The less than 3 percent of Colombia’s population that lacks electricity lives mainly in areas of the country that have long been controlled by the FARC and other armed groups, such as Chocó in the Pacific, La Guajira on the Caribbean coast, and Putumayo in the Amazon. Not coincidentally, Colombians without access to electricity also have higher rates of poverty, fewer basic public services, and lower education levels than the rest of the country.
Under President Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian government has vastly expanded protected areas, creating new national parks and providing land titles to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in the Amazon, Chocó and other important forest regions. However, many challenges remain. National parks and indigenous and Afro-Colombian lands continue to be threatened by illegal occupation, coca cultivation and illegal gold mining.