Nicaragua on Wednesday accused Colombia and Costa Rica of wanting to appropriate Nicaraguan territory.
Land ownership disputes continued when Nicaraguan agent Carlos Arguello presented a claim Wednesday to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Colombia and Costa Rica wanted to “own” the Inter-Oceanic Nicaragua Canal by any means possible.
“The claims of Colombia and Costa Rica have the same origin and it is the desire of both to become owners by any means possible of a Nicaraguan canal, which was the origin of all of this [dispute],” Arguello said during a phone call to a local television channel from the ICJ.
The Nicaraguan government estimates that the project of constructing the proposed waterway, which would go through Nicaragua connecting the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean, would take 10 years at a valued $30 billion to complete. The country is calling out Colombia and Costa Rica separately over various territorial disputes that would affect the construction of the canal.
Nicaragua and Colombia have been fighting over maritime borders for years now. The territory in dispute spans over 20,000 square miles and lies 93 miles from the Nicaraguan coast and 373 miles from Colombia’s coastline.
While Colombia maintains that they have peacefully ruled the archipelago, which includes the islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, for 80 years under jurisdiction awarded by a 1928 treaty between the two nations, Nicaragua has long disputed that the treaty was put into effect while the country was under U.S. military occupation.
“It is an enormous extension that we are discussing, it is going to have a huge value for us and for our descendents, there is an incredible capital there for Nicaragua, that has been denied to us for decades,” said Aguerro in regards to the maritime area.
Arguello indicated that the ICJ could be making a definitive decision this coming November concerning the maritime borders, as well as continue discussions over the territorial disputes between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.