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Nicaragua wants access to Costa Rican river

Friday, February 15, 2013


A new episode seems to have started in the territorial dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, which this month asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to authorize Nicaraguan vessels to navigate the Colorado River.

A tributary of the San Juan, which demarcates much of the border between the two countries, the Colorado is located entirely inside Costa Rican territory.

However, 90% of the water in the river originates in Nicaragua, according to Managua.

The government of Daniel Ortega wants to include the request as part of a claim for ownership of Calero Island, located on the Atlantic coast, on the San Juan river bank.

For its part, Costa Rica has denounced what it calls Nicaragua’s "expansionist policy", as well a deception, intended to prolong legal proceedings related to Calero Island.

The court may agree to include the Colorado River issue in the original proceeding, reject the request to join the claims, or start a new process.