first time in recent Colombian history, there is a government presence in all of the country's 1,098 municipalities (county seats). Attacks conducted by illegally armed groups against rural towns decreased by 91% from 2002 to 2005. Between 2002 and 2004, Colombia saw a decrease in homicides by 31%, massacres by 65%, kidnappings by 52%, and acts of terrorism by 55.9%. Aerial spraying of coca crops and cocaine and heroin interdictions are setting records.
Although much attention has been focused on the security and military aspects of Colombia's situation, the Uribe government also is spending significant efforts on issues such as expanding international trade, supporting alternate means of development, and reforming Colombia's judicial system. Congressional elections will take place in March 2006. President Uribe is seeking reelection in May 2006, with a second round (if needed) in June 2006.
Colombia's Ministry of Defense, charged with the country's internal and external defense and security, exercises jurisdiction over an army, navy--including marines and coast guard--air force, and national police under the leadership of a civilian Minister of Defense. Real spending on defense has increased every year since 2000, but especially so under President Uribe. Colombian spending on defense grew over 30% after inflation, from $2.6 billion in 2001 to more than 3.9 billion in 2005. Projected defense spending for 2006 is $4.48 billion. The security forces number about 350,000 uniformed personnel: 190,000 military and 160,000 police. President Uribe instituted a one-time wealth tax in 2002, which raised over $800 million, with 70% used to increase 2002-2003 defense spending. Actual Ministry of Defense spending in 2004 has increased to 16.3% of the overall national budget, up from 12.9% in 2002, and is the third largest expenditure after social protection programs and education.
Many Colombian military personnel receive training in the United States or in Colombia. The United States provides equipment to the Colombian military and police through the military assistance program, foreign military sales, and the international narcotics control program.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that more than 80% of the worldwide powder cocaine supply and approximately 90% of the powder cocaine smuggled into the United States is produced in Colombia.
The Colombian Government is committed to the eradication of all illicit crops, interdiction of illegal drug shipments, and financial controls to prevent money laundering. Between May 2002 and September 2004, Colombian security forces interdicted 558 metric tons of cocaine, coca base, and heroin. Coca and poppy cultivation has decreased by 33% since 2001.
Terrorism in Colombia both supports and draws resources from the narcotics industry. Colombia's narcoterrorists have kidnapped over 50 American citizens since 1992, and killed at least 10.
Colombia is a free market economy with major commercial and investment ties to the United States. Transition from a highly regulated economy has been underway for more than a decade. In 1990, the administration of President Cesar Gaviria (1990-94) initiated economic liberalization or "apertura," and this has continued since then, with tariff reductions, financial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises, and adoption of a more liberal foreign exchange rate. These policies eased import restrictions and opened most sectors to foreign investment although agricultural products remained protected.
Unlike many of its neighboring countries, Colombia has not suffered any dramatic economic collapses. The Uribe administration seeks to maintain prudent fiscal policies, and has pursued tough economic reforms including tax, pension and budget reforms. A recent U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) study shows that Colombian tax rates (both personal and corporate) are among the highest in Latin America. The unemployment rate for November 2005 was 10.2%, down from nearly twice that in 2002.
The sustained growth of the Colombian economy can be attributed to an increase in domestic security, the policies of keeping inflation low and maintaining a stable currency (the Colombian peso), petroleum price increases, and an increase in exports to neighboring countries and the United States as a result of trade liberalization. The Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), which will expire in December 31, 2006, also plays a pivotal role in Colombia's economic growth. The closure in February 2006 of a Free Trade Agreement portends further opportunity for growth, once it is ratified and implemented.
Industry and Agriculture
The most industrially diverse member of the five-nation Andean Community, Colombia has four major industrial centers--Bogot�, Medell�n, Cali, and Barranquilla--each located in a distinct geographical region. Colombia's industries include textiles and clothing, leather products, processed foods and beverages, paper and paper products, chemicals and petrochemicals, cement, construction, iron and steel products, and metalworking.
Colombia's diverse climate and topography permit the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. In addition, all regions yield forest products, ranging from tropical hardwoods in the lowlands to pine and eucalyptus in the colder areas. Cacao, sugarcane, coconuts, bananas, plantains, rice, cotton, tobacco, cassava, and most of the nation's beef cattle are produced in the hot regions from sea level to 1,000 meters elevation. The temperate regions--between 1,000 and 2,000 meters--are better suited for coffee, flowers, corn and other vegetables, and fruits such as citrus, pears, pineapples, and tomatoes. The cooler elevations--between 2,000 and 3,000 meters--produce wheat, barley, potatoes, cold-climate vegetables, flowers, dairy cattle, and poultry.
