Treaties, Conventions and Agreements Approved by the National Congress of 1913


Tratados, convenciones y acuerdos aprobados por el Congreso nacional de 1913 (Treaties, conventions and agreements approved by the National Congress of 1913) is a compilation of documents published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia. The book is the second annex to a ministry publication on Colombia’s international relations in 1913; the first annex contains the text of a treaty concluded between Colombia and the United States in that year relating to the breakaway from Colombia in late 1903 of the province of Panama to form an independent republic. On January 22, 1903, Colombia and the United States signed a treaty giving the United States the right to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, which at that time was part of Colombia. Public opinion in Colombia regarded the financial terms of the treaty as unsatisfactory and objected to the way in which the agreement impinged upon Colombian sovereignty. On August 12, 1903, the Colombian Senate voted unanimously against ratification. The United States eventually was able to build the canal by encouraging the breakaway from Colombia of the province of Panama to create a newly independent Republic of Panama. It then concluded, on November 18 of the same year, a treaty with Panama on essentially the same terms as the 1903 treaty with Colombia. Colombia subsequently sought redress for the wrongs it had been done, and the treaty concluded in 1913 represented an attempt by the administration of President Woodrow Wilson to express “sincere regret” for the events of 1903 and to pay Colombia $25 million in compensation. The treaty was blocked in the United States Senate, however, and a settlement between the United States and Colombia was not reached until 1921. The volume presented here contains some additional documentation relating to the 1913 treaty, as well as the texts of agreements concluded by Colombia with other countries.

Last updated: July 12, 2017