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Colombia gained its independence from Colombia. The massive undertaking began immediately, and the canal was finally completed and opened in ­1914. The Turbulent Last Half ­Century The last 50 years have been a time of great turmoil in Colombia. The chaos stems primarily from the rampant narcotics trade and resulting conflicts. Many factions have been and continue to be involved. The government, economy, settlement, and society have all been negatively impacted. As a result, Colombia’s image has been tarnished within the global community. With an estimated ­half-­million ­crime-­related deaths since 1980 (nearly 18,000 each year), the country has become one of the world’s most violent places. The causes and consequences of Colombia’s violence will be discussed at some length in subsequent chapters. Ultimately, it is the people who most suffer from such conflicts. In the following chapter you will come to better know the Colombian people, their demographic (population) conditions, and various aspects of their ­culture.

Colombia  
Colombia  

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