Colombia is the United States' fifth-largest export market in the Western Hemisphere behind Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela and the largest agricultural export market in the hemisphere after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries. It is also the 27th largest export market for U.S. products worldwide. U.S. exports to Colombia from January to December 2005 were $5.4 billion, up 20% from the same period in the previous year. Corresponding U.S. imports from Colombia were $8.8 billion, up 22%. Colombia's major exports are petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, gold, bananas, and nontraditional exports (e.g., cut flowers, semiprecious stones, sugar, and tropical fruits). The United States remained Colombia's largest trading partner, representing 46% of Colombia's exports and 29% of its imports. The EU, Japan, and the Andean countries also are important trading partners.
Mining, manufacturing industries and oil continue to attract the greatest U.S. investment. U.S. investment accounted for 16% of the total $2.6 billion in foreign direct investment in Colombia at the end of 2004. Colombia has improved protection of intellectual property rights through the adoption of three Andean Pact decisions in 1993 and 1994 as well as an internal decree allowing fro data protection, but the United States remains concerned over deficiencies in licensing and copyright protection.
Mining and Energy
Colombia has considerable mineral and energy resources, especially coal and natural gas reserves. New security measures and increased drilling activity have slowed the drop in petroleum production, allowing Colombia to continue to export through 2010 given current production estimates. As of August 2005, gas reserves totaled 7,212 trillion cubic feet. Gas production totaled 640 million cubic feet per day. The country's current refining capacity is 310,000 barrels per day. Losses from theft of fuel (gasoline) decreased from $59 million in 2004 to $23 million as of August 2005. Mining and energy related investments have grown because of higher oil prices, increased demand and improved output.
The Pastrana and the Uribe administrations have significantly liberalized Colombia's petroleum sector, leading to an increase in exploration and production contracts from both large and small hydrocarbon industries. In 2002, royalties were linked to the size of the discovery as opposed to a flat rate. In 2003, a new oil policy created the National Agency for Hydrocarbons (ANH), which as of 2004 administers all exploration and production contracts, replacing Ecopetrol, the state owned hydrocarbon company. Ecopetrol must now compete alongside other hydrocarbon companies for exploration and production contracts, separating state roles as investor and resource administrator. State association contracts have dropped from 30% to 0%, allowing private companies 100% ownership upon exploration success.
The country's oil industry has continuously been a target of extortion and bombing campaigns by the ELN and the FARC; however, strong security policies and an offensive military posture have reduced attacks on pipelines. According to the National Agency for Hydrocarbons attacks on infrastructure in general decreased by 52% between January and August 2005, signaling a significant improvement in security and attack-prevention methods. According to Ecopetrol, as of August 2005 total oil reserves amounted to 1.4 billion barrels. Oil production amounted to 525 million barrels per day, and petroleum exports were 218 million barrels per day. The country's efforts in exploration during 2004 produced 32 million barrels of new reserves. Twenty-one new exploratory wells, 6,767 kilometers of seismic exploration, and a lower drop in production--from 528 million barrels per day in 2004 to 525 million barrels per day as of August 2005--have improved output. According to this new outlook, Colombia will become a net oil importer one or two years later that originally thought (by 2010/11). Between January and September 2005, a total 21 new exploration and production agreements have been signed and 16 technical evaluation contracts between private investors and the Colombian ANH. Thirty-one exploration and production agreements were signed in 2004, representing $350 million in oil investments.
Colombia is the largest producer of coal in Latin America, and also mines gold, silver, and ferronickel. Coal production increased 7% from 2003 to 2004, from 50 million to 53.5 million tons. Gold production was 20.7 tons in 2002, then up to 46.5 tons in 2003, and down to 37.6 tons in 2004. Gold exports increased from $94.4 million in 2002 to $585.2 million in 2003, falling to $556 million in 2004. Silver production increased 36% from 6,986 kg in 2002 to 9,511 kg in 2003, dropping to 8,189 kg in 2004. Exports of silver increased from approximately $377,700 in 2002 to $678,400 in 2003, dropping to $550,300 in 2004. Colombia's total ferronickel exports increased from $414.7 million in 2003 to $626.1 million in 2004. Its ferronickel production grew from, 47,868 tons in 2003, to 48,818 tons in 2004, because of increased capacity and strong nickel demand.
