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Colombia History


Twelve Pre-colombian cultures inhabited the Colombian territory before the arrival of the Spanish “Conquistadores”. Vestiges of these cultures and their surprising level of development can be seen in sites such as San Agustin, Tierradentro, Ciudad Perdida, Parque Tayrona.

In 1510 the Spaniards founded Darien, the first permanent European settlement on the American mainland. In 1538 they established the colony of Nueva Granada. Independence was attained in 1819 by Simon Bolívar, “El libertador”, who united Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador into the “República de la Gran Colombia”(1819–1830), but he lost Venezuela and Ecuador to separatists. The following year, Colombia lost its claims over Panama because it refused to ratify the lease of the Canal Zone to the United States. Panama declared its independence in 1903.

Since the independence in 1819, Colombia has a democratic regime. It is the second oldest democracy in Latin America, only interrupted in three occasions for very short periods of time.
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