Colombia’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to Nicaragua, protesting against the “illegal” detention of one of the three Colombian fishing boats held by the Central American country
In the letter, the ministry said that after conducting an analysis of technical evidence of the interception of the Colombian fishing boat “Laura Anny,” along with the Colombian navy, “it was determined that the detention was illegal.”
The ministry denounced the detention of the boat and its crew as “a flagrant violation of the norms and principles of international law.”
Colombia demanded “the immediate and unconditional release of the crew, the return in secure conditions of the boat with its equipment and tackle and the fish product.”
Colombia will also investigate further to determine if the detention occured in an area of Colombia’s jurisdiction, which if it were the case, would constitute a violation of sovereignty by Nicaragua.
The letter does not mention the other two Colombian fishing boats and crew reportedly also detained last Friday.
Managua announced Monday that only five of the 28 Colombian fisherman arrested by the Nicaraguan navy are set to be repatriated this week, despite earlier reports that all the detainees would be deported by Wednesday.
Cesar Fernando Plazas of the Colombian Consulate said that missing paperwork from the other 23 detainees is making processing difficult for the Nicaraguan authorities.
The fishermen were detained by the Nicaraguan navy on Friday after straying into disputed waters.
There is a long-running dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua over maritime rights. Nicaragua announcedin April 2008 that it would detain any Colombian fishing boats that entered the disputed area in the Caribbean.
Relations between the nations became frosty after the Nicaraguan government gave asylum to three guerrillas from the FARC and a Mexican female student, the only survivors of the Colombian military’s attack on a FARC camp in Ecuador on March 1, 2008.