Nicaragua Seeks to Modernize its Naval Force in the Caribbean

By Dialogo
August 15, 2013

Nicaragua is seeking to modernize its Naval Force, to reinforce its control over the area obtained in the Caribbean Sea after the border demarcation with Colombia was approved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), President Daniel Ortega said on August 13.

“We are looking for more resources for the Naval Force, since the area we have to cover is much bigger now,” due to the ICJ ruling, which defined the Nicaraguan maritime borders with Colombia in the Caribbean Sea, Ortega stated during a ceremony commemorating the Navy’s 33rd anniversary.

The head of state said that the modernization “is a matter of security” for the country, since most of the maritime territory “demands more and better naval means for patrolling the area; means with more autonomy to penetrate the area and conduct surveillance, as well as counter organized crime and drug trafficking.”

The Nicaraguan maritime territory, which was contained in the 82nd meridian that Colombia recognized as its border, was increased to over 90,000 km2 by the ICJ.

Ahead of potential fears by countries such as Costa Rica and Colombia, Ortega said that “it is not to harm the sister nations, but to confront drug trafficking and organized crime.”

The Army Commander added that they have visited different factories or shipyards where some vessels are manufactured to evaluate prices.

The Naval Force, one of the three branches of the Army, has not renewed its fleet since 2000, according to military authorities.