To give you a brief overview, Colombia was inhabited by various indigenous groups before the Spanish arrived in 1492 and began to colonize the territory. The Spanish established the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717, which included present-day Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, and parts of Brazil. Colombia declared its independence from Spain in 1819, after a series of wars led by Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander. Since then, Colombia has faced many challenges, such as civil wars, political violence, drug trafficking, and guerrilla movements.
- The indigenous groups that lived in Colombia before the Spanish arrival had complex societies and cultures, such as the Muisca Confederation, which had a sophisticated political and economic system.
- The Spanish colonization of Colombia was marked by exploitation, slavery, and resistance from the natives, who fought against the invaders in various rebellions, such as the Comunero Revolt of 1781.
- Colombia was part of the Gran Colombia federation, which also included Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and parts of Peru and Brazil, from 1819 to 1830. The federation dissolved due to political and regional disputes.
- Colombia experienced several civil wars in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the War of a Thousand Days (1899-1902) and La Violencia (1948-1958), which caused social and economic turmoil.
- Colombia has been affected by the drug trade since the 1970s, when powerful cartels emerged and controlled the production and trafficking of cocaine and other substances. The drug lords clashed with the government, the police, and rival groups, causing violence and corruption.
- Colombia has also faced a long-running armed conflict with various guerrilla groups, such as the FARC and the ELN, which have opposed the state and pursued different political and social agendas. The conflict has involved kidnappings, bombings, massacres, and human rights violations.
- Colombia has made efforts to achieve peace and stability in recent years, such as signing a peace agreement with the FARC in 2016, after four years of negotiations. The agreement aimed to end the armed conflict and address its root causes.