Emerald production climbed from 8.96 million carats in 2003 to 9.82 million carats in 2004. The value of emerald exports decreased from $77.9 million in 2003 to $72.7 million in 2004 because of declining world prices.
The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia by far, particularly in the areas of coal and petroleum. In the period from January to August of 2005, FDI totaled $1.9 billion, an increase of 42% over the same period the previous year. The bulk of the new investment is in the mining and petroleum sectors. The only activities closed to foreign direct investment are defense and national security, disposal of hazardous wastes, and real estate--the last of these restrictions is intended to hinder money laundering. Capital controls have been implemented to reduce currency speculation and to keep foreign investment in-country for at least a year. Likewise, Congress approved a law in 2005 to protect FDI and laws governing the investment for the productive life of the venture to further encourage investment in Colombia.
In 1969, Colombia, along with Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Per�, formed what is now the Andean Community. (Venezuela joined in 1973 and Chile left in 1976.) In the 1980s, Colombia broadened its bilateral and multilateral relations, joining the Contadora Group, the Group of Eight (now the Rio Group), and the Non-Aligned Movement, which it chaired from 1994 until September 1998. In addition, it has signed free trade agreements with Chile, M�xico, and Venezuela.
Colombia has traditionally played an active role in the United Nations and the Organization of American States and in their subsidiary agencies. Former President Gaviria became Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) in September 1994 and was re-elected in 1999. Colombia has participated in all five Summits of the Americas, most recently in November 2005, and followed up on initiatives developed at the first two summits by hosting two post-summit, ministerial-level meetings on trade and science and technology. On March 22-24, 2006, Bogot� will host the Sixth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism.
In 1822, the United States became one of the first countries to recognize the new republic and to establish a resident diplomatic mission. Today, about 25,000 U.S. citizens are registered with the U.S. Embassy as living in Colombia, most of them dual nationals.
Currently, there are about 250 American businesses conducting operations in Colombia. In 1995-96, the United States and Colombia signed important agreements on environmental protection and civil aviation. The two countries have signed agreements on asset sharing and chemical control. In 1997, the United States and Colombia signed an important maritime ship-boarding agreement to allow for search of suspected drug-running vessels.
During the Pastrana administration, relations with the United States improved significantly. The United States responded to the Colombian Government's request for international support for Plan Colombia by providing substantial assistance designed to increase Colombia's counter-narcotics capabilities and support human rights, humanitarian assistance, alternative development, and economic and judicial reforms. These programs were an integral component of U.S. support for Plan Colombia's overall goals.
The U.S. is continuing close cooperation with Colombia under the Uribe administration. Recognizing that terrorism and the illicit narcotics trade in Colombia are inextricably linked, the U.S. Congress granted new expanded statutory authorities in 2002 making U.S. assistance to Colombia more flexible in order to better support President Uribe's unified campaign against narcotics and terrorism.
The results thus far have been impressive, but much remains to be done. U.S. policy toward Colombia supports the Colombian Government's efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, intensify counter-narcotics efforts, foster socioeconomic development, address immediate humanitarian needs, and end the threats to democracy posed by narcotics trafficking and terrorism. Promoting security, stability, and prosperity in Colombia will continue as long-term American interests in the region.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--William Braucher Wood
Deputy Chief of Mission--Milton K. Drucker
Political Counselor--Jeffrey A. Delaurentis
Economic Counselor--Francisco Fernandez
Consul General--Raymond G. McGrath
Commercial Counselor--Larry Farris
Management Counselor--Kathleen Hodai
Military Group Commander--COL Kevin D. Saderup
Narcotics Affairs Section Director--Julie Gianelloni Connor
Defense Attach�--COL Brian Butcher
Public Affairs Officer--Anne T. Callaghan
Regional Security Office--Robert Hartung
USAID Director--Liliana Ayalde
Calle 22D Bis, No. 47-51
(tel: (571) 315-0811; fax: (571) 315-2197).
The mailing address is APO AA 34038.
U.S. Consular Agency in Baranquilla
Calle 77, No. 68-15
(tel: (575) 353-0970 or 0974; fax: (575) 353-5216).
Other Contact Information
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000 (http://www.state.gov)
U.S. Department of Commerce, Trade Information Center, International Trade Administration
1401 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20230
(tel: 800-USA-TRADE, Internet: http://www.ita.doc.gov)
Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce
Calle 98, @2264, Oficina 1209
Apartado Aereo 8008
(tel: (571) 621-5042/7925/6838, fax: (571) 612-6838, email: firstname.lastname@example.org) Chapters in Cali, Cartagena, Medell�n.