Following the Constitution of 1991, Colombia is a unified
state and democratic republic. The executive is added to a
president-elect for four years. The president can be
re-elected once. Legislative power has been added to a
congress consisting of a 102-member Senate and a House of
Representatives consisting of at least two representatives
from each of the country's ministries (provinces) and
metropolitan area, as well as three seats reserved for the
country's African-American (2) and Native American (1)
population; after the 2006 election, the House of
Representatives has 166 members. Both chambers are elected
in direct elections for four years.
Since the end of the 19th century, the country's politics
have been characterized by the tension between the liberals
and the conservatives, a tension that has partly assumed a
violent character and led to authoritarian rule. From 1966,
leftist guerrilla groups have also contributed to
destabilizing the state government and making violence an
essential element of the political struggle. Since 1990
there has been an approach between the old parties and some
of the guerrilla groups. At the same time, however, cocaine
cartels have emerged as new and demanding challenges for the
regime. The military authorities exercise considerable power
and can intervene directly and indirectly in politics. Under
the new constitution, the Indians were granted extended
rights, but not of a territorial nature.
Administratively, Colombia is divided into 32 ministries
as well as the metropolitan district. The ministries are led
by elected governors and assemblies. Under the new
constitution, more authority has been delegated to regional
and local levels. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how CO can stand for Colombia.
In order to ensure the constitutional integrity of the
country, there is a constitutional court with nine judges
elected by the Senate for eight years. The Supreme Court
consists of three courts, one for civil cases, one for
criminal cases and one for labor law cases. The judges of
the Supreme Court are appointed for eight years after the
nomination of a higher justice council.
Colombia has a general duty of military service for men
with initial service of 18 months. The country has been
haunted by civil war for decades between government forces
and paramilitary groups (FARC, ELN, AUC) involved in drug
trafficking. The total force numbers for Colombia's armed
forces are 293,200 active personnel, with a reserve of
34,950 personnel (2018, IISS). In addition, 187 900
personnel arrive in a semi-military national police force.
The army has a workforce of 223,150 active personnel.
Materials include 121 lorries, 60 storm tanks, 114 armored
personnel vehicles, three ELINT aircraft, 222 transport
aircraft, and 110 helicopters. In addition, the army has
heavy artillery and light air defense artillery.
The Air Force has a personnel force of 13,650 active
personnel. Material includes 22 Kfir type fighters, 12
attack aircraft (six A-37B Dragonfly and six AC-47 Spooky),
13 reconnaissance aircraft, 13 ELINT aircraft, one tanker,
64 transport aircraft, 78 training aircraft (of which 38 can
also be used as light attack aircraft), 131 helicopters and
eight medium- heavy drones.
The Navy has a staff of 56,400 active personnel,
including 22,250 Marines. The fleet includes four tactical
submarines, four frigates, 62 patrol vessels, 23 landings,
and eight logistics and auxiliary vessels. The Navy's air
force has three maritime patrol aircraft, one reconnaissance
aircraft, 11 light transport aircraft, and 17 helicopters.
Colombia participated in the Multinational Force and
Observers (MFO) force in Egypt in 2018 with 275 personnel.