San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica touts peace at Argentine summit

President Laura Chinchilla used the weekend to promote Costa Rica’s stance on peace and to denounce Nicaragua’s “flagrant military occupation” of its southern neighbor before representatives of 22 nations at the Ibero-American Summit in Mar de Plata, Argentina. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega did not attend the summit, and direct talks between the two nations have stalled.

Flanked by Foreign Minister René Castro, Chinchilla outlined the history of Costa Rica’s dedication to peace before broaching the topic of Nicaragua.

“Despite that we do not threaten anyone and that we take in brothers and sisters of other nations of Ibero-America that have fled fierce dictators, for more than a month, Costa Rica has suffered due to the military occupation of the Nicaraguan army on our own territory,” she said.

“Given the situation, our only instruments for defense have been dialogue and international rights. Though dialogue has left us temporarily without results, we hope that they will come at the hands of international institutions.”

Chinchilla went on to detail the “environmental devastation” caused by the Nicaraguan military on the Isla Calero, in the northeast corner of the country, and asked that the governments represented at the summit “don’t close their eyes” to the situation.

At the conclusion of the summit, the Foreign Minister of Spain, Trinidad Jimenez, committed to offer diplomatic support to assist in resolving the ongoing conflict if needed.

Chinchilla also met with José Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), to further discuss the dispute. On Tuesday, foreign ministers from the OAS nations are scheduled to meet to search for a resolution to the conflict.

Representatives of the summit, which concluded Saturday, also established a goal of regional literacy by 2015. It was decided an investment of $100 billion would be needed to do so.

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