Saturday 25 September 2021

Costa Rica’s Resistance to River Access for Nicaragua Questioned

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Experts are questioning today Costa Rica’s resistance to Nicaragua’s request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for navigational rights to the Colorado River in that country.

Edén Pastora, former “Comandante Cero” says they can freely navigate through Río Colorado, according to the 1858 Cañas – Jerez Treaty.
Edén Pastora, former “Comandante Cero” says they can freely navigate through Río Colorado, according to the 1858 Cañas – Jerez Treaty.

Nicaragua has always been capable of exiting via that river without international permission according to the 1858 Cañas-Jerez Treaty, said Manuel Antonio Madriz, a specialist in international law.

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This agreement states in its Article V that “while Nicaragua does not regain full possession of all rights at the port of San Juan del Norte, Punta Castilla will be commonly and equally used by both Nicaragua and Costa Rica, marking the entire trajectory of the Colorado River as long as this community shall last.”

This retains full force because this nation continues without full rights over the port of San Juan del Norte, something that is dysfunctional, Madriz said, according to El Nuevo Diario newspaper.

“While we cannot leave through that port, we can do so via the Colorado River,” he said.

Nicaraguan analysts and authorities expressed surprise yesterday at the reaction to the issue two years after President Daniel Ortega announced his intention to ask permission to the ICJ to navigate that channel in equal conditions as Costa Rica is able to do via the San Juan River.

On Monday, after revealing the issue in Costa Rica due to press reports, the government of Laura Chinchilla accused Nicaragua of practicing an expansionist policy.

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