Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday his country refuses to abide by a ruling by the International Court of Justice granting 30,000 square miles of maritime territory to Nicaragua “until the rights of all Colombians are guaranteed.”
According to the president, the ICJ ruling that granted Colombia sovereignty over the islands of San Andres and Providencia while refusing Colombia’s claim on a chunk of the Caribbean sea “violated many rights of Colombians.”
“I will not abide by the ruling of the court until the rights of Colombians are guaranteed,” said Santos, whose approval rating plummeted after the ruling.
According to the head of state, the ruling “struck us in the heart, in our soul,” while announcing Colombia will challenge the unappealable decision.
The president made the statement a day after his country withdrew itself from the 1949 Pact of Bogota in which Colombia recognized the authority of the United Nations-backed international court.
The court’s ruling came earlier this month 11 years after Nicaragua challenged Colombia’s claims over the islands and sea located in the western Caribbean.
Earlier this week, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said his country had already begun patrolling the newly granted waters.