Nicaragua Reinforces Border with Costa Rica to Strike at Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
October 26, 2010

The Nicaraguan Army reinforced its vigilance on the border with Costa Rica in order to prevent drug-trafficking activity and protect the natural reserves in the area and the dredging work underway in the San Juan River, an official source declared on 24 October.

The military deployment seeks “to strike a blow at drug trafficking in this area” along the border, army spokesperson Col. Juan Morales said in statements published on the official website “19 de julio” [19 July], confirming statements along the same lines made on 23 October.

The operations are being carried out in coordination with the police and the navy – which will patrol the San Juan River, which runs along the northeastern border with Costa Rica until emptying into the Caribbean Sea – following indications that drug traffickers were planning to establish a route there for the shipment of drugs to the north.

“There is a naval component that is pursuing the sovereignty missions, both at the entrance to the sea and on the river itself,” while another component is reinforcing the elements operating on land, Morales said.

The army increased its presence on the border on 23 October, with an unspecified number of personnel added to the more than three hundred it had in the area, a day after San José ordered a police mobilization along the border with Nicaragua.

San José ordered the deployment after complaining, in a protest note sent to Managua, that a Nicaraguan dredger was throwing sediment extracted in dredging the San Juan River onto the Costa Rican bank and that military personnel had trespassed on its territory, violating its sovereignty.

“As a sovereign state, Costa Rica has the full right to do what is appropriate for it as a country,” and “in the same way, we as a sovereign country also have the full power to do what is appropriate for us,” Morales affirmed.