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No End In Sight For Nicaragua-Colombia Sea-Border Standoff

ISSN:1089-1560
LADB Article ID: 79109
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2013-10-10
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

A maritime border dispute that was supposed to have been settled last year by the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) continues to fuel a war of words between Nicaragua and Colombia, whose respective leaders—Presidents Daniel Ortega and Juan Manuel Santos—dug their heels in still deeper in recent weeks with fresh legal challenges that threaten to extend the discord for years to come. Last November, the ICJ, upheld Colombia’s claim to the Caribbean archipelago of San Andrés—even though its islands are far closer to Nicaragua—but established Nicaraguan sovereignty over much of the surrounding sea. The Santos administration made it clear from the start it was unwilling to accept the loss. The only way Colombia will accept changes to its boundary lines, Santos explained, is through direct negotiations with Nicaragua. Nicaragua says there is nothing to negotiate—except maybe how best to implement the ICJ’s binding decision.

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