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EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic Representation in US
Ambassador: Gabriel SILVA Lujan
Embassy: 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: 202-387-8338
FAX: 202-232-8643

US Diplomatic Representation
Ambassador: P. Michael McKinley
Embassy: Calle 22D Bis, No. 47-51, Bogotá
Mailing Address: APO AA 34038
Telephone: (571) 315-0811
FAX: (571) 315-2197

Consulates are in:

Tampa
A. D. P. Bldg., 1211 N. Westshore Bl., Suite 411,
Tampa, FL 33607.
(813) 875-1499

Atlanta
3379 Peachtree Rd., Suite 555,
Atlanta, GA 30326.
(404) 237-1045

Consulates General are in:


Los Angeles
8383 Wilshire Bl., Suite 420,
Beverly Hills, CA 90211.
(323)653-9863

San Francisco
595 Market St., Suite 2130,
San Francisco, CA 94105.
(415) 795-7195

Washington
1107 17th Street, Suite 1007, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009.
(202)332-7476

Miami
280 Aragon Av.,
Coral Gables, FL 33134.
(305) 448-5558

Chicago
500 N. Michigan Av., Suite 2040,
Chicago, IL 60611.
(312) 923-1196, FAX (312) 923-1197

New Orleans
1844 World Trade Cen, 2 Canal St.,
New Orleans, LA 70130.
(504) 525-5580

Boston
535 Boylston St., 11th Floor,
Boston, MA 02116.
(617) 536-6222

New York
10 E. 46th St.,
New York, NY 10017.
(212) 949-9898

San Juan
Edificio Mercantil Plaza,Ponce de Leon Av., Suite 814,
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico 00918.
(809) 754-6885

Houston
2990 Richmond Av., Suite 200,
Houston, TX 77098.
(713) 527-8919

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Colombia
U.S. Embassy in Colombia
Embassy of Colombia Web Site



FOREIGN RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Colombia in 1822, following its independence from Spain. Colombia is a middle-income country and one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. It has seen nearly half a century of intense armed conflict with insurgent and paramilitary groups perpetuated by their involvement in widespread illegal drug production and trafficking, along with criminal and narcotics trafficking organizations. Peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) began in Oslo, Norway on October 18, 2012 and negotiations will move to Havana, Cuba in November 2012. Long-term U.S. interests in the region include promoting security, stability, and prosperity in Colombia, and Colombia has made progress in addressing its security, development, and governance challenges.

The country's National Consolidation Plan seeks to re-establish state control and legitimacy in strategically important areas previously dominated by illegal armed groups through a phased approach that combines security, counternarcotics, and economic and social development initiatives. U.S. policy toward Colombia supports the government's efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights and the rule of law, foster socio-economic development, address immediate humanitarian needs, and end the threats to democracy posed by narcotics trafficking and terrorism.

The United States and Colombia have signed agreements on trade, environmental protection, asset sharing, chemical control, ship-boarding, renewable and clean energy, science and technology, and civil aviation.

U.S. Assistance to Colombia

The U.S. Government supports the Colombian Government's National Consolidation Plan by selectively working in key "consolidation zones," where drug trafficking, violence, and the lack of government presence have historically converged. The U.S. Government coordinates its efforts in these areas through the Colombia Strategic Development Initiative, an inter-agency, whole-of-government approach to providing U.S. assistance in eradication and interdiction; capacity building of the military, national police, and prosecutor units; creation of viable options for citizens in the licit economy, particularly in the agricultural sector. Our programs also provide more general support for the implementation of Colombian Government reforms in land restitution; reparations for victims and vulnerable populations; demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants; promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law and protection of vulnerable citizens (such as human rights and labor activists); and addressing global climate change and environmental issues in one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Colombia's largest trading partner, and the two countries' free trade agreement entered into force in May 2012. The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement aims to improve the investment environment, eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, expand trade, and promote economic growth in both countries. U.S. exports to Colombia include machinery, oil, agricultural products, organic chemicals, and plastic. U.S. imports from Colombia include crude oil, gold, coffee, cut flowers, textiles, and bananas. Approximately 250 U.S. businesses conduct at least some operations in Colombia. U.S. direct investment in Colombia is primarily concentrated in the mining and manufacturing sectors.

