(CNN Spanish) – International Court of Justice judges ruled Thursday that Colombia should “immediately cease” patrolling and attempt to control marine fishing and research activities in parts of the western Caribbean which, according to the court, are part of Nicaragua’s pure economic economy. In those waters, Reuters reported.
And so the International Court of Justice in The Hague handed down its ruling in one of the maritime disputes between Colombia and Nicaragua over their borders and sovereignty in the Caribbean Sea, a conflict that goes back years.
The case, which has been in legal dispute for years and has reached the United Nations Supreme Court, seeks to resolve a dispute over the maritime sovereignty of a group of islands located in the Caribbean Sea. Previously, The Hague had already ruled that a group of small islands belonged to Colombia, but it expanded the disputed maritime border in favor of Nicaragua.
The disputed islands lie about 500 miles off the northwest coast of Colombia and about 150 miles off the coast of Nicaragua, Reuters reported.
The two countries, which are separated by Panama and Costa Rica, claim sovereignty over the islands of San Andres and Providencia, the islands off the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, as well as several large islands and an area of nearly 50,000 square kilometers of fishing waters. mentioned.
Maritime dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua
The case deals with a lawsuit from Nicaragua asserting that Colombia would have been in violation of international law “because it had not applied the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 19 November 2012” to the operations of the Colombian Navy in the Caribbean and because it had issued the Colombian Foreign Ministry stated that the archipelago’s Continuing Integrated Zone decree It ignores the 2012 ruling.
while, Colombia opposed Nicaragua The State Department said, the allegation that this country violated the artisanal fishing rights of the archipelago’s residents “to access and exploit traditional fishing banks”, as well as the “unilateral separation of marine areas at the expense of Colombia.”
The disputed marine area has been recognized as being rich and extensive for fishing, as well as for exploration and potential exploitation of oil and other hydrocarbons.
After a years-long legal dispute that began at the beginning of the 20th century, in 2007 the International Court of Justice declared Colombia’s sovereignty over the Caribbean islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina. But at that time it did not specify what the maritime boundary between the two countries was.
The process continued and in 2012 The Hague awarded Nicaragua 80,000 km in the Caribbean, after which Colombia said it would not recognize this ruling.
Nicaragua then asked the court to intervene to compel Colombia to abide by the 2012 ruling, as well as to expand the continental shelf by more than 200 nautical miles.
“Nicaragua asked the Court to establish the ‘sole maritime boundary’ between the areas of the continental shelf and the corresponding exclusive economic zone of Nicaragua and Colombia, respectively, in the form of a median line between the continental coasts of the two states,” the Court said in its 2012 ruling.
In this way, the court granted Nicaragua to draw a new line on the platform by which it granted a sea platform of 200 nautical miles to the Central American country.
In the face of the ruling, then-President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos replied that his government did not accept the ruling, arguing that the court had made “grave mistakes” in drawing a new maritime demarcation between that country and Nicaragua.
Referring to the agreement signed between the two countries in 1928, Santos said, “Instead of being limited to drawing the line in the area regulated by the Treaty of Isguera-Barceñas, I decided to extend the said line to the north and south of the archipelago.” Nicaragua is not known for considering that the Central American country was militarily occupied by the United States.
The Colombian president then announced that The Hague recognized Colombia’s sovereignty over the entire archipelago but later separated the keys to Serrana, Seranilla, Kitasuño, and Pago Nuevo from the rest.
But Colombia, according to that moment and so far, said that the boundary line that Nicaragua claimed “is located in an area where that country has no ownership” because “the two continental coasts lie more than 400 miles from one on the other.”
— With information from Reuters and Samantha Lugo of CNN from Nicaragua.
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