San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaraguan government eyes borderland owned by Ticos

Nicaragua’s Environmental Prosecutor’s Office is looking into ownership of land titles along Nicaragua’s border with Costa Rica to determine if properties belong to Costa Ricans or other foreigners, the Nicaragua Dispatch reported on Sunday.

The announcement of the investigation, posted on a Nicaraguan government website, said that “some people have bought large tracts of land along the southern border to create conditions that could be damaging to our country,” the Dispatch noted.

Nicaraguan Environmental Prosecutor José Luis García accused Costa Ricans of buying land registered under the names of Nicaraguan residents and using it for illicit activities, including poaching and timber-clearing. García said Nicaragua’s army and police were also “paying a lot of attention” to the situation.

According to the Dispatch, the prosecutor’s comments may be an effort to enforce a border law created in 2010 that would place government limits on land within 15 kilometers of the San Juan River border. The law also bans foreign land ownership within 5 km of the border.

On Friday, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla visited the San Juan River area to inaugurate new infrastructure projects, including a road that runs parallel to the border near the Isla Calero, site of an ongoing border dispute between the two countries.

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