Union of Centroamerican States(English)
Unión de Estados Centroamericanos (Spanish)
Motto: Unión, Libertad, Prosperidad
Map of Centroamerica
|Largest city||Guatemala City|
|Government||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|House of Representatives|
• Independence from the Spanish Empire
|18 September, 1821|
• Independence from the Mexican Empire
|1 July, 1823|
|729,170 km2 (281,530 sq mi)|
• 2018 estimate
• 2015 census
• Per capita
|Currency||Centroamerican dollar ($) (CAD)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CT)|
The Union of Centroamerican States (Spanish: Unión de Estados Centroamericanos), commonly shortened to Centroamerica (Spanish:Centroamérica), is a federal republic consisting of 10 states. Centroamerica is located on the southern isthmus portion of the North American continent, sharing a border with Mexico to the northwest and Colombia to the southeast. With a population of 58,873,333 Centroamerica is the 24th most populous country on Earth, ahead of Tanzania but behind Italy. It is also the 39th largest country by land area at 729,170 km2, making it larger than Myanmar but smaller than Zambia.
Centroamerica is a biodiversity hotspot, home to many species of flora and fauna. It is located on the Ring of Fire, and is on several active fault lines, making it an geologically active region. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur frequently and are responsible for the loss of many lives and private property.
Pre-Columbian Centroamerica was inhabited by a variety of indiginous people, the Mesoamerican peoples to the northwest and the Isthmo-Colombian peoples to the south and east. The Spanish colonized the area soon after Columbus' voyage and was part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1609 until 1821, except for the state of Panama, which was part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. After the independence of New Spain much of Centroamerica was annexed by the First Mexican Empire, but soon seceded and formed the Federal Republic of Central America. Between the years 1838-1841, a bloody civil war broke out between the liberals and conservatives and by separatists fighting to secede. The conflict was ended in 1841 in favor of the central government due to a series of decisive victories by Supreme General Hugo Francisco del Bosque. Supreme General del Bosque ruled as Interim President until a new constitution was ratified in 1848. The new Constitution addressed much of the grievences that led to the Civil War and ended the government of the Federal Republic and established the government of the Union of Centroamerican States.
History[edit | edit source]
Before European contact[edit | edit source]
In Pre-Columbian Central America, the northern areas were inhabited by aboriginal people of Mesoamerica. The Mayans and the Aztecs were the most notable, with the former creating numorous cities throughout the region and erecting great pyramids with the latter forming a vast empire. The speakers of the Chibchan languages were the predominant cultures in eastern Honduras, Caribbean Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, and are considered culturally distinct from the Mesoamericans, belonging to the Isthmo-Columbian Area.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Climate[edit | edit source]
The Centroamerican climate is largely tropical, with no real seasons except for a prominent wet and dry season. Temperature are similar throughout the year. The wet season runs from June to October and the dry season from mid November to May.
Demographics[edit | edit source]
Government and politics[edit | edit source]
Centroamerica is a federal, constitutional republic based on a presidential system. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances as defined by its constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.
The government is divided into three branches: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches.
The legislature is composed of the bicameral Federal Congress, which consists of the Senate and House of Representatives. Collectively, they have the power to make federal law, declare war, approve treaties, levy taxes, approve the federal budget, has the power of the purse, and the power of impeachment.
The executive is the President of the Federation, who is both the head of state and head of government, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Federal Armed Forces. The President appoints the cabinate and other officers, negotiate treaties to be ratified by the Senate, is responsible for the enforcement of federal law and has the power of veto. The President can also pardon individuals accused or convicted of a crime with the consent of the Senate.
The judicial branch is composed of all the federal courts and judges. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the Federation, which has fifteen judges appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. The federal courts interpret federal and constitutional law and may overturn statutes they find unconstitutional.
The Senate has 20 members, two for each state in the federation. One member is elected via the state legislature and one is elected directly by the people using instant-runoff voting. Each senator serves a five year term, and can serve up to five terms. The House of Representatives has XXX members. There are five representative per congressional district, and each representative serves a five year term, and can serve up to five terms.
The President is elected directly by the people using single-transferable vote, and serves a six year term and can only serve one term.
Constituent States[edit | edit source]
Centroamerica is a federation consisting of 10 states. These states include Chiapas, El Salvador, Honduras, Yucatan(controlled by the Kingdom of Sierra), Panama, Costa Rica, Los Altos, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Belize, along with the capital territory called the Federal Province, which is home to the capital city.
Military[edit | edit source]
The Armed Forces of the Federation consists of the Federal Army and the Federal Navy. The military consists of 231,000 active personnel and 257,000 reserve personnel, in addition to paramilitary and state militia forces. While military service is mandatory of all adult men between 18-21 years old, this generally consists of a few hours of drilling and weapons training on the weekend. During times of war, conscripted personnel will undergo regular military training, and male civilians older than 21 may be conscripted into service.