Glossary -- Colombia
- Literally, copaternity. A system of ritual coparenthood that
links parents, children, and godparents in a close social or
- consumer price index (CPI)
- A statistical measure of sustained change in the price level
weighted according to spending patterns.
- A diplomatic initiative launched by a January 1983 meeting on
Contadora Island off the Pacific coast of Panama, by which the
"Core Four" mediator countries of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and
Panama sought to prevent through negotiations a regional
conflagration among the Central American states of Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In September 1984,
the negotiating process produced a draft treaty, the Contadora
Acta, which was judged acceptable by the government of Nicaragua
but rejected by the other four Central American states concerned.
The governments of Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil formed the
Contadora Support Group in 1985 in an effort to revitalize the
faltering talks. The process was suspended unofficially in June
1986 when the Central American governments refused to sign a
revised Acta. The Contadora process was effectively superseded by
direct negotiations among the Central American states.
- An hierarchical conception of society that assigns to elites
the guiding roles of maintaining social harmony and identifying the
general will of the nation.
- "crawling peg"
- A system of marginal and frequent adjustments of the exchange
rate in order to enhance the attractiveness of a nation's exports.
- fiscal year (FY)
- Calendar year.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by
the domestic economy during a given period, usually one year.
Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the
economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and
depreciation (consumption of capital). The income arising from
investments and possessions owned abroad is not included. Hence,
the term domestic is used to distinguish GDP from GNP
- gross national product (GNP)
- Total market value of all final goods and services produced by
an economy during a year. Obtained by adding GDP (q.v.)
and the income received from abroad by residents less payments
remitted abroad to nonresidents.
- International Monetary Fund
- Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations
that takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange
rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision
of loans to its members when they experience balance of payments
difficulties. These loans often carry conditions that require
substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients.
- import substitution industrialization
- A pattern of economic development encouraging the local
production of previously imported manufactured goods. Governments
typically institute high tariffs to protect the infant domestic
industries. Employed widely in Latin America in the wake of
disruption of trading patterns during World War I and the Great
- liberation theology
- An activist movement led by Roman Catholic clergy who trace
their inspiration to Vatican Council II (1965), where some church
procedures were liberalized, and the Second Latin American Bishops'
Conference in Medellín (1968), which endorsed greater direct
efforts to improve the lot of the poor. Advocates of liberation
theology--sometimes referred to as "liberationists"--work mainly
through Christian Base Communities (Comunidades Eclesiásticas de
Base--CEBs). Members of CEBS meet in small groups to reflect on
scripture and discuss its meaning in their lives. They are
introduced to a radical interpretation of the Bible, one that
employs Marxist terminology to analyze and condemn the wide
disparities between the wealthy elite and the impoverished masses
in most underdeveloped countries. This reflection often leads
members to organize to improve their living standards through
cooperatives and civic improvement projects.
- open market operations
- The process by which the central bank buys or sells securities
in the open market to control monetary growth or interest rates. By
selling securities, the central bank absorbs excess money, whereas
by buying securities it adds to the money supply.
- Colombia's unit of currency. In keeping with Colombia's
adoption of the "crawling peg" (q.v.) system, the
government pursued a policy of frequent marginal devaluations of
the peso against major traded currencies. The exchange rate
averaged Col$142.3=US$1 in 1985, Col$194.3=US$1 in 1986,
Col$242.6=US$1 in l987, and Col$299.1=US$1 in 1988.
- secondary recovery
- An artificial means of forcing oil out of rock by
repressurizing older oil reservoirs with injections of gas or
- value-added tax
- An incremental tax applied to the value added at each stage of
the processing of a raw material or the production and distribution
of a commodity. It is calculated as the difference between the
product value at a given state and the cost of all materials and
services purchased as inputs. The value-added tax is a form of
indirect taxation, and its impact on the ultimate consumer is the
same as that of a sales tax.
- World Bank
- The informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International
Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary
purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive
projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund administered by the
staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the
poorest of developing countries on much easier terms than those of
conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the
activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed
specifically to encourage the growth of productive private
enterprises in less-developed countries. The president and certain
senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The
three institutions are owned by the governments of the countries
that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank
group, member states must first belong to the International
Monetary Fund (q.v.).