Colombia is a unitary republic made up of thirty-two departments and a Capital District. Each department has a governor (gobernador) and an Assembly (Asamblea Departamental), elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The governor cannot be re-elected in consecutive periods. Departments are country subdivisions and are granted a certain degree of autonomy.
Departments are formed by a grouping of municipalities. Municipal government is headed by mayor (alcalde) and administered by a municipal council (concejo municipal), both of which are elected for four-year periods.
Some departments have subdivisions above the level of municipalities, commonly known as provinces.