San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Colombia renounces world court jurisdiction over boundary disputes

BOGOTA – Colombia on Wednesday said it will no longer recognize the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction in border disputes following a ruling that redrew its maritime boundary to favor Nicaragua.

President Juan Manuel Santos said the country’s territorial and marine boundaries should be established through treaties, and not a sentences handed down by the world court in The Hague.

“Colombia yesterday renounced the Pact of Bogotá,” Santos said, referring to a 1948 agreement that committed Colombia to abide by the international court’s settlements of boundary disputes.

He said Colombia would still seek to settle territorial disputes peacefully.

Colombia is protesting a Nov. 19 ruling by the court that confirmed Colombia’s sovereignty over a group of islands in the Caribbean, but redrew marine boundaries in a way that favored Nicaragua.

Nicaragua’s envoy to the court, Carlos Arguello, told reporters in Managua that Colombia’s move was “desperate” and meaningless.

“It makes no sense to renounce the pact,” Arguello said, because the maritime borders between Nicaragua and Colombia are “the result of a court ruling, and nothing changes that.”

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