The governor of San Andres on Wednesday said she was “disappointed and concerned” over the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision earlier this week.
“We are disappointed in the sense [that] we lost territory…and concerned for the Raizal community,” Governor Aury Guerrero told Colombia Reports on Wednesday.
The Raizals are indigenous to San Andres and according to Governor Guerrero, “fishing is one of the only ways [they] participate in the economy.”
“We lost 45% of our fishing territory,” said Guerrero. “We are concerned…because [our] fishing industry [may] disappear.” Though fishing represents just 4% of San Andres’ economy, the fact that the Colombian archipelago is now almost completely surrounded by Nicaraguan waters has made San Andresanos “very anxious,” according to Guerrero.
The governor said Colombia “will try to argue with [Nicaragua]” so the San Andresanos can continue fishing in what is now Nicaraguan territory, but currently “the picture is very delicate.”
Earlier this week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called the court’s decision “a serious error in judgement” and said his administration would “not rule out any action” to defend the rights of Colombia.
The ICJ’s ruling was 11 years in the making. Nicaragua has long disputed the maritime borders and laid claims to the Caribbean islands which are just 150 miles off its eastern seaboard.