Colombia has had a mixed 2015; the peace process has seen significant progress after a shaky few months, legislative elections took place throughout the country and the economy continues to worry many. Laura Sharkey takes a look at some of the numbers which have defined the year…
8 – The number of awards won by Colombia at the Latin Grammys. Among the winners were J Balvin for best urban song, Monsieur Periné for best new artist and ChocQuibTown as the best tropical fusion album.
3,260 – In August 2015, the value of the Colombian peso reached an all-time low of COP$3,260 against the US dollar. While this is great for those earning in dollars, it is less so for those who have seen a depreciation in their wages – with estimates that the peso will remain around the COP$3,000 mark to the dollar as we welcome in 2016.
83 – Number of violent attacks by the FARC in June, according to the Resource Centre for Conflict Analysis, the most violent month since the peace process began. The FARC abandoned a unilateral ceasefire following a government operation in Guapi which left 26 fighters dead. Things have turned around since then, after President Juan Manuel Santos signed a landmark agreement with FARC leader, Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londoño on September 23. The agreement marked progress on the thorny issue of transitional justice and a commitment to a full peace accord within six months.
43 – Peace talks between the government and the FARC entered their 43rd round in November. The talks are the most advanced of any negotiations in the history of the group, with decisions made on some of the most complex topics.
2,219 – The number of kilometres of the Colombian/Venezuelan border, parts of which remain closed after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro shut two major crossings on August 22, expelling more than a thousand Colombians from the Venezuelan border state of Táchira, forcing them to cross the Río Táchira into the Colombian department of Norte de Santander. Tensions between the two countries have since subsided, though problems continue to simmer and accusations of human rights violations are likely to continue.
130 – The number of municipalities that have faced rationing in 2015 because of weather phenomenon, El Niño. Forest fires and droughts have been a feature of the weather phenomenon and Colombia’s third largest city, Cali, has seen water rationing as a result.
2,729,902 – Valid votes registered in the Bogotá mayoral election. The winner, Enrique Peñalosa won with 33.1% of the vote. He will take office on January 1, 2016, along with 32 governors, 1,101 mayors, 418 deputies, 12,065 councillors and 6,700 town councillors.