Five of the 28 Colombian fisherman arrested by the Nicaraguan navy are set to be repatriated this week, according to Colombia’s Consulate in Managua, despite earlier reports that all the detainees would be deported by Wednesday.
Cesar Fernando Plazas of the Colombian Consulate said that missing paperwork from the other 23 detainees is making processing difficult for the Nicaraguan authorities.
The fishermen were detained by the Nicaraguan navy on Friday after straying into disputed waters.
Plazas said that the first five fishermen would be repatriated to the Colombian island San Andres on Tuesday and he hoped that all three vessels would soon be returned to San Andres.
However, the manager of the company in charge of the fishing vessels, Lucy Alvarez, said that there was still a lot of uncertainty over the return of the boats and their crew.
There is a long-running dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua over maritime rights. Nicaragua announced in April 2008 that it would detain any Colombian fishing boats that entered the disputed area in the Caribbean.
Relations between the nations became frosty after the Nicaraguan government gave asylum to three guerrillas from the FARC and a Mexican female student, the only survivors of the Colombian military’s attack on a FARC camp in Ecuador on March 1, 2008.