Mediation Developments in Colombia

In 2016, the National Government of Colombia and The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) – signed “The Final Agreement to End the Armed Conflict and Build Stable And Lasting Peace.” Point 3.4.1 of the peace treaty says: “Strengthening the administration of justice: in a scenario of ending the conflict and building stable and long-lasting peace, the measures adopted must contribute to ensuring citizen’s access to independent, timely, respectful and alternative mechanisms for resolving conflicts across the country’s territories.”

After more than 27 years of ADR development in Colombia, the National Conciliation System is strong in the biggest cities of the country. However, the two major challenges in the field are: 1. Providing mediation and conciliation services in rural areas and the municipalities where the Colombian armed conflict had its highest impact, and 2. Increasing the knowledge and empowerment of the people to use ADR and transform the culture of violence into a culture of peace and reconciliation.

Several assessments and analysis made by universities, the Government and NGOs agree that Colombia has important results to report regarding the implementation of ADR. Some of the highlights are:


  • In 2018, over 126,280 cases were attended by conciliation centers (Ministry of Law and Justice, 2018)
  • 395 conciliation centers were authorized (DNP, 2018)
  • 174 training centers were authorized (DNP, 2018)
  • 42,003 conciliators were registered (DNP, 2018)
  • 34,484 professionals were trained in conciliation (DNP, 2018)
  • $634 USD were saved by the use of conciliation in the last 13 years (DNP, 2018)
  • 80% of the conciliations cases were resolved in less than 30 days in the last 13 years (DNP, 2018)
  • 40% of the conciliation cases reached a conciliation agreement (DNP, 2018)
  • 71% of the conciliation agreements were honored by the parties in 2017 (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2017)
  • 91% of Colombians said that they were very satisfied or satisfied by conciliation services in 2016 (DNP, 2016)
  • 50% of citizens trusted conciliation in 2016 (DNP, 2016)
  • According to the Rule of Law Index (2017-2018), the impartiality and effectiveness of ADR in Colombia has the best score within the civil justice with 0.72 points over 1.
  • Colombia has the third best score of ADR in Latin America with 0.72 points over 1 after Uruguay and Chile (Rule of Law Index 2017-2018)


From 2013 to 2016, Colombia had the following results on arbitration:

  • 2,214 were attended by arbitration centers
  • 54% of the cases were commercial, 21% civil, and 20% against the government
  • Arbitration cases were awarded in 14.6 months as a national average
  • The Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota is the largest arbitration center with 1,245 cases attended
  • Most of the arbitration cases were attended in Bogota (56%), Medellín (10%), Cali (6%)
  • 89% of the arbitration customers said they consider arbitration effective
  • 58% of the arbitration customers said they are satisfied by the service

Source: Ministry of Justice and Law (2017)

By Harbey Peña Sandoval, Senior Fellow-Colombia, Weinstein International Foundation

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