Colombian VP Dismisses ICJ Ruling on Maritime Dispute With Nicaragua

Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon said Thursday that the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on its maritime dispute with Nicaragua is “inapplicable.”


The November verdict, which demands that Colombia transfer to Nicaragua the control over some 75,000 square km of Caribbean waters, failed to resolve the territorial row, Garzon said at a public event here.

“The decision by the court is inapplicable in our country. It cannot be applied now, neither in five years, nor in 10 years,” he said.

“And, to top it all off, instead of helping to resolve the border conflicts between Nicaragua and Colombia, it made them worse,” added Garzon.

Meanwhile, he said, the ruling is also bound to complicate Nicaragua’s border issues with other Central American neighbors, since it violates existing border treaties not just with Colombia, but also with other adjacent countries.

“It goes against the spirit of the United Nations,” Garzon said.

Last week, two of Colombian former vice presidents, Andres Pastrana and Ernesto Samper, recommended President Juan Manuel Santos to ignore the ruling.

Nicaragua took Colombia to court in 2001 over their maritime dispute, and the ICJ, based in The Hague, handed out its ruling in November. Yet the Colombian government has rejected the verdict.

In July, Santos told Colombians that they had nothing to worry about, because “we have carefully prepared to face any new lawsuit or action that Nicaragua may prepare in its expansionist spirit.”

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