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Posted by kaori 03/16/2009 @ 23:14

Tags : bogotá, colombia, south america, americas, world

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One of Bogota's most wanted criminal arrested - Colombia Reports
Bogotá Police captured Carlos Arturo Baquero alias 'El Gordo', the supposed leader of a dangerous criminal gang. 'El Gordo' had seven arrest warrants waiting for him for various crimes such as murder, kidnapping, theft and illegal transportation of...
Colombia Calling: The Other Wiretap Scandal - The Indypendent
By Joseph Huff-Hanon When the editorial staff of Semana, a feisty Bogotá-based weekly news magazine, was closing out their Feb. 21 edition, they couldn't help but notice an unmarked car parked for several hours in front of their building....
Witness to war: Evelio Rosero on fiction that fights for the truth - Independent
"We are all happy," Rosero told me in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, "But she's one among many, and we must not forget all the rest." Rosero's concern for civilians caught up in more than four decades of fratricidal conflict spurred his winning book,...
Talking About Legalization, Part II: Legalizing in Order to Regulate - Council On Hemispheric Affairs
The prohibition of smoking in public places has, as of January 1 of this year, arrived in Bogotá. As in other countries' urban areas, it has been a surprising success. It has not provoked an upsurge in civil disobedience, by negatively affected...
Colombia Ecopetrol Q1 earnings fall 29.9 pct - Reuters
BOGOTA, May 13 (Reuters) - Colombian state oil firm Ecopetrol's first-quarter net earnings fell 29.9 percent to $709 million as the global crisis battered crude oil prices, the company said on Wednesday. Ecopetrol ECO.CN(EC.N), which is 89.9 percent...
Rafael Escalona, vallenato legend, dies at 81 - The Associated Press
BOGOTA (AP) — Rafael Escalona, the prolific composer and performer of vallenato classics that define the Colombian-born genre, has died of cancer. He was 81. His son and namesake confirmed Escalona's death on Wednesday at a hospital in the Colombian...
Flu cases in Colombia linked to Orlando sporting event - Orlando Sentinel
Palacio told reporters for El Tiempo, Colombia's leading national paper, that a young man returning from the sporting event April 29 drew the attention of health officials in Bogotá when he and two teammates showed serious flu symptoms at the airport....
Assistant or Associate Professor - Parasitology - (subscription)
The Department of Biological Sciences at the Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) seeks to fill a position for a full time assistant or associate professor with formal training and research experience in Parasitology....
Colombia anticipates falling exports to Venezuela - El Universal
Her estimates were disclosed by Bogotá's economic daily newspaper La República, AFP quoted. The business leader noted that last January-February, exports sank 5.7 percent versus the same term in 2008, amounting to USD 876 million....


Official seal of Bogotá

Bogotá — officially named Bogotá, D.C. (D.C. for "Distrito Capital", which means "Capital District"), formerly called Santa Fe de Bogotá — is the capital city of Colombia, as well as the most populous city in the country, with 6,776,009 inhabitants (2005). Bogotá and its metropolitan area, which includes municipalities such as Chía, Cota, Soacha, Cajicá and La Calera, had an estimated population of 8,244,980. In terms of land area, Bogotá is also the largest in Colombia, and its altitude (2,640m) makes it the third-highest major city in the world, after La Paz and Quito. With its many universities and libraries, Bogotá has become known as "The Athens of South America".

Bogotá was originally called "Bacatá" (which means “planted fields”) by the Muiscas. It was the center of their civilization before the Spanish explorers colonized the area, and it sustained a large population. The European settlement was founded in August 6, 1538 by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name. "Bacatá" had become the modern "Bogotá" by the time it was made the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada, which was then part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, and later of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. The city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America.

In 1810-11 its citizens revolted against Spanish rule and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with internal divisions and the temporary return to power of Spanish military loyalists who regained control of the city in 1816. In 1819 Simón Bolívar recaptured it after his victory at Boyacá. Bogotá was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When Gran Colombia was broken up, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia. See History of Colombia.

In 1956 the municipality was joined to other neighboring municipalities forming a "Special District" (Spanish: Distrito Especial). The Constitution of 1991 confirmed Bogotá as the Capital of Colombia, gave it the name "Santa Fe de Bogotá", and changed the category from Special District to "Capital District" (Distrito Capital).

In August 2000 the name was officially changed back to simply "Bogotá".

