Costa Rica Urges Nicaragua to Reconsider Border Dispute
By Dialogo December 18, 2012
Costa Rica hopes that Nicaragua will “reconsider” the inconvenience of maintaining personnel in a territory disputed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to restore a harmonious relationship at their common border, Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs Enrique Castillo stated on December 14.
“We keep the faith that Nicaragua will reconsider and understand how inconvenient it is to keep personnel in a prohibited area belonging to Costa Rica, and defying the ICJ order; it is a dagger stabbed in the heart of the Costa Rican people,” said Castillo in a statement.
On December 14, the minister inaugurated the Costa Rican diplomatic headquarters in Managua, which represents “a message of Costa Rica’s presence to defend its interests,” he said.
“Nicaragua has deliberately offended us, and we do not even understand the reasons,” Castillo added, while insisting that Nicaraguan authorities must clear the border area that generated the dispute being settled at the ICJ.
On December 13, Castillo traveled to Managua to participate in a Central American summit representing President Laura Chinchilla, who declined to attend due to the referendum.
Since October 2010, both nations have been involved in a dispute over a small territory in the eastern sector of its common frontier, called Isla Calero or Isla Portillo, which was “invaded” by Nicaragua according to San Jose’s authorities.
President Daniel Ortega’s government rejects that view, and assures that the area is Nicaraguan territory.
The issue is being raised in the ICJ at The Hague; however, the process is very long and could take several years before the Court issues a ruling.
The bilateral conflict became heated after Costa Rica decided to build a road parallel to the San Juan River, of Nicaraguan sovereignty, which demarcates the border.
According to Managua, the works caused environmental damages to the basin, which caused the Central American Court to penalize Costa Rica, the jurisdiction of which is unknown to San Jose.