The Government of Costa Rica today sent a letter to Nicaragua’s Foreign Ministry expressing its “most energetic protest” against the Sandinista government’s dispatch of more Sandinista Youth to occupy a zone of disputed borderland claimed by both countries.
Costa Rica charges that Nicaragua is violating the March 8, 2011 order issued by the International Court of Justice, at The Hague, which called on both countries to pull back from the disputed holm until a definitive border is drawn.
The disputed piece of land, a swamp islet in the Rio San Juan, is claimed by both nations. Nicaragua calls it Harbour Head and Costa Rica calls it Isla Calero. The World Court ordered both countries to withdraw security personnel from the disputed region until the matter can be settled. Nicaragua, however, has maintained a nearly constant presence of Sandinista Youth in the area, allegedly as part of an ecological brigade.
“Despite the past protests by Costa Rica, Nicaragua has continue to increase its presence of citizens and government functionaries in the zone where the International Court of Justice has prohibited their presence,” said Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo, in his note of protest sent this morning to the Nicaraguan Embassy in Costa Rica.
“Moreover, according to the evidence gathered by Costa Rica, these contingents are not only just squatting in various camps in the aforementioned territory, but they are affecting the wetland area and putting its [ecological] recovery in danger,” Costa Rica’s protest letter reads. “Costa Rica also notes with much concern that the presence of Nicaraguans in this zone are part of an alleged academic program for students on the Rio San Juan, supported by the Government of Nicaragua.”
Costa Rica says the Sandinista government’s “strategy” is only “aggravating the dispute” between the two nations by “inciting Nicaraguan youth to occupy Costa Rican territory.” The Tico government says all the actions by Nicaragua represent “serious violations” of the World Court’s order.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica insists the Central American Court of Justice has no jurisdiction to rule in the case brought by Nicaragua against the Tico’s 160-kilometer roadway built last year along the southern bank of the Río San Juan. Nicaragua claims the highway has caused irreparable harm to its river. Costa Rica, however, doesn’t recognize the Central American Court, which last Thursday heard opening arguments by Nicaragua. Costa Rica boycotted the hearing.