Colombian Frigates out of Nicaraguan Waters
By Dialogo November 29, 2012
Nicaraguan Army Chief, General Julio César Avilés, confirmed on November 27 that Nicaraguan Coast Guards remain in the maritime areas awarded to Nicaragua by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), without any presence of Colombian frigates.
“We are within the boundaries assigned by the ICJ. We have sailed towards the east of meridian 82 and the keys of Quitasueño and Serrana, as well as southern San Andrés,” Avilés told the press after a ceremony to honor the National Soldier.
“There is no presence of Colombian frigates” in the Caribbean region demarcated by the Court, since the South American country has understood the situation in a “serious and responsible manner,” the Military chief added.
“We will remain there; that’s our duty, our obligation. We will be present in every part of the territory” and there has been no tension whatsoever in all the navigation carried out by Nicaraguan boats and Coast Guards,” said Avilés.
The Military officer stated that “sooner or later,” Nicaragua and Colombia, which rejects the ruling – will agree on the “necessary coordination regarding peace and security in the Caribbean.”
On November 19, the ICJ resolved a dispute between Bogotá and Managua over the Archipelago of San Andrés, by ruling that all isles, islets, and keys belonged to Colombia, while extending Nicaraguan maritime sovereignty over 90,000 km2 in the Caribbean, with an unappealable ruling.
Colombia rejected the decision and created an expert commission on November 26, that will be in charge of possible legal action, including a tentative withdrawal of the 1948 Pact of Bogotá, by which the country acknowledges ICJ authority.
On the evening of November 26, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced by radio and television that Nicaragua started to “exert sovereignty” in the territories assigned, as well as carrying out actions to abide by the ruling, such as surveillance tasks and granting fishing licenses to national fishermen to work in the area.
“Nicaragua has reacted calmly, waiting for the Colombian government to decide once and for all to abide by the ruling passed by the Court,” he declared.
Ortega also confirmed that Nicaragua will authorize independent and industrial fishermen from San Andrés, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Jamaica to continue working in the areas where they have been doing it so far.
“The permission is now granted by Nicaragua. We shall not deny fishing rights to anyone,” he expressed in view of the fears manifested by San Andrés inhabitants after the Court ruling.