Colombia - Local government

Colombia is divided into 32 departments (states) and the Bogotá federal district, and subdivided into 1,011 municipalities. Departments control their own finances, as well as administration, within the limits set by the constitution. Governors of departments, once appointed by the president, are now elected. Each departmental assembly meets yearly for a session of two months. Assembly members are elected by universal suffrage, one for each 40,000 inhabitants.

The departments have the power to establish municipal districts and to review the acts of the municipal governments to determine their constitutionality. Each municipality has a popularly elected municipal council. Another reform from the 1991 constitution is the direct election of mayors, where previously mayors were chosen by the president and were directly under the control of their respective governors. Mayors are elected by direct vote to a two-year term.

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