By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Colombian Ambassador to Mexico Patricia Cárdenas Santa María hosted a national day reception at her residence on Friday, July 20, to mark the 208th anniversary of her country’s declaration of independence from Spain.
On July 20, 1810, the then-Viceroyalty of New Granada proclaimed its independence from colonial rule in Santa Fe de Bogota.
Nonetheless, that independence was not won until nine years later, when the nation of Greater Colombia – a region covering modern-day Venezuela, Panama and Colombia – was established in 1819.
Ecuador joined Greater Colombia in 1822, but political fractions led to regional disunity and in 1830, the territory began to divide into separate states.
The fourth-largest country in South America and one of the continent’s most populous nations, Colombia boasts substantial oil reserves and is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal.
In the late 20th century, Colombia was ravaged by a decades of violent civil conflict involving outlawed armed groups, drug cartels and gross violations of human rights
However, since 2002, the country has been making significant progress towards improving security and a still nascent peace process.
Colombia has strong bilateral ties with Mexico in terms of politics, economics and culture.
Trade between the two nations has increased dramatically over the last decade, thanks in great part to a bilateral free-trade accord signed in 2007.
In 2017, combined binational commercial exchange amounted to more than $4.8 billion, making Colombia Mexico’s 13th-largest trade partner globally.
Accumulated Mexican investment in Colombia is valued at more than $2 billion, while Colombian capital holdings in Mexico come to nearly $200 million.