Q COSTA RICA – In its presentation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, over a maritime and land boundary dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Nicaragua removed the Nicoya peninsula from the map of Costa Rica.
The neighboring country claimed that that portion of territory (Nicoya Peninsula) gives an “unfair advantage” to the Costa Rican State.
The government of Daniel Ortega claimed the peninsula can not be taken as a point of reference to trace the maritime border in the Pacific Ocean.
With this modified vision of Costa Rica, the boundary would be drawn much further south than Costa Rica intends, with a difference of thousands of square kilometers.
Sergio Ugalde, the Costa Rican ambassador to the Netherlands and a member of the team of international law experts representing the country, said that Nicaragua intends to ignore the geographical reality to set limits.
“They eliminate the Nicoya Ppeninsula as if it does not exist. So, of course, on the basis of eliminating the geographical reality of an important part of our territory, they ask the Court for a line that is drawn from far below what in International Law should be. That was what we attack today,” said Ugalde during a telephone interview with La Nación.
Before the International Court there are two cases — Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua: Maritime Delimitation in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, as well as Costa Rica vs. Nicaragua: Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos.
The countries have been at odds over territorial disputes, particularly over a construction project near the remote mouth of the San Juan River that marks their shared border in the Caribbean.
In 2015, the court ruled Nicaragua violated Costa Rica’s territory.
The press release by the ICJ in January detailing Costa Rica’s complaint reads,”Costa Rica asks the court to ‘determine the precise location of the land boundary separating both ends of the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from Isla Portillos, and in doing so to determine that the only Nicaraguan territory existing today in the area of Isla Portillos is limited to the enclave consisting of Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon and the sandbar separating the Lagoon from the Caribbean Sea, insofar as this sandbar remains above water at all times and thus this enclave is capable of constituting territory appertaining to a state.’”