San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

World court rejects four Nicaraguan claims in border dispute with Costa Rica

The International Court of Justice at The Hague on Tuesday rejected a series of counter-claims filed by the Nicaraguan government in an ongoing border dispute with Costa Rica over a prior occupation by Nicaraguan nationals of Isla Calero, a small territory bordering the two countries.

Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry posted the court’s ruling on its website.

Justices also rejected Nicaragua’s request to halt construction of a border road by Costa Rica along the Río San Juan, which divides the two countries, on the basis that “the case did not warrant the use of the court’s jurisdiction.”

The court also will consolidate two similar claims – one filed by each country – into a single case to expedite the process.

Nicaragua lost its bid to claim open navigation rights on Costa Rica’s Río Colorado, and justices ruled against a petition to strip Costa Rica of its rights to the dually held bay of San Juan del Norte. The world court said Nicaragua’s requests were “unacceptable within current procedures.”

As a result of the various rulings, a single oral hearing will be held to discuss remaining issues. In December, Costa Rica must submit a reply to the case involving construction of the scandal-plagued border road.

Contact L. Arias at

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