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First round to Costa Rica in The Hague

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nicaragua last week lost the first round in its legal conflict with Costa Rica, in relation to a border clash between the countries, according to a ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Nicaragua can not freely navigate the Colorado River, located largely within Costa Rica, said the Court, responding to a plea by the government of Daniel Ortega, which argued that 90% of the flow comes from Nicaraguan waters.

Other demands were also rejected, including the exclusive right of Nicaragua over the mouth of the San Juan River, which separates the eastern part of both countries, and an order to stop the construction of a road parallel to the river San Juan on Costa Rican side.

On the other hand, the court upheld Nicaragua's right to make a claim for alleged environmental damage by the construction of the road.

It is impossible that this dispute will be resolved during the term of the government of Laura Chinchilla, which ends in May 2014, said Costa Rica's Foreign Minister Rene Castro.

The lawsuit began with the alleged invasion of Nicaraguan troops of Isla Calero, on the Caribbean coast in December 2010.