Colombia Politics and Government

By | December 15, 2021

Constitutional and administrative order. – Colombia is a unitary republic. The president, who has executive power, is elected for a term of 4 years with direct male suffrage. Legislative power rests with the Senate (56 members elected for 4 years) and the Chamber of Deputies (106 members elected for 2 years with direct male suffrage).

Administratively Colombia is divided into 14 departments, 3 administrations and 7 commissariats, divided in turn into 800 municipalities. The departments are headed by a governor appointed by the President of the Republic: the administrations and commissariats are administered directly by the central government. For Colombia political system, please check

Ecclesiastical organization. – The formation of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions and the organization of the hierarchy were rather slow and laborious and, abstraction made by Antioquia, a diocese created in 1804 but recently reorganized, they were completed in two stages.

First the erection of S. Maria di Darien (1513) took place, which soon after became the diocese of Panamá (1520). Then followed the creations of S. Marta (1531), of Cartagena (1534), of Popayán (1546) and of Santa Fe de Bogotá (1563), which were considered suffragan of Santo Domingo, and remained so until 1573, when it was the ecclesiastical province of Nuova Granata was established and Santa Fe de Bogotà was erected as an archbishopric and a metropolis. The policy of exploitation and the often inhuman conduct of the settlers towards the natives and the Negroes imported from Africa, the enormous distance from the metropolis contributed to making the disorder almost incurable and perpetuating the abuses. Adding to the instability of the civil systems explains the lack of religious vitality of this one as well as of other ancient Spanish colonies of the America, although the Colombians have been able to preserve, despite the obstacles, the faith and religious instruction received by the Catholic missionaries at the time of the colony. Real progress did not occur for more than a century, even though relations between Church and state have not always been, as they are today, cordial. It was therefore at the time of Gregory XVI that the diocese of New Pamplona (1835) was erected, and while under Pius IX there were the creations of Pasto (1859) and Medellín (1868), during the pontificate of Leo XIII they were created the dioceses of Tunja (1880), of Socorro (1895) from 1928 with headquarters in San Gil, of Ibagué and of Garzón (1900) and the four ecclesiastical provinces were organized (1900); where, under his successors Pius X and Benedict XV there were the last dioceses of Cali (1910), of Manizales (1900), of Jérico (1915) and of Santa Rosa de Osos (1917). In the meantime, when the independent republic of Panama was established (1903), the diocese of the same name was removed from the dependence of Cartagena and constituted an archbishopric (1925).

The whole of Colombia is therefore divided into 15 dioceses distributed in 4 ecclesiastical provinces: 1. Bogotá, diocese (1563), metropolis (1573) and primatial see of Colombia (1902); Ibagué, diocese (1900); New Pamplona, ​​diocese (1835); San Gil, diocese, known until 1928 under the name of Socorro (1895); Tunja, diocese (1880); 2. Cartagena, diocese (1534), metropolis (1900); Santa Marta, diocese (1531); 3. Medellín, diocese (1868), metropolis (1900); Antioquia, diocese (1804) and Jérico, diocese (1915), united and reorganized (1917); Manizales, diocese (1900); Sama Rosa de Osos, diocese (1917); 4. Popayán, diocese (1546), metropolis (1900); Cali, diocese (1910); Garzón, diocese (1900); Pasto, diocese (1859).

But the vastness of the territory, the unequal distribution of the residents and the survival of wild or semi-wild tribes in the most inaccessible regions for climate or soil conditions, have advised the establishment of missionary districts or similar to them. There are 12 of which 4 apostolic vicariates, 7 prefectures and an independent mission established in the islets of S. Andrés and Providencia, in the Caribbean Sea, entrusted to the Capuchins.

The 4 Apostolic Vicariates are: 1. Goajira, extended to the peninsula of the same name, with main residence in Riohacha and entrusted to the Capuchins; 2. Casanare, called by the homonymous river. The main residence is Tamara, and she is cared for by the recollect hermits of S. Agostino. 3. Caquetá, extending from the province of Mocoa to the borders of Brazil. Its main residence is Sibundoy and is entrusted to the Capuchins. 4. Piani di S. Martino, which occupies part of the Intendency of Meta with all the immense territory that was once again called the Eastern Intendency and which extended as far as the Orinoco. Its main residence is Villavicencio and is entrusted to the religious of the society of Mary.

The 7 apostolic prefectures are: 1. Arauca, extended to the commissariat of Arauca with its main residence in Chita (province of Boyacá). It is entrusted to the Lazarists. 2. Tierradentro, located in the mountains east of Popayán. Its main residence is Benalcazar, and is entrusted to the Lazarists. 3-4. Sinú and Río Magdalena have a certain affinity between them. The first extends along the Río San Jorge, has Ayapel (Bolívar) as its main residence and is entrusted to the missionaries of the seminary of Burgos; the other extends east of the Magdalena, towards Venezuela and is entrusted to the Jesuits. 5. Tumaco is made up of a territory formerly part of the diocese of Pasto and located on the Pacific side, and is entrusted to the recollects of St. Augustine. 6. Chocó, with its main residence in Quibdó and entrusted to the missionaries children of the immaculate heart of Mary. 7. Urabá, named after the region for which it was created. Its main residence is Frontino and is entrusted to the Discalced Carmelites.

Colombia Politics