WASHINGTON – The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States called a meeting of foreign ministers for Dec. 7 to discuss the border crisis between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
The resolution to call the meeting was approved by a vote of 22-1 with seven abstentions at a special session of the council.
Nicaragua boycotted the session.
The foreign ministers who take part in the Dec. 7 gathering will hear a report on the dispute from OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza.
The only vote against the resolution came from Managua’s ally Venezuela, whose ambassador, Roy Chaderton, had announced minutes before that he would oppose it, noting the absence “of an actor (Nicaragua) who felt excluded from the decisions” that had been taken by the OAS.
Chaderton also asked that there be no debate about whether or not to call the meeting, arguing that it was not the OAS’s responsibility to decide a border dispute and that a quick response was the worst solution, and he even insinuated that the Council was leaning toward supporting Costa Rica in the matter.
His motion was rejected and the Council proceeded to debate several amendments that had been presented by Peruvian Ambassador Hugo de Zela, mainly to set the date of the meeting in December and not to convene the foreign ministers on Nov. 29, as Costa Rica had proposