Colombia is a country located in the northwest of South America and parts of Central America. After fighting and earning its independence from Spain in 1819, Colombia remained slightly unstable for the century, featuring several civil wars between Liberal and Conservative factions. French interest in building a canal in the Colombian territory of Panama resulted in a close alliance between the two. However, the Conservative faction decried this as a return to colonialism. Colombia and France were both defeated in World War I, resulting in the fascist element of the conservative party taking control. The fascists were defeated in the brutal Brazilian Civil War of the 1940s, and since then, thanks to pressure from nearby Venezuela, Colombia has become a democratic state that is more or less stable.