The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The tension between Costa Rica and Nicaragua has escalated after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said that his country would claim the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste.

The president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla stated: “We will not talk about Guanacaste with Nicaragua. Costa Rica does not accept questionings on our absolute rights upon Guanacaste,” said the president.

“The commander of Managua´s regime passes over the historical and legal reality to offend us and is trying to fool their own people (…) they will not pass to Guanacaste,” said Chinchilla, who described Ortega’s statement as “bullying”.

Last Tuesday Ortega stated that he would consider resorting to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to claim the province of 10,141 square kilometers, which represents 20% of the territory of Costa Rica.

“That will allow Nicaragua to recover an immense territory” said Ortega, who pointed out that there is “historical foundation” that shows that Guanacaste was “transferred” to Costa Rica in the early nineteenth century.

Costa Rica reacted by sending a formal protest note and called its ambassador in Managua, Javier Sancho, for queries.

Laura Chinchilla also announced that Costa Rica will present its complaint before the American States Organization as well as the United Nations.

The boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua were established in 1858, but both countries have for years been involved in border disputes.

Guanacaste is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Costa Rica, especially because of its beaches and natural resources.

On the other hand, according to the international law expert, Mauricio Herdocia, Ortega’s statements were simply intended to provide a historical context on Nicaragua’s territorial disputes.

“We must put them into context. I think that the president was simply was remembering that throughout its history Nicaragua has had numerous losses” he told BBC.  He also noted that Ortega had reaffirmed that Nicaragua would always be respectful of the decision of international courts.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica

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