Colombia’s President has denounced the Pact of Bogota before the country’s Constitutional Court in the latest challenge to the ICJ’s ruling that Colombian maritime territory be ceded to Nicaragua.
President Juan Manuel Santos handed over the formal complaint on Thursday. The pact obliges signatory countries to abide by the rulings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Colombia withdrew from the pact in November after the ICJ ordered the ceding of 30,000 square miles of territorial waters to Nicaragua, effectively isolating the San Andres archipelago.
The President repeated the claim he made on Monday that Colombia’s borders can only be modified through a bilateral treaty, and that the ICJ ruling was “inapplicable” without such a treaty.
“There are 2 articles in the Pact [of Bogota] that clearly violate the terms of our Constitution,” Santos said. “Because they say that the country has to automatically change its borders, its frontiers, after a ruling by the ICJ.”
He tweeted that no ruling by the ICJ is sufficient for Colombia to automatically modify its borders.
No puede aceptarse ningún cambio de nuestros límites, nuestras fronteras, automáticamente en virtud de ningún fallo. http://t.co/tuh647S8uL
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) September 12, 2013
The President described the measure as part of the “comprehensive strategy” to tackle Nicaragua’s expansionism. The Central American country was given the water surrounding the San Andres archipegalo, entirely cutting the islands off from Colombia.
Last week Santos announced a series a measures to protect the arhipegalo’s sovereignty rights, including remapping the surrounding territorial waters and establishing a protected zone around the Seaflower Biosphere reserve.
On Tuesday September 17th the Foreign Minister, Maria Angela Holguin, will travel to the island to inspect the progress of the Borders for Peace Plan (PFP). The government has set aside $3 million for the creation of social and economic opportunities for the population of San Andres.
Holguin will also use the visit to inform the people there about the government’s strategy to combat the ICJ’s ruling.
Colombia has been threatened with economic and political sanctions if it does not abide by the ruling.
- El Presidente Santos presenta demanda de inconstitucionalidad del Pacto de Bogotá (Presidential Press Release)
- Santos dice que ya no hay pleito contra Colombia en La Haya (El Tiempo)
- American Treaty on Pacific Settlement (Wikipedia)