Archive for the ‘Colombia’ Category

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Diaspora populations often perform essential functions in the economic and human capital development of their countries of origin, and can continue playing a strong role in shaping these countries long after they or their forebears departed.The Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute have launched the Rockefeller-Aspen Diaspora Program (RAD), a joint venture to better understand diaspora members’ financial and human capital investments and to design an approach to foster further growth in these areas. The Migration Policy Institute has partnered with RAD to produce profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, which is home to nearly 60 million first- or second-generation immigrants.

These profiles address 15 different diaspora populations in the United States, gathering in one place key data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Each profile explores the demographic characteristics of first- and second-generation immigrants in a particular diaspora, their educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

Five longer profiles, focusing on Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, and the Philippines, also detail historical immigration pathways and contemporary entry trends, poverty status, active diaspora organizations, and country-of-origin policies and institutions related to interaction with emigrants and their descendants abroad.

CRS — U.S. – Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues (updated)

February 25, 2014 Comments off

U.S. – Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force on May 15, 2012. It is a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia, which will eventually eliminate tariffs and other barriers in bilateral trade in goods and services. On October 3, 2011, President Barack Obama submitted draft legislation (H.R. 3078/S. 1641) to both houses of Congress to implement the agreement. On October 12, 2011, the House passed H.R. 3078 (262-167) and sent it to the Senate. The Senate passed the implementing legislation (66-33) on the same day. The agreement was signed by both countries almost five years earlier, on November 22, 2006. The Colombian Congress approved it in June 2007 and again in October 2007, after it was modified to include new provisions agreed to in the May 10, 2007, bipartisan understanding between congressional leadership and President George W. Bush.

Neighborhood Danger, Parental Monitoring, Harsh Parenting, and Child Aggression in Nine Countries

January 23, 2014 Comments off

Neighborhood Danger, Parental Monitoring, Harsh Parenting, and Child Aggression in Nine Countries (PDF)
Source: Societies

Exposure to neighborhood danger during childhood has negative effects that permeate multiple dimensions of childhood. The current study examined whether mothers’, fathers’, and children’s perceptions of neighborhood danger are related to child aggression, whether parental monitoring moderates this relation, and whether harsh parenting mediates this relation. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 1293 children (age M = 10.68, SD = 0.66; 51% girls) and their mothers (n = 1282) and fathers (n = 1075) in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Perceptions of greater neighborhood danger were associated with more child aggression in all nine countries according to mothers’ and fathers’ reports and in five of the nine countries according to children’s reports. Parental monitoring did not moderate the relation between perception of neighborhood danger and child aggression. The mediating role of harsh parenting was inconsistent across countries and reporters. Implications for further research are discussed, and include examination of more specific aspects of parental monitoring as well as more objective measures of neighborhood danger.

Country Analysis Brief: Colombia

January 9, 2014 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief:  Colombia
Source: Energy Information Administration

The enactment of a series of regulatory reforms to make the oil and natural gas sector more attractive to foreign investors led to an increase in Colombia production. The government implemented a partial privatization of state oil company Ecopetrol (formerly known as Empresa Colombiana de Petróleos S.A.) in an attempt to revive its upstream oil industry. However, after nearly a half-decade of relatively secure operations, attacks on oil and natural gas pipelines have increased. Expanded oil production will require discoveries of reserves and improvements to infrastructure safety.

In 2011, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Colombia consumed 1.48 quadrillion British thermanl units (Btus) of total energy. Oil constituted the largest part of this amount, followed by hydroelectricity, natural gas, and coal. The country relies on hydropower for the bulk of its electricity needs and uses very little coal domestically. Of the 94.6 million short tons (MMst) of coal produced, Colombia exported 94% in 2011. Natural gas consumption in Colombia has grown, rising over 54% in the past decade.

New From the GAO

July 24, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office


1. U.S.-Mexico Border: CBP Action Needed to Improve Wait Time Data and Measure Outcomes of Trade Facilitation Efforts. GAO-13-603, July 24.
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2. National Transportation Safety Board: Management and Operational Improvements Found, but Strategy Needed to Utilize Cost Accounting System. GAO-13-611, July 24.
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3. Building Partner Capacity: DOD Is Meeting Most Targets for Colombia’s Regional Helicopter Training Center but Should Track Graduates. GAO-13-674, July 24.
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4. COMPETES Reauthorization Act: Federal Loan Guarantees for Innovative Technologies in Manufacturing. GAO-13-717R, July 24.


