Maritime dispute escalates

By bogotapost October 17, 2015

Colombia maritime bordersColombia and Nicaragua’s decades long dispute over oil rich maritime territory continues after two new cases have been taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague.

Colombia has claimed Nicaragua has an ‘insatiable appetite’ for expanding maritime zones after Nicaragua brought forward the two new complaints against Colombia.

The first case accuses Colombia of exploring oil blocks in already disputed areas while the second requests the ICJ reassess, for the second time, the maritime limit between the two countries beyond 200 nautical miles.

While Bogotá has called for the international court to put an end to the long standing feud, Nicaragua has also requested a provisional regulation to protect natural resources.

A 2012 ICJ ruling granted the San Andres archipelago to Colombia, but expanded the disputed maritime border to Nicaragua.

Shortly after, Colombia withdrew from the 1948 ‘Pact of Bogotá’ which referred all Latin American border disputes to the ICJ.

Colombia believes that maritime and territorial disputes should be resolved through treaties and now claims the ICJ is not capable of dealing with the new cases.

While the two countries do not share land borders, the dispute has its origins in the first half of the 19th century when independence movements swept Latin America.

Nicaragua filed its first complaint to the ICJ in 2001.

By Maddie Elder