Nicaragua confirmed on Monday that it has filed a new lawsuit against Colombia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to define borders between the two countries in the Caribbean sea, including potentially lucrative offshore oil fields.
Last November,the ICJ ruled on a separate lawsuit between the two nations, granting 30,000 square miles of Colombian territorial waters to Nicaragua. But President Juan Manuel Santos has continually rejected the ruling, insisting last Monday that it was inapplicable without a bilateral treaty.
In a press release issued on Monday, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says the possibility of bilateral talks on the dispute were “put off by Colombia’s reaction” to the ICJ ruling.
“This lawsuit is intended to define the maritime areas of Nicaragua bordering Colombia in the Caribbean sea, without prejudice to the rights of third states,” explained the Nicaraguan government, who seek an expansion of the borders fixed by the ICJ last November of up to 200 nautical miles off the coast of the country.
The Nicaraguan government last month granted a concession for oil and gas exploration in the area. “The court has given to Nicaragua what belonged to us: thousands of kilometers of natural resources,” said Ortega.
According to the BBC, the Central American nation calculates its territorial waters have been expanded by some 35,000 sq miles, while Colombia says what it would have lost amounts that total 29,000 sq miles.