1. Department of Energy: Observations on DOE’s Management Challenges and Steps Taken to Address Them, by David C. Trimble, director, natural resources and environment, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-13-767T, July 24.
Highlights –

CRS — Colombia: Background, U.S. Relations, and Congressional Interest

December 27, 2012 Comments off

Colombia: Background, U.S. Relations, and Congressional Interest (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Colombia, a key U.S. ally, has made measurable progress in providing security despite having endured the longest armed internal conflict in the Western Hemisphere. It has long been a source for both cocaine and heroin. Drug trafficking has helped to perpetuate conflict by funding both left-wing and right-wing armed groups. Colombia and the United States have forged a close partnership focused initially on counternarcotics and later counterterrorism. In recent years, the U.S.-Colombian relationship has broadened to include trade, human rights, and development. Colombia has emerged as a regional leader providing training in security and counternarcotics throughout the hemisphere and elsewhere.

President Juan Manuel Santos, elected in August 2010, has governed with the backing of almost 90% of the Colombian Congress in a “national unity” coalition. In a policy he calls “democratic prosperity,” Santos has continued the mission of his popular predecessor of accentuating security, while promoting economic development, creation of jobs, and poverty reduction. He has repaired relations with Ecuador and Venezuela, which had been strained under the former government. He has promoted legislative reforms including: a landmark law to compensate victims of the internal conflict; a justice reform bill that ultimately failed; and controversial “peace framework” and military justice reforms that appeared to be laying the groundwork for an eventual peace settlement. In October 2012, formal peace talks opened with the dominant leftist guerrilla organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), following a surprise announcement that the government had been conducting secret exploratory talks for six months.

Colombia, in close collaboration with the United States, through a strategy known as Plan Colombia, has made significant progress in reestablishing government control over much of its territory, combating drug trafficking and terrorist activities, and reducing poverty. Between FY2000-FY2012, the U.S. Congress appropriated more than $8 billion in assistance to carry out Plan Colombia and its follow on strategies. As Colombia’s security and development conditions improved, former U.S.-supported programs have been nationalized to Colombian control. Consequently, U.S. assistance with its counternarcotics, counterterrorism, judicial reform, economic development, humanitarian and human rights components, has gradually declined. The National Consolidation Plan, the current Colombian security strategy, updates Plan Colombia with a whole-of-government approach that integrates security, development, and counternarcotics by consolidating state presence in previously ungoverned areas.

The 112th Congress has maintained a strong interest in Colombia’s progress in trade, security, counternarcotics and human rights. In October 2011, the U.S. Congress approved implementing legislation for the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which went into force on May 15, 2012. Members of Congress will continue to monitor the associated Action Plan Related to Labor Rights that addressed U.S. concerns related to labor rights and violence in Colombia. In addition to the larger debate about what role the United States should continue to play in Colombia’s ongoing struggle with drug trafficking and illegal armed groups, Congress has expressed concern with a number of related issues. These include: funding levels for Plan Colombia’s follow on strategies; continuing allegations of human rights abuses; and the effectiveness of counternarcotics policies such as aerial eradication and alternative development. Members will likely monitor Colombia’s peace negotiations and their effect on security conditions in the country. For additional information, see CRS Report RL34470, The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues.

Country Analysis Brief: Colombia

June 30, 2012 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Colombia
Source: Energy Information Administration

The enactment of a series of regulatory reforms to make the oil and natural gas sector more attractive to foreign investors served as an incentive for rising production. In addition, the government has implemented a partial privatization of state oil company Ecopetrol in an attempt to revive its upstream oil industry. The security situation in the country also has improved over the last decade, with fewer attacks against oil and natural gas infrastructure in recent years. Expanded oil production will require further investment in transport infrastructure and refining capacity.

In 2009, Colombia consumed 1.3 quadrillion Btus of total energy. Oil constituted the largest part of this amount, followed by hydroelectricity, natural gas, and coal. The country relies upon hydropower for the bulk of its electricity needs, so it is able to export most of the coal that it produces. Natural gas consumption in Colombia has also risen over the last decade.