Colombia uses restorative justice to rebuild peace, partnering with Costa Rica and Mexico

Restorative justice theory and programs have emerged over the past 35 years as an increasingly influential world-wide alternative to criminal justice practice.

A regional proposal by the Costa Rican Judiciary’s Restorative Justice Program was chosen from more than eighty projects submitted to an international competition organized by the European Union.

The program proposes a regional approach to restorative justice, and will receive support from the European Union for its implementation.

Costa Rica, Mexico, and Colombia will strengthen the application of restorative justice in criminal and juvenile criminal matters, with emphasis on vulnerable communities and populations, such as indigenous groups.

Colombia’s President of the Superior Judiciary Council, Martha Lucia Olano de Noguera, said that as her country rebuilds society in peacetime after decades of civil war, they require, “A justice system committed to rebuilding the social fabric weakened by years of armed conflict. Now more than ever, restorative justice in Colombia is very necessary and timely.

Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders. This can lead to transformation of people, relationships and communities.

Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will respond to crime by:

  • identifying and taking steps to repair harm;
  • involving all stakeholders; and
  • transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime.

Photo of Martha Lucia Olano de Noguera courtesy of

See full article by Wendy Anders in the Costa Rica Star.

See Centre for Justice & Reconciliation website to learn more about restorative justice.

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