Nearshore Americas

ICJ Rejects Nicaragua’s Claim Over Land Dispute with Colombia

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) rejected Nicaragua’s request to review its 2012 ruling that awarded Colombia rights over seven small islands in the Caribbean.

The 2012 verdict handed Nicaragua offshore rights to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its Caribbean coastline, allowing it to extract large deposits of oil and gas in the sea while awarding seven small islands to Colombia.

A year following the ruling, Nicaragua filed an appeal in an effort to claim the seven islands and extend the maritime border beyond 200 nautical miles.

“Irrespective of any scientific and technical considerations, Nicaragua is not entitled to an extended continental shelf within 200 nautical miles from the baselines of Colombia’s mainland coast,” the court stated in its judgment.

Both countries have welcomed the ruling, as they are aware that the verdict is final and cannot be appealed.

In a similar case last year, the ICJ asked Colombia not to control fishing activities and maritime research in parts of the Caribbean off the Nicaraguan coast.

Such territorial water conflicts are not uncommon in Latin America, with many of them dating back to several decades.

Chile, for example, is engaged in a similar legal battle with Bolivia. Guyana and Guatemala are battling against Venezuela and Belize, respectively.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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