Colombia is governed under the constitution of 1991. It is a republic, with executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The executive branch is composed of the president, his cabinet, a vice president, and the heads of the administrative departments. The president is elected for four years by direct vote and may not succeed himself.

Legislative power is vested in Congress, which consists of the Senate and House of Representatives. Members are directly elected by the people to terms of four years. Colombia has universal suffrage for persons 18 years of age and older.

The judiciary consists of the supreme court in Bogotá, superior courts in each of the judicial districts, regional courts, a number of lower courts, and a constitutional court. There is no capital punishment. Colombia maintains an army, a navy, an air force, and a national police force.