South America occupies the major southern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World, the Western Hemisphere, the Americas, or simply America (which is sometimes considered a single continent and South America a subcontinent). It is south and east of the Colombia-Panama border according to most authorities or, according to a few, the Panama Canal which transects the Isthmus of Panama. Almost all of mainland South America sits on the South American Plate. Geopolitically and geographically, all of Panama – including the segment east of the Panama Canal in the isthmus – is generally considered a part of North America alone and among the countries of Central America.
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