Departments 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 an 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.

Capital district and Colombian regions
Distrito Capital y los Departamentos de Colombia (Spanish)
CategoryUnitary state
LocationRepublic of Colombia
Number32 Departments
1 Capital District
Populations(Departments only):40,797 (Vaupés) – 6,407,102 (Antioquia)
Areas(Departments only):50 km2 (19.3 sq mi) (San Andrés) – 109,665.0 km2 (42,341.89 sq mi) (Amazonas)
Government
Subdivisions

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.

Some departments have subdivisions above the level of municipalities, commonly known as provinces.

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 Region Governor Party Capital Area (km²) Population Density per
km2
Established Flag
00Capital DistrictClaudia López HernándezGreenBogotá 1,5877,412,5664670.801538
01AmazonasJesús Galindo CedeñoCoalición 'Juntos por el Amazonas'Leticia 109,66576,5890.71991
02AntioquiaAníbal GaviriaCoalición 'Es el Momento de Antioquia'Medellín 63,6126,407,102100.721826
03AraucaJosé Facundo CastilloCoalición 'Unidos por Arauca'Arauca 23,818262,17411.011991
04AtlánticoElsa NogueraCoalición 'La Clave es la Gente'Barranquilla 3,3882,535,517748.381910
05BolívarVicente Antonio BlelConservativeCartagena 25,9782,070,11079.691857
06BoyacáRamiro Barragán AdameGreenTunja 23,1891,217,37652.501539
07CaldasLuis Carlos VelásquezCoalición 'Unidos por Caldas'Manizales 7,888998,255126.551905
08CaquetáArnulfo Gasca TrujilloConservativeFlorencia 88,965401,8494.521982
09CasanareSalomón Andrés Sanabria CDYopal 44,640420,5049.421991
10CaucaElías Larrahondo CarabalíCoalición 'Porque Sí es Posible'Popayán 29,3081,464,48849.971857
11CesarLuis Alberto Monsalvo GneccoCoalición 'Alianza por el Cesar'Valledupar 22,9051,200,57452.421967
12ChocóAriel Palacios CalderónCoalición 'Generando Confianza por un Mejor Chocó'Quibdó 46,530534,82611.491947
13CórdobaOrlando David BenítezLiberalMontería 25,0201,784,78371.331952
14CundinamarcaNicolás García BustosCoalición 'Gran Cundinamarca'Bogotá 24,2102,919,060120.571857
15GuainíaJuan Carlos Iral GómezDe La UInirida 72,23848,1140.671963
16GuaviareHeydeer Yovanny PalacioCRSan José del Guaviare   53,46082,7671.551991
17HuilaLuis Enrique DussánCoalición 'Huila Crece'Neiva 19,8901,100,38655.321905
18La GuajiraNemesio Roys GarzónCoalición 'Un Cambio por La Guajira'Riohacha 20,848880,56042.241965
19MagdalenaCarlos CaicedoG.S.C. Fuerza Ciudadana - MagdalenaSanta Marta 23,1881,341,74657.861824
20MetaJuan Guillermo ZuluagaDe La UVillavicencio 85,6351,039,72212.141960
21NariñoJhon Alexander RojasCoalición 'Mi Nariño'Pasto 33,2681,630,59249.011904
22Norte de SantanderSilvano Serrano GuerreroConservativeCúcuta 21,6581,491,68968.871910
23PutumayoBuanerges RoseroCoalición 'Así es el Putumayo, Tierra de Paz'Mocoa 24,885348,18213.991991
24QuindíoRoberto Jairo JaramilloLiberalArmenia 1,845539,904292.631966
25RisaraldaSigifredo Salazar OsorioConservativePereira 4,140943,401227.871966
26San Andrés y Providencia  Everth Julio HawkinsCoalición 'Todos por un Nuevo Comienzo'San Andrés 5261,2801178.461991
27SantanderMauricio AguilarCoalición 'Siempre Santander'Bucaramanga 30,5372,184,83771.551857
28SucreHéctor Olimpo EspinosaLiberalSincelejo 10,917904,86382.891966
29TolimaJosé Ricardo OrozcoConservativeIbagué 23,5621,330,18756.451886
30Valle del CaucaClara Luz RoldánCoalición 'Todos por el Valle del Cauca'Cali 22,1404,475,886202.161910
31VaupésElícer Pérez CDMitú 54,13540,7970.751991
32VichadaÁlvaro Arley LeónCoalición 'Álvaro León Sabe Como Es'Puerto Carreño 100,242107,8081.081991

Indigenous territories

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 cover 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


The Republic of Gran Colombia

When it was first established in 1819, The Republic of 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]

Republic of New 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]

Republic of 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:

Maps gallery


See also


References


  1. "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. 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. 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.[permanent dead link]
  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)).