Bogotá is located near the geographic center of Colombia, on the east of the Savannah of Bogotá (Sabana de Bogotá), 2640 meters (8661 ft) above sea level. Although it is located in what is popularly called the "sabana", literally meaning "savannah", the geographical site is actually a high plateau in the Andes mountains. The extended region is also known as "Altiplano Cundiboyacense" which literally means "high plateau of Cundinamarca and Boyacá".

The Bogotá River crosses the 'sabana' forming Tequendama Falls (Salto de Tequendama) to the south. Tributary rivers form valleys with flourishing villages, whose economy is based on agriculture, livestock raising and artisanal production.

The 'sabana' is bordered to the east by the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes mountain range. Surrounding hills, which limit city growth, run from south to north, parallel to the Guadalupe and Monserrate mountains. The western city limit is the Bogotá River. The Sumapaz paramo (moorland) borders the south and to the north Bogotá extends over the mentioned plateau up to the towns of Chía and Sopó.

The average temperature on the 'sabana' is 14.0°C, varying from 3°C to 25°C. Dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. The driest months are December, January, February and March; the rainiest are April, May, September, October and November. June and July are usually rainy periods and August is sunny with high winds. Hailstorms are common during the rainy season, and can be very strong, especially in October.

Climatic conditions are irregular and quite variable due to the El Niño and La Niña climatic phenomena, which occur in and around the Pacific basin and are responsible for very pronounced climatic changes. Even with this fact, overall, all year days are mild or cool and nights can get very cold due to the city having windy nights year round.

Bogotá has over one thousand localities, forming an extensive network of neighborhoods. Areas of higher economic status tend to be located to the north and north-east, close to the foothills of the Eastern Cordillera. Poorer neighborhoods are located to the south and south-east, many of them squatter areas. The middle classes usually inhabit the central, western and north-western sections of the city.

The urban layout in the center of the city is based on the focal point of a square or plaza, typical of Spanish-founded settlements, but the layout gradually becomes more modern in outlying neighborhoods. The current types of roads are classified as calles (streets), which run perpendicular to the Cordillera, with street numbers increasing towards the north, and also towards the south (with the suffix "Sur") from Calle 1. Carreras run parallel to the hills, with numbering increasing as one travels east or west of Carrera 1 (with the suffix "Este" for roads east of Carrera 1). Other types of roads more common in newer parts of the city may be termed "Eje" (Axis), "Diagonal" or "Transversal".

The largest and most populous city in Colombia, Bogotá has 7,881,156 inhabitants in its metropolitan area (2005 census), with a population density of approx. 3912 inhabitants per square kilometer. Nowadays in 2009, it is estimated that the city house about 7,362,520 and 8,566,926 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Only 15,810 people are located in rural areas of Capital District. 47.5% of the population are male and 52.5% women. The city has the lowest rate of illiteracy in the country which reaches only 4.6% of the population older than 5 years old.

Public services have a high coverage, since a 99.5% of households have electricity service, while 98.7% have service of an aqueduct and 87.9% have telephone communication. However, as the mission to design a strategy for poverty reduction and inequality, in 2005 the city had a 32.6% of poor (people living on less than U.S. $ 2.0 a day).

In Bogota, as in the rest of the country, the accelerating of the urbanization process is not only due to industrialization, since there are complex political and social reasons such as poverty and violence which have led to migration from rural to urban areas throughout the twentieth century. This has led to an exponential growth of population in urban areas and belts of misery in their surroundings. A dramatic example of this is the number of displaced people who have arrived in Bogota. According to the Consultancy for Human Rights, Codhes, in the period 1999-2005 more than 260,000 people arrived in Bogotá as a result of displacement, about 3.8% of the total population of Bogotá.

The majority of the displaced population lives in the Ciudad Bolivar, Kennedy, Usme, and Bosa sections.

Similar to the demographics of Colombia as a whole, the composition of the city's population is of mestizo origin (those of mixed Amerindian and white European descent), in addition to a population of white European descent, mostly of Spaniard ancestry (and to a lesser degree of Italian, French, German, and other European stock). The population of Afro-Colombians in Bogotá is smaller than cities along the coast such as Cartagena, where Afro-Colombians have historically resided.

