Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega says that his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos knows that the Colombian Caribbean archipelago of San Andres, Providencia and Serrana belongs to Nicaragua.
“I am certain that President Juan Manuel Santos knows that San Andres and its islands belong to Nicaragua,” Ortega said, adding that the archipelago, located off the Nicaraguan coast, is “thousands of kilometers” from Colombia.
The archipelago is located in disputed waters and is the focus of a prolonged legal battle over maritime borders. After a claim by the Nicaraguan government, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared a 1928 treaty relating to the border between the two nations to be partially invalid.
The ICJ agreed with Colombian arguments that disputes relating to the Islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina were not part of the Court’s jurisdiction. However, in its preliminary judgement of December 13, 2007, it ruled that the rest of the border delineated by the treaty was yet to be assigned under maritime law. The dispute is still before the ICJ.
“The day will come when borders will disappear and the Caribbean sea will be everybody’s,” Ortega said.
In July Ortega alleged that Colombia has been granting exploration permits to oil companies on Nicaraguan territory.