Costa Rica submits a request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to step into the Colombia-Nicaragua maritime border dispute, saying that it affects the country’s interests in the Caribbean Sea.
The ICJ, which will adjudicate the dispute between the two countries, held a hearing Friday to process Costa Rica’s request, reports El Espectador.
This action follows a similar request on the part of Honduras to be involved in the conflict, which will be processed next week.
Colombia supports Costa Rica’s intervention, while Nicaragua opposes it.
Paul Reichler, a legal expert from the Nicaraguan delegation, said that “Costa Rica has not shown how the verdict [in the dispute with Colombia] will affect their legal interests.”
“The legal interest of Costa Rica is already defined in the 1977 treaty” Reichler said, claiming that Costa Rica now has interests beyond that line.
Julio Londoño Paredes, an international relations professor who heads the Colombian delegation, pointed to the 1977 treaty as well, saying that its purpose was to “preserve peace and promote collaboration between countries” and should therefore be respected.
“Costa Rica has met all the requirements” to participate in the dispute, Paredes added.
The dispute began in 2001 when Managua asked Bogota to define their maritime boundary.
In 2007, the ICJ recognized Colombian sovereignty over the islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, and said they would determine the other maritime boundaries which are under dispute.
In July 2010, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega threatened military action if Colombia handed out oil concessions in the disputed territory.