According to Colombia radio station Caracol radio, Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos will travel to the archipelago of San Andres and Providencia to review measures that have been taken in response to an International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling which ceded majority control of nearby waters to Nicaragua.
Santos has not ruled out announcing a state of emergency for the San Andres region. In order to do this, the president would need to meet the requirements listed in Article 215 of the Colombian constitution. Once issued, the state of emergency would give him the power to issue laws by decree without any further congressional consent.
By declaring a state of emergency, President Santos would aim to accelerate the delivery of aid to the indigenous Raizal community and fishing industry, among other island inhabitants whose livelihoods have been placed most at risk by the court’s recent ruling.
Such a declaration would be accompanied by possible tax breaks and subsidies targeting inhabitants of the islands, along with environmental protection measures.
Currently, the Interior Minister Fernando Carrillo and the private secretary for the president, Juan Mesa, are deliberating over what action should be taken and whether a state of emergency is necessary.
The potential “state of emergency” is the latest development in the unfolding drama that has resulted from the recent ruling of the ICJ over the San Andres archipelago and its surrounding waters.