The protest note, given to Colombia’s ambassador to Managua, marks the latest confrontation between the two countries which both claim three isolated Caribbean islands and their surrounding waters.Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega said last week his country will step up naval patrols in the waters to protect local fishermen and ward off drug traffickers.On Tuesday, Managua said a Colombian frigate intimidated a fishing boat trawling for lobsters earlier in the week in what it described as Nicaraguan waters. Managua provided no further details about the incident.“This act and where it took place can only be described as a violation of Nicaraguan sovereignty,” Nicaragua said in the letter.The United Nations’ highest court ruled in mid-December that a 1928 treaty that awarded the three islands to Colombia was still valid, rejecting Nicaragua’s request to rule on sovereignty.Ortega said last week Colombian Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo has said his government believes its water delimitation extends up to the coasts of Nicaragua.Ortega, whose regional ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has also clashed with Colombia in recent months, plans to complain to the United Nations about Colombia’s alleged refusal to let Nicaraguan fishermen work in the disputed waters.In 1928, Nicaragua and Colombia signed a treaty granting Colombia sovereignty over the islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catarina, off Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast.But Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, then headed by Ortega, annulled the pact in the 1980s, arguing it was signed while it was under US occupation.
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