Once again, members of the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega say that the colonial town of Nicoya and the province of Guanacaste are part of Nicaragua and that an international court should define to which country they belong.
This time, the statements come from ex-guerrilla Eden Pastora, who is the person responsible for dredging the San Juan River along the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. During an interview today with the Central American news channel CB24, Eden Pastora was consulted about the next steps to be taken now that Interpol, the police organization, issued an arrest warrant against Pastora for “usurping property of public domain” and “infraction of the Forestry Law.
” Pastor responded that he has not committed any crime because “this territory is under dispute [and] the International Court of The Hague will be the one to say if this is Costa Rican or Nicaraguan.” He added, “What they’re trying to do is make me angry so I organize a movement to go and rescue Nicoya and Guanacaste.”
After a brief pause, Pastora continued, “Is that what they want? For me to get angry? For us Nicaraguans to get angry and for us to go rescue Nicoya and Guanacaste? What they have usurped from us with weapons? Because no judge has ruled on Nicoya and Guanacaste.”
This is not the first time that members of the government of Daniel Ortega assert that Guanacaste was taken by force. In August this year, Ortega said that “given the circumstances and as it’s a subject that has not been discussed in court,” Nicaragua could consider filing a suit in this international court to claim the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste as its own.
“That would allow Nicaragua to recover an immense territory, if the ruling favors Nicaragua,” commented the president, who maintains that there is a “historical basis” that this province was ceded to Costa Rica “when the country was facing Yankee expansionism back then” in the early nineteenth century.
Days later, and with a strong response from the president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, spokesmen for Ortega denied the intention to “recover” the province of Guanacaste. Nicoyans also reacted quickly and strongly against Ortega’s statements, organizing a peaceful march to “remember and revalidate the historic act of annexation.”
Nicaragua has been involved in a lawsuit with Costa Rica before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over sovereignty of the wetland at the mouth of the San Juan River border. On Friday, December 13, the International Court of Justice of The Hague rejected the motion filed by the government of Nicaragua against Costa Rica on the grounds that the construction of a road along the San Juan River, close to the shared border, has not caused serious environmental damage.
Nicaragua demanded a provisional resolution against the construction work. According to the judges of this United Nations court, the government of Managua has not demonstrated that it causes permanent damage to the ecosystem.