Colombia's Membership in International Organizations

Colombia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Colombia is P. Michael McKinley; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Colombia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2118 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-8338).

More information about Colombia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Colombia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Colombia Page
U.S. Embassy: Colombia
USAID Colombia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Colombia
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information







TRAVEL ADVISORIES

To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for Colombia check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet.


TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit or International Driving Permit required
Currency (COP) Colombian Peso
Electrical 110 Volts
Telephones Country Code 57, City Code Bolivar 2+7D, Balboa 28+6D, Pamplona 78+6D



Time: GMT - 5.

Electricity: Mostly 110/120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style two-pin plugs.

Telephone: IDD service to most areas; calls to smaller centres must be made through the international operator. Country code: 57. Outgoing international code: 90. Many public telephones now work only with phone cards produced by Empresa de Telefonos de Bogotá (ETB), which can be bought in many shops and kiosks.

Climate:
The climate is very warm and tropical on the coast and in the north, with a rainy season from May to November. This varies according to altitude. It is cooler in the upland areas and cold in the mountains. Bogotá is always spring-like, with cool days and crisp nights.

Required clothing: Lightweight cottons and linens with waterproofing during rainy season in coastal and northern areas. Medium- to heavyweights are needed in upland and mountainous areas.

Food & Drink: Restaurants offer international cuisine and table service is the norm. Local dishes are varied and tasty, with a touch of Spanish influence. Recommended dishes are ajiaco (chicken stew with potatoes, served with cream, corn on the cob and capers); arepas (corn pancakes made without salt, eaten in place of bread); bandeja paisa (meat dish accompanied by cassava, rice, fried plantain and red beans), served in the area of Medellín. Seafood (mariscos) is plentiful on the Caribbean coast, lobsters in particular are renowned for their flavour.
It is safest to drink bottled water. Colombians rarely drink alcohol with meals. Gaseosa is the name given to non-alcoholic, carbonated drinks. For a small black coffee, you should ask for a tinto, but this term is also used to describe red wine or vino tinto. Colombian wines are generally of poor quality. Chilean and Argentinian wines are available in restaurants at reasonable prices. Colombia produces many different types of rum (ron). Canelazo, a rum-based cocktail taken hot or cold, is recommended. There are no licensing hours.

Shopping: Special purchases include local handicrafts, cotton, wood and leather goods, woollen blankets, ruana, and travelling bags. Hotel shops carry excellent gold reproductions of ancient Colombian jewellery. Colombia produces first-grade stones, and the emeralds are among the most perfect in the world. Shopping hours: Mon-Sat 0900-1200 and 1400-1830.

Tipping: Taxi drivers expect 10 per cent tips. Porters at airports and hotels are usually given c. pesos500 per item. Many restaurants, bars and cafes add 10 per cent service charge to the bill or suggest a 10 per cent tip. Maids and clerks in hotels are also tipped. Bogotá’s shoeshine boys live on their tips and expect about 1000 pesos.

Currency: Colombian Peso (peso) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of peso50,000, 20,000, 10,000 and 5000. Coins are in denominations of peso1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50.

Currency exchange:
The exchange rate tends to be lower on the Caribbean coast than in Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. The US Dollar is the easiest currency to exchange at hotels, banks, shops and travel agencies, but all establishments charge an exchange fee.

Credit & debit cards: All major cards are accepted, but check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.


CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Tobacco....................200 cigarettes and 50 cigars or 500 grams of tobacco

Liquor.......................2 bottles of wine or spirits

Perfume....................Reasonable amount for personal use

Cameras....................1 still camera and 1 moving picture camera

Film...........................Reasonable for personal use

Agricultural items/currency/gifts....Refer to consulate

Note: Emeralds and articles made of gold or platinum need a receipt from the place of purchase which must be presented to customs on departure.



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