Departments of Colombia

Capital district and departments of Colombia
Distrito Capital y los Departamentos de Colombia (Spanish)
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
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Colombia

Colombia is a unitary republic made up of 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

Each one of the departments of Colombia in the map below links to a corresponding article. Current governors serving four-year terms from 2015 to 2019 are also shown, along with their respective political party or coalition.

ID Department Governor Party Capital Area (km²) Population Established
00Capital DistrictEnrique PeñalosaCRBogotá 1,5878,254,7221538
01AmazonasManuel Antonio Carebilla CuéllarCRLeticia 109,66580,3601991
02AntioquiaLuis PérezLiberalMedellín 63,6125,750,4781826
03AraucaRicardo Alvarado BesteneLa UArauca 23,818282,3021991
04AtlánticoEduardo I. Verano de la RosaLiberalBarranquilla 3,3882,365,6631910
05BolívarDumek José Turbay PazLiberalCartagena 25,9782,229,9671857
06BoyacáCarlos Andrés Amaya RodríguezGreenTunja 23,1891,411,2391539
07CaldasGuido Echeverri PiedrahítaLa UManizales 7,8881,170,1871905
08CaquetáÁlvaro Pacheco ÁlvarezLiberalFlorencia 88,965463,3331982
09CasanareJosue Alirio Barrera Rodríguez CDYopal 44,640325,7131991
10CaucaÓscar Rodrigo Campo HurtadoLiberalPopayán 29,3081,363,0541857
11CesarFrancisco Fernando Ovalle AngaritaLa UValledupar 22,9051,050,3031967
12ChocóJhoany Carlos Alberto Palacios MosqueraLiberalQuibdó 46,530413,1731947
13CórdobaEdwin José Besaile FayadLa UMontería 25,0201,392,9051952
14CundinamarcaJorge Emilio Rey ÁngelCRBogotá 24,2102,680,0411857
15GuainíaJavier Eliecer Zapata ParradoLiberalInirida 72,23843,3141963
16GuaviareNebio De Jesús Echeverry CadavidAICOSan José del Guaviare   53,460133,2361991
17HuilaCarlos Julio González VillaCRNeiva 19,890994,2181905
18La GuajiraOneida Rayeth Pinto PérezCRRiohacha 20,848524,6191965
19MagdalenaRosa Cotes De ZuñigaCRSanta Marta 23,1881,403,3181824
20MetaMarcela AmayaLiberalVillavicencio 85,635771,0891960
21NariñoCamilo RomeroGreenPasto 33,2681,775,1391904
22Norte de SantanderWilliam Villamizar LaguadoLa UCúcuta 21,6581,493,9321910
23PutumayoSorrel Parisa Aroca RodríguezGreenMocoa 24,885378,4831991
24QuindíoCarlos Eduardo Osorio BuriticaN/AArmenia 1,845613,3751966
25RisaraldaSigifredo Salazar OsorioConservativePereira 4,1401,024,3621966
26San Andrés y Providencia  Ronald Housni JallerLiberalSan Andrés 5283,4911991
27SantanderDidier Alberto Tavera AmadoLiberalBucaramanga 30,5372,085,0841857
28SucreEdgar Enrique Martínez RomeroCRSincelejo 10,917868,6481966
29TolimaÓscar Barreto QuirogaConservativeIbagué 23,5621,312,9721886
30Valle del CaucaDilian Francisca Toro TorresLa UCali 22,1404,524,6781910
31VaupésJesús María Vásquez CaicedoCRMitú 54,13533,1521991
32VichadaLuis Carlos Álvarez MoralesLa UPuerto Carreño 100,24297,2761991
  • Estimate for Cundinamarca includes the country's capital, Bogotá.

Territorios indígenas

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.[2]

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

History

República de la Gran Colombia

When it was first established in 1819, República de la Gran Colombia had three departments. Venezuela, Cundinamarca (now Colombia) and Quito (now Ecuador).[3] In 1824 the Distrito del Centro (which became Colombia) was divided into five departments, and further divided into seventeen provinces. One department, Istmo Department, consisting of two provinces later became Panama.[4]

República de la Nueva Granada

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.[4][5]

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.[5] 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.[6]

República de Colombia

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:

See also

References

  1. 1 2 "Division Política de Colombia" (in Spanish). Portal ColombiaYA.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2009.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 1 2 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.
  5. 1 2 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.
  6. 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)).
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