San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica complains about alleged Nicaraguan aggression during OAS General Assembly

Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo on Tuesday reported “aggression in our territory and against our sovereignty by Nicaragua” at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) held in Bolivia.

Castillo said that “the dispute with Nicaragua not only remains active but has been exacerbated over time.” He also mentioned the OAS decision in 2010 in which members supported a proposal by the secretary general “for Nicaragua to withdraw its troops from Costa Rican territory, which Nicaragua has disrespected.”

In his speech, Castillo added that “despite the presence of foreign troops on our territory, Costa Rica has remained a nation in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans who are respected in our nation. We have responded with prudence, patience and respect for international law.”

Costa Rica and Nicaragua have been bickering over the border area since October 2010, when Costa Rica complained about Nicaragua’s dredging of the San Juan river, a point that acts as a natural limit between the two countries. In January 2011, Nicaraguan troops occupied a border area called Isla Calero in an event Costa Rica characterized as an “armed invasion.”

In March that year, the International Court of Justice ruled that Nicaraguan troops must leave Isla Calero and ordered “each party to refrain from sending to, or maintaining in the disputed territory, any personnel, whether civilian, police or security,” a measure that Nicaragua has failed to follow, according to Costa Rican authorities.

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