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7 Regions of ­Colombia


egions are the geographer’s organizational “convenience packages.” For any country, many different criteria can be used to divide the land into meaningful subdivisions. For example, landform areas, climatic zones, ecosystems, land use and economic activity, and population distribution and settlement can be used for this purpose; so could the country’s 32 political administra-­ tive units plus the one capital district. In the case of Colombia, one might even argue that vertical zones would make good sense as the basis for regional divisions! After all, elevations coincide quite well with ­land-­use practices throughout the ­country. In this chapter, several criteria were used in selecting subregions. Colombia, to a greater degree than is true of most Latin American countries, is sharply divided into distinct regions by barriers created by landforms (for example, mountains). Each region also tends to have at least one major urban area where most of the population has



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