The past leaders of the city have made public campaigns aimed at reducing its high crime rates. According to recent official report of District Administration, in the last ten years has decreased from 89.4 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 1996 to 37.9 in 2005, which represents a reduction of 57.6%, keeping in mind that in the same period the population increased more than 25%. Of these violent deaths, 62.8% occurred by murder, while 20.5% were caused by traffic accidents; this report also reveals that 85.1% of the victims were men and 14.9% women.

Bogotá has gone to great lengths to change its crime rate and its image with increasing success after being considered in the mid-90s one of the most violent cities in the world. In 1993 alone it had 4,352 intentional homicides and a rate of 80 per 100,000 people. The success was the result of a participatory and integrated security policy, "Communidad Segura", that was first adopted in 1995 and continues to be enforced. In 2007, Bogotá had a murder rate of 20 persons per 100,000 inhabitants with 1,401 fatalities. It should be stated that these figures, both in terms of volume and rate, remain far higher than equivalent US urban areas such as Philadelphia, Washington and Atlanta. Today, Bogotá has a lower murder rate than Caracas, and Rio de Janeiro.

Bogotá is the capital of the Republic of Colombia, and houses the national legislature, the Supreme Court of Justice, and the center of the executive administration as well as the residence of the President of the Republic. The Principal Mayor and District Council – both elected by popular vote – are responsible for city administration. In 2007 Samuel Moreno Rojas was elected Mayor for the period 2008-2011.

The city divided into 20 localities: Usaquén, Chapinero, Santa Fe, San Cristóbal, Usme, Tunjuelito, Bosa, Kennedy, Fontibón, Engativá, Suba, Barrios Unidos, Teusaquillo, Los Mártires, Antonio Nariño, Puente Aranda, La Candelaria, Rafael Uribe Uribe, Ciudad Bolívar, Sumapaz.

Each of the 20 localities are governed by an administrative board elected by popular vote, made up of no less than seven members. The Principal Mayor designates local mayors from candidates nominated by the respective administrative board.

Bogotá is Colombia's largest economic center (followed by Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla), and one of the most important in Latin America. Its GDP of US$86 billion, almost a quarter of Colombia's total, is the fifth highest among cities in South America. Most companies in Colombia have their headquarters in Bogotá (for example, Bavaria, Avianca), it is the site of Colombia's main stock exchange. Bogotá is also a major center for the import and export of goods for Colombia and the Andean Community in Latin America.

Bogotá is the centre of Colombian business, and the city's industrial base include staples of the Colombian economy such as GM Colmotores, Compañía Colombiana Automotriz, and Ecopetrol. Other important industries include financial services, especially banking. Bogotá is the headquarters of major commercial banks, and of the Banco de la República, Colombia's central bank. Bogotá is a centre of printing and publishing, as well as of the national telecommunications network and has the biggest industrial facilities in the country. Bogotá also houses the central governmental institutions and military headquarters, which represent another major component of the city's economy.

The city is also a major convention destination with major convention centres including Centro Ferial de Convenciones Corferias, Centro de Convenciones y Eventos Cafam, Centro de Convenciones Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, among others.

Energy and sewer bills are stratified based on the location of owner's residence, with the intended purpose that wealthier sections of society subsidize the energy bills of the poorer sections of society. Telephone service is provided by both "Empresa de 07) three main operators of wireless phones: Movistar (owned by Spanish firm Telefónica), Comcel (owned by Telmex) and Tigo (co-owned by ETB, EPM and Millicom).

Bogotá's growth has placed a strain on its roads and highways, but within the past decade significant efforts to upgrade the infrastructure have been undertaken. Private car ownership, despite being under 25%, forms a major part of the congestion, in addition to taxis, buses and commercial vehicles. Buses remain the main means of mass transit. There are two bus systems: the traditional system and Trasmilenio. The traditional system runs a variety of bus types, operated by several companies on normal streets and avenues: Bus (large buses), Buseta (medium size buses) and Colectivo (vans or minivans). The bigger buses were divided into two categories: "Ejecutivo", which is supposed to be a deluxe service and is not supposed to carry standing passengers, and "corriente" or normal service. Bus fares range, as of March 2008, from $1100 to $1250 (US$ 0.60-0.70 approx.). Since May 2008, all buses run as "corriente" services. Bogotá is a hub for domestic and international bus routes. The Bogotá terminal serves routes to most cities and towns in Colombia and is the largest in the country. There is international service to Ecuador and Venezuela.

