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Politics

As there are strong links between the Colombian political elite and the mass media, the elite has an important influence on the flow of information to Colombian citizens and on the media system itself.

The elite groups around the President

Colombia is a presidential republic where the president represents the executive power - -since 2014 this is Juan Manuel Santos Calderón from the National Unity Party. The president is simultaneously the head of state and head of government. The current (2018) Vice President is Germán Vargas Lleras.

Party system: fierce competition between Liberals and Conservatives

Colombia´s history has seen fierce competition between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party, with the most notable incident being the assassination of the Liberal Party leader Gaitán in 1948. The 2000s was coined by the rise of Uribismo, a movement formed around President Alvaro Uribe and his political party, Social National Unity Party. It is a center-right movement founded in 2005 and was criticized for having links with paramilitary forces. Other important parties represented in the Colombian parliament are the Democratic Center Party, the Radical Party, the Democratic Pole and the Green Alliance. There are four supreme judicial bodies: the Supreme Court of Justice, the Council of State, the Constitutional Court and the Superior Judicial Council. The constitution was approved in 1991. Legislative power is held by Congress, elected for a period of four years. The congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives and has 228 members in total.

Colombia in the world

Colombia is part of international organizations such as the United Nations and its sub-organizations; financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF; and other organizations such as WHO, ILO, and the WTO. It is also a member of regional integration groupings such as the OAS and UNASUR, and LAIA, and free trade groupings (SELA, GATT, the Andean Community, the Pacific Alliance). It is a candidate for OECD membership.

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