San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua’s Pastora confirms request to obtain navigation rights on Costa Rican river

Edén Pastora, the Nicaraguan government official responsible for dredging the Río San Juan, confirmed Wednesday to local Channel 15 that Nicaragua asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague for navigation rights on the Río Colorado, located entirely within Costa Rican territory.

The local daily El Diario de Hoy reported that after being questioned about whether Nicaragua had formalized a request to gain navigation rights on the Río Colorado, Pastora said, “This government of Daniel Ortega … applies the logic of  ‘what’s good for the goose is good for the gander’; if [Costa Rica] can navigate our waters, why can’t we travel the waters of the Río Colorado, if 90 percent of its water is from the Río San Juan?”

“Until we can establish a safe harbor in Punta Castilla [the mouth of the Río San Juan], we can freely navigate Río Colorado, according to the 1858 Cañas-Jerez Treaty,” Pastora said.

Referring to the continuance of work on a border road by the Costa Rican government, the former Sandinista guerrilla told the daily that “the Tico government’s only intentions are to keep provoking.”

“The Río San Juan dredging bothered them, so they responded with a trail that they will later call a road. … They will continue endangering nature in Nicaragua and Costa Rica,”  Pastora said.

Contact L. Arias at

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