Costa Rica to Present Río San Juan Case Before OAS on Wednesday

November 2, 2010

Foreign Minister René Castro left for Washington D.C. on Tuesday to present Costa Rica’s case in the dispute over the Río San Juan before the Organization of  American States (OAS).

The last three weeks have seen a series of incidents in which Nicaraguan officials have allegedly pulled up border markers, torn down trees in Costa Rica and bullied Costa Rican farmers into selling their land.

After reaching a stalemate in conversations with the Nicaraguan government, Costa Rica is expected to present its case before a commission of the OAS on Wednesday.

“Presenting before the OAS is the first step, but it is not the only one we are considering,” Castro said Tuesday, hours before he was scheduled to board his flight. “At this point, we don’t see another alternative.”

Castro has gathered photos, testimony and other documents in order to make Costa Rica’s case. He expects the OAS commission to first visit the conflict area and then offer a proposal for the resolution of the conflict over the course of the next two weeks.

In the meantime, Security Minister José María Tijerino saidCosta Rica’s police force will be sent to the area, but not to spots where the Nicaraguan military is located.

“We are not going to put police where their military is,” said Tijerino. “We don’t want to play their game.”

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