Colombia, officially recognized as the Republic of Colombia, is a unitary republic in South America. Like many countries in the continent, Colombia fell under the control of the Spaniards for much of its late history. In 1499, the Spaniards made Bogota, the capital of modern day Colombia, the center of a huge territory, the Viceroyalty of New Granada, also known as Gran Colombia. The territory was huge, encompassing the territories of modern-day Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama.
In the 18th century, insurrection against the Spanish rule began in Colombia, as did in other Spanish territories. Independence was won sometime in 1819, but Gran Colombia collapsed along with the elimination of the Spaniards. Venezuela and Ecuador first seceded, and in 1903, Panama established autonomy as well.
Colombia has a diverse population. It is a mix of peoples from Europe, Africa, and even Asia. Of course, native Amerindians are also numerous. Today, the government of Colombia is on the process of fixing internal conflicts led by the rebellion of the FARC. The rebellion has been around for more than 5 decades, and although the rebels lack popular support to actually take control of the country, they do have some power to terrorize local populations. Some progress has been made, and former members of the paramilitary organization are being integrated into the mainstream community. Still, some paramilitary organizations, with and without connections to the FARC, exist, largely fueled by the illegal yet sophisticated global drug trade.
That aside, the country is a highly stable country in terms of its economy and politics. Population centers are generally peaceful, and elections are seen by foreign observers as both fair and transparent.
Population. Ranked 29th in 2013.
GDP per capita. Ranked 67th in 2012.