Colombia’s President has said that the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) November ruling that large parts of Colombian maritime territory be ceded to Nicaragua is “inapplicable.”
President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday night that the court’s decision to hand over 30,000 square miles of Colombian territorial waters to Nicaragua, isolating San Andres and its archipegalo in the process, was inapplicable without a treaty between the two countries.
“The maritime limits of Colombia cannot be automatically modified by a ruling of [the ICJ],” Santos said, claiming that Colombia’s territory can only be changed through a change to the constitution.
“Article 101 of our constitution says that the limits by the constitution can only be modified through treaties approved by Congress, subsequently ratified by the President of the Republic.
“I was chosen to defend and apply the constitution of Colombia,” the President said.
The ICJ ruling leaves the San Andres archipegalo – owned by Colombia – surrounded by Nicaraguan waters, which begin some 12,000 nautical miles from the coast of each island. Santos wants this extended to 24,000 miles, thereby making it possible to sail between all of the islands without leaving Colombian territorial waters.
The President also called on Colombia’s Caribbean neighbours to close ranks and “contain the expansionism of Nicaragua in the Caribbean.”
He described Nicagarua’s expasionism, specifically its attempt to have the ICJ recognize as Nicaraguan territory up to 100 miles from Cartagena, as “completely unacceptable – I want to make it absolutely clear – we will not permit it in any way, under any circumstance.”
Santos claimed that Panama, Costa Rica and Jamaica will, along with Colombia, sign a petition of protest that will be handed over to the Secretary General of the United Nations this month.
Colombia has been threatened with economic and political sanctions if it continues to formally recognize the ICJ’s November ruling.
Santos pone límites a intención expansionista de Nicaragua (El Colombiano)