The TransMilenio rapid transit system, created during Enrique Peñalosa's mayoral term, is a form of bus rapid transit that has been quickly and affordably deployed as an appropriate stopgap measure to compensate for the lack of a metro system. TransMilenio combining articulated buses that operate on dedicated bus roads (busways) and smaller buses (feeders) that operate in residential areas, bringing passengers to the main grid. TransMilenio's main routes are: Caracas Avenue, Northern Highway (Autopista Norte), 80th Street, Americas Avenue, Jiménez Avenue, and 30th Avenue (also referred to as Norte Quito Sur or N.Q.S. for short). Routes for Suba Avenue and Southern Highway (Autopista Sur), the southern leg of the 30th Avenue, were opened in April 2006. The third phase of the system will cover 7th Avenue, 10th Avenue, and 26th Street (or Avenida El Dorado). The system is planned to cover the entire city by 2030. Although the Transmilenio carries commuters to numerous corners of the city, it more expensive than any public transport except taxis, and fares increase with petroleum fuel prices. As of December 2007 the price of a ticket was $1400; however, a single ticket allows unlimited transfers until the passenger leaves the system, and passengers travel on feeder routes for free. Transmilenio does not yet cover some main routes, and buses are overcrowded.

Despite the city's chronic congestion, many of the ideas enacted during the Peñalosa years are regarded worldwide to be cost-effective, efficient and unique solutions. In addition to TransMilenio, the Peñalosa administration and voter-approved referenda helped to establish travel restrictions on private cars during peak hours called Pico y placa, "Car Free Days" on Sundays, a massive system of bicycle paths and segregated lanes called 'ciclorrutas', and the removal of thousands of parking spots in an attempt to make roads more pedestrian-friendly. Ciclorrutas is one of the most extensive dedicated bike path networks of any city in the world, with a total extension of 303 km. It extends from the north of the city, 170th Street, to the south, 27th Street, and from Monserrate on the east to the Bogotá River on the west. The ciclorruta was started by the 1995–1998 Antanas Mockus administration, and considerably extended during the administration of Mayor Peñalosa. Since the construction of the ciclorrutas bicycle use in the city has increased.

Bogotá's principal airport is El Dorado International Airport, west of the city's downtown, at the end of Av. El Dorado. Due to its central location in Colombia and in Latin America, it is a natural hub for domestic and international airlines.

El Dorado is heavily congested, as it handles more passengers than its optimal capacity. Work on a major expansion of El Dorado airport started in September 2007. When completed, this will expand capacity from the current 8 million passengers a year to 16 million.

A secondary airport, Catam, serves as a base for Military and Police Aviation, also Guaymaral Airport, for private aviation activities.

Known as the Athens of South America, Bogotá has more schools, colleges, and universities than any other city in Colombia and a scholarly tradition that dates back to July 13, 1580, when the first university, Saint Thomas Aquinas University, was founded by the Dominicans. On July 9, 1623 the Pontifical Xavierian University was founded by the Jesuits and on December 31, 1651 the Our Lady of the Rosary University by Cristóbal de Torres.

The largest university in Colombia, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, was founded on September 22, 1867. A study by Universia found it to be the Colombian university producing the largest number of scientific papers published in peer-refereed publications in 2005, and the 142nd most prolific in Latin America.

Other notable universities include the Universidad Externado de Colombia, founded in 1886, and the University of the Andes, founded in 1948.

There are many parks, many with facilities for concerts, plays, movies, storytellers and other activities.

Bogotá is known for its vibrant night life. It has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, clubs and cultural activities to please anyone's preference. There are numerous zones including the T, Parque de la 93, Candelaria, Usaquen, Avenida Primero de Mayo and Zona G among others. Places range from fine cuisine from all over the world to night clubs that offer different types of music. There is a curfew for most night places at 3:00am although some clubs still operate after hours.

The flag originates from the insurgency movement against the colonial authorities which began on July 20, 1810, during which the rebels wore armbands with yellow and red bands, as these colours were those of the Spanish flag used as the flag for the New Kingdom of Granada.

In October 9, 1952, exactly 142 years after these events, decree 555 of 1952 officially adopted the patriotic armband as the flag of Bogotá. The flag of Cundinamarca follows the same pattern, plus a light blue tile which represents the Virgin Mary's cape.

