September 19th, 2013 (AFP & InsideCostaRica.com) Nicaragua on Wednesday denied it had violated precautionary measures issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a disputed border zone with Costa Rica and accused Costa Rica of plotting with Colombia and Panama to create an “orchestrated campaign” against the country.
“Nicaragua has met and will continue to fully comply with the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ on March 8th, 2011,” said Nicaraguan Foreign Minster Samuel Santos, in a letter to his Costa Rican counterpart, Enrique Castillo
“I can not help but notice that this new verbal escalation seems meant to insert [Costa Rica] in the campaign orchestrated by other countries in the region against Nicaragua,” Santos said, referring to territorial disputes between Colombia and Panama against Nicaragua.
The dispute revolves around 3 km2 island – which Nicaragua calls “Harbour Head” and Costa Rica calls Isla Portillo – located near the Rio San Juan east of the common border, which both countries have claimed as their own before the ICJ since 2010.
On Tuesday, Costa Rica accused Nicaragua of having dredged two new canals in the area with the intention of connecting the Rio San Juan to the Caribbean, in clear violation of measures issued by the ICJ. Nicaragua denies the claim.
“The government of Nicaragua has not authorized any work to be carried out in the disputed area nor has sent personnel to the area,” and any geographical change on the island may have been caused by heavy rains, Santos said.
“Remember that Harbour Head is a swampy area interconnected with a series of historical channels, [and] as we are in times of heavy rains (…) it is not surprising that the appearance of some channels may have changed in recent months,” Santos added.