Nicaragua proposed again to Costa Rica to talk about the area disputed by the two countries in the Caribbean, confirmed visiting Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo. “Costa Rica has not proposed any dialogue; in fact, it is Nicaragua the one which has suggested negotiations several times,” he admitted prior to the 40th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Central American Integration System (SICA).

sicaCastillo is the one appointed by President Laura Chinchilla to receive today the pro tempore presidency of the regional mechanism from Nicaragua.

Reports by Television Channel 63 in Nicaragua recalled that the two governments maintain a dispute for a 2.5 km swamp near the Harbour Head Lake in the Caribbean.

The dispute gained impetus when Costa Rica filed a suit against its neighbor before the International Court of Justice in The Hague in Nov. 2010 for dredging the mouth of its San Juan River into the Atlantic.

San Jose argued that the maneuver was covering an alleged military invasion and would cause environmental damages to biodiversity in the common area, which Nicaragua denied.

The court in The Hague ruled in March 2011 that none of the two parties can maintain armed forces, public security or other agents in the disputed area.

Costa Rica then started to construct a road parallel to San Juan River, generating damages to the river and encouraged Nicaraguan environmental activists to complain before the Central American Court of Justice.

Then in Dec. 2011, Nicaragua filed another complaint to the ICJ, which has yet to rule on the issue.

The power transfer within SICA will make both parties to step up exchanges to respond to the demands of the pro-integration process, according to officials from SICA member countries.

SICA groups Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama as full members.

The Dominican Republic participates as associate and Haiti as regional observer along with Mexico, Brazil and Chile.

The Russian Federation, the United States, Spain, Germany, Japan and Taiwan are extrarregional observers in the meeting today, attended by Presidents Otto Perez Molina (Guatemala), Mauricio Funes (El Salvador), Porfirio Lobo (Honduras) and Ricardo Martinelli (Panama).

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.