Colombia has sent a letter to the United Nations and will send another to the Organization of American States (OAS) to protest a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) granting almost 30,000 square miles of disputed maritime territory to Nicaragua, said Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin Sunday.
In an interview with newspaper El Tiempo, the minister said “we will send [a letter] to the Secretary General of the OAS expressing our nonconformity.”
The letter will also contain Colombia’s perspective on the “omissions” and “inconsistencies” in the ICJ ruling that granted Colombia sovereignty over the islands of San Andres and Providencia, and surrounding waters, but granted remaining territory in the western Caribbean sea to Nicaragua.
According to Holguin, her office has already sent a similar letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
The foreign minister warned that “we terribly deplore the court’s decision and we will not resign ourselves to what has happened.”
Nevertheless, Holguin stressed that Colombia “respects international law” and avoided implying the South American country would refuse to abide by the court’s unappealable ruling, something that has been demanded by opposition figures like former President Alvaro Uribe, and protesters on the island of San Andres and on social media.
President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday tweeted he will ask Holguin to seek direct contact with the government of Nicaragua “to handle this dilemma prudently and respectfully.”
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said earlier this week that his country “will find a way to make treaties so that” San Andres fishermen depending on fishing in now-Nicaraguan waters “can continue their fishing, nourishing their families and their communities.”
Nicaragua challenged Colombia over the disputed waters before the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2001.