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Fun Facts About Colombia – from Politics to Sports

Did you know…
In the 20th century,the South American country was the fourth Spanish-speaking nation to win the Nobel Prize for Literature – the most valuable prize on Earth – in Sweden, after Spain (1904, 1922, 1956, 1977), Chile (1945 & 1971), and Guatemala (1967). On October 8, 1982, the country’s author Gabriel José García Marquez reached the pinnacle when earned the European award. Garcia Marquez is known for his classics: “No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories” (1961) and “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967), as well as “The Autumn of the Patriarch” (1975), “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (1981), “The Fragrance of Guava” (1983), and “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1988). He is admired by America’s author Toni Morrison.

Did you know…
Despite Colombia’s conflicts, the South American republic, ironically, has won more international titles than several peaceful countries, including Peru, Argentina and Uruguay and a host of others. At the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the country finished sixth in the medal count, behind USA, Brazil, Canada and Mexico. The Colombian national team won 48 medals: 14 gold, 21 silver, and 13 bronze. That is an excellent record among developing countries.

John Leguizamo
Did you know…
Colombian-born actor John Leguizamo earned an Emmy Award for his role in the in the Broadway production of Freak in the late 1990s.

Cesar Gaviria
Did you know…
Between 1994 and 2004, Cesar Gaviria, former President, was elected General Secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS).

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Colombia & America
Did you know…
The Latin American nation has put emphasis on ties with America since 1958. Colombia’s leader Alvaro Uribe has won praise from Washington for backing the US-led war on drugs. In January 2009, the President of the United States, George W. Bush bestowed upon him the Medal of Freedom.

Did you know…
More than 20 percent of Colombia’s government revenue still comes from coffee.

Liberal Democracy
Did you know…
Despite Colombia’s conflicts, the South American republic, a multi-party democratic state since 1958, has one of the best democracies in the Western Hemisphere, along with Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Barbados and Uruguay. Certainly the Colombian people have decided to write their own history. In 1958, Alberto Lleras Camargo was the first democratic Head of State in the country. The president is elected for a four-year term. Lleras Camargo has been succeeded by 11 other presidents:
1962-66: Guillermo Leon Valencia
1966-70: Carlos Lleras Restrepo
1970-74: Misael Pastrana Borrero
1974-78: Alfonso López Michelsen
1978-82: Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala
1982-86: Belisario Betancur
1986-90: Virgilio Barco Vargas
1990-94: César Gaviria Trujillo
1998-98: Ernesto Samper
1998-02: Andres Pastrana
2002-06: Alvaro Uribe
2006-10: Alvaro Uribe
2010- Juan Manuel Santos

Did you know…
The Colombians are famous for their love of music: Cumbia is the national music, and outstanding composers have gained worldwide fame.

Science & Technology
Did you know…
Colombia’s Manuel Elkin Patarroyo is one of the most well-known Latin American scientists of the 21st century. He developed a new vaccine to prevent malaria.

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Did you know…
The tropical nation harbors one of the world’s largest concentration of birds.

Multi-sport Events
Did you know…
The VI Pan American Games, a pre-Olympic tournament in the Americas, was held in Cali, Colombia, in 1971. In these Games, the local team picked up a total of 28 medals (5 gold, 9 silver, 14 bronze) and finished seventh in the medal count.

Carlos Vives
Did you know…
Colombia’s singer Carlos Vives is an idol in his homeland. He has won a Grammy Award and three Latin Grammy Awards. Vives hails from Santa Marta, Magdalena.

Did you know…
The Latin American country won full independence on January,4, 1876.

World Championships
Did you know…
The country hosted the FINA World Championships (1975) and the FIBA World Championships (1975 & 1982). On the other hand, it will host the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Did you know…
Colombia is the South America’s fourth largest nation. It is bordered by Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.

Did you know…
Despite Colombia’s massive problems, this country has over 1.9 million visitors per year.

Luz Marina Zuloaga
Did you know…
Surprisingly Miss Colombia, Luz Marina Zuloaga, became Miss Universe in the States in the late 50s. The title came five days after her nation’s July 20 national holiday. What’s more, she was the first woman to represent Colombia at a MU competition. This Latin American victory announced its continent’s emergence as a “pageant powerhouse”.

Did you know..
.Fernando Botero ranks as the most popular painter and sculptor in the country. Among his best works are “Flowers” (1967), “Dancers” (1979), “Couple” (1984), and “Ballerina” (2003).

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Human Development
Did you know…
The Spanish-speaking nation has made a record of economic, sports and human development.

New Idols
Did you know…
On May 28 2000, Juan Pablo Montoya, 34, won the Indianapolis 500 Race.