chapter  3
46 Pages


WithJorge P. Osterling

This chapter illustrates the way in which the Colombia nation presently operates: its institutions, its senior officers at all levels, the relations among the various branches of government, and the procedures for electing and appointing officials. The Republic of Colombia, governed under the provisions of the often amended 1886 Constitution—the second oldest in the Western Hemisphere—is a single, democratic, and “unitary republic” with a centralist political structure, with a strong presidency. According to the government of Colombia’s Departamento Administrativo del Servicio Civil, in 1986 the nation had 598,387 government employees at all levels, from the President all the way down to the most junior clerk serving in the most remote jungle post. The President of the Republic is the nation’s most senior government official.