The flag itself is a yellow band above a red one. The yellow denotes the gold from the earth, as well as the virtues of justice, clemency, benevolence, the so-called "mundane qualities" (defined as nobility, excellence, richness, generosity, splendour, health, steadfastness, joy and prosperity), long life, eternity, power and constancy. The red denotes the virtue of charity, as well as the qualities of bravery, nobility, values, audacity, victory, honour and furor, Colombians call it the blood of their people.

The coat of arms of the city was granted by emperor Charles V (Charles I of Spain) to the New Kingdom of Granada, by royal decree given in Valladolid, Spain on December 3, 1548. It contains a black eagle in the center, which symbolises steadfastness. The eagle is also a symbol of the Habsburgs, which was the ruling family of the Spanish empire at the time. The eagle is crowned with gold and holds a red pomegranate inside a golden background. The border contains olive branches with nine golden pomegranates in a blue background. The two red pomegranates symbolize audacity, and the nine golden ones represent the nine states which constituted the New Kingdom of Granada at the time. In 1932 the coat of arms was officially recognized and adopted as the symbol of Bogotá.

The lyrics to the anthem of Bogotá were written by Pedro Medina Avendaño, the melody was composed by Roberto Pineda Duque. The song was officially declared the anthem by decree 1000 of July 31, 1974, by then Mayor of Bogotá, Aníbal Fernandez de Soto.

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Citytv Bogotá

Citytv Bogotá is a local television station in Colombia's capital city. It's owned by the Casa Editorial El Tiempo (CEET), which also owns the main national Colombian daily newspaper El Tiempo, as well as other magazines such as Portafolio, Cambio, Motor and Carrusel. CEET licensed the Canadian television system's Citytv brand. It started broadcasting on March 19, 1999 on UHF channel A21 in Bogotá.

Some programs from the original Canadian station (like MuchMusic and Electric Circus, whose Colombian versions are Mucha Música and Circo eléctrico) are versioned for local audience, while others, like FashionTelevision or SexTV are dubbed versions. It also follows the philosophy of the original Citytv: at its news shows (as Citynoticias and the morning wide show Arriba Bogotá) anchors read the news standing up from various parts of the studio / newsroom.

Until 2008, some of its programming was broadcast on TV Colombia.

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Bogotá Capital District

Location of the urban area of Bogotá (red) and the Capital District (dark gray) within the Cundinamarca Department.

The Capital District of Bogotá, Bogotá, Capital District or simply Bogotá DC is a capital district, subdivision of Colombia and the Department of Cundinamarca where most of the Metropolitan Area of the Colombian capital city of Bogotá and surrounding areas are located. The district presents a diverse climate ranging from the lower and warm plains of Los Llanos to the higher snowy peaks of Sumapaz Snowy Mountain at 4,560 meters over sea level.

The Capital District is treated as a Department of Colombia also functioning as the Department capital for Cundinamarca Department while keeping its hierarchy; administrative and legislative autonomy only sharing the judicial jurisdiction. It is the only district of Colombia with these characteristics in comparison to other districts, which are only named as districts to denote a particular characteristic surrounding the urban area.

The district is conformed by different levels of entities some centralized and some decentralized (with certain autonomy).

The district is subdivided into 20 localities, some part of the urban area and others in the rural area, or mixed. There are five zones within the urban area; the city of Bogotá, Usme's urban area and the corregimientos of San Juan de Sumapaz, Nazareth and Betania.

Ciudad Bolívar, Bosa and Fontibón are rapidly becoming more urban. The most rural of all localities is Sumapaz with the exception of three of its corregimientos.

Within the urban area of Bogotá are; La Candelaria, Barrios Unidos, Rafael Uribe Uribe, Antonio Nariño, Teusaquillo, Los Mártires, Tunjuelito, Kennedy and Puente Aranda.

The Capital District of Bogotá was created as judicial entity in 1955 during the regime of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla when he anexed the metropolitan municipalities of Engativá (Fontibón was then part of Engativá), Suba, Usme, Usaquén and Bosa. It was originally named "Bogotá, Special District" (Spanish: Bogotá, Distrito Especial) but was changed after the Colombian Constitution of 1991 which established a new "Territorial Ordinance Plan" (Spanish: Plan de ordenamiento territorial).

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Seguros Bolivar Open Bogotá

The Seguros Bolivar Open Bogotá is a tennis tournament held in Bogotá, Colombia since 2005. The event is part of the challenger series and is played on outdoor clay courts.

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Source : Wikipedia