Friday 17 September 2021

Nicaragua Steps Up Dredging Plans of San Juan River

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Nicaragua's dredging vessel Soberania works along the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the San Juan river, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010. Photo:  newshopper.sulekha.com
Nicaragua’s dredging vessel Soberania works along the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the San Juan river, Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010. Photo: newshopper.sulekha.com

COSTA RICA NEWS – Friday monring, President Luis Guillermo Solis announced his intentions to notify the International Court of Justice at the Hague (ICJ) of Nicaragua’s plan to increase the number of dredges in Rio San Juan from four to 15. La Nacion confirmed this new plan in a phone call to the man charged with dredging, Eden Pastora.

The new plan alarms the President because Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega caused a rift between the two nations when, twice, the dredges damaged the environment, even allegedly invading Costa Rican territory the second time. The accusation before the world court comes as a non-miltary pre-emptory strike.

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The President hopes to prepare the international court for more trouble in the four-year controversy over the San Juan River which forms a boundary between counties. Nicaragua has fought a delaying action by legal maneuvers while it has performed numerous actions showing disdain for army-less Costa Rica.

Its most blatant actions have been to invade Costa Rican territory with troops in 2010 and dredge in a Costa Rican portion of the river in 2012. All this bullying has been simultaneous with Nicaragua’s hope to build an inter-ocean canal by widening the river,

“We’re going to put more dredges to work…” confirmed Pastora, in order to continue “cleaning” the passage of the river and to do more dredging near Lake Managua. But Costa Ricans can be excused for suspecting further incursions on its territory — last year the International Court ordered them to repair damage to Costa Rican territory.

President Solis warned that widening the river could cause further damage “to Calero Island which lies in the zone in litigation at the judicial seat and which Costa Rica claims with total justice to be its own.” In late 2010, Nicaraguan troops invaded the river island and caused damage with wanton tree cutting.

Solis summed up Costa Rica’s objections on a quick trip to Alajuela Friday when he said, “A program of river dredging can have a very strong impact on Costa Rican terrain.” He urged the International Court at The Hague to investigate the new move. The dredges are planned to be in place in 2015.

The early filing of the accusation is meant to avoid further trouble and, the President hopes, cause Nicaragua to tread lightly. Although Ortega ordered damage done in the Calero Island area remedied last year, his government seems to be willing to ignore its neighbor, apparently hoping no one will notice.

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Article by iNews.co.cr, with editing by the Q, reposted with permission

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