Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega said today that it would “clear boundaries” with Colombia and Costa Rica, countries with which Managua maintains territorial boundary disputes before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague.
“I would like to clear border with the Colombian people and it not be disputed territory at all! I would like to delete border with Costa Rica’s and not have it disputed territory in international organizations”, said Ortega in a speech at the event to mark the 33 anniversary of founding of the Nicaraguan Air Force.
On 9 May, the ICJ began discussions on the dispute between Nicaragua and Colombia over the sovereignty of the archipelago of San Andres, in the Providence and Santa Catalina and the maritime boundary between the two countries.
The Nicaraguan government formalized its demand in 2001 after declaring invalid a bilateral border of 1928, considering that it was signed when its territory was occupied by the United States.
In 2007, in response to preliminary objections raised by Colombia, the ICJ recognized Colombian sovereignty over the islands of San Andres, as it had jurisdiction to adjudicate in the dispute over the maritime boundary between the two countries.
In addition to the overseas territories, approximately 1,700 kilometers north of Bogota, Nicaragua seeks to be recognized with its own 50,000 square kilometers of waters of the Caribbean.
At the end of 2010, Costa Rica accused Nicaragua before the ICJ as having invaded Costa Rica territory with military and civilians as well as having caused environmental damage to a wetland border in the Caribbean; in a territory that both countries claim as their own.
In March 2011, the ICJ issued provisional measures ordered in both countries to refrain from sending civilian, police or military to the disputed area.
For its part, Nicaragua on 23 December disputed the issue of the Costa Rica Nicaragua Border Trail before the ICJ, arguing that the construction of a road of 160 kilometers along the south bank of the river San Juan caused serious environmental damage to the “fragile ecosystem” in that area.
Ortega said that “unfortunately” Latin America and the Caribbean is “divided by borders,” as well as Central America after its independence from the Spanish Crown in 1821, began as a single nation.
“We would like to erase those boundaries and make the drive again, to go beyond the Central American integration, Central American in unity, to erase borders…” he said.
Ortega said, however, that as long as such land and sea borders, the Nicaraguan Army “first major task is the defense of national sovereignty”, but acknowledged that Air Force has a “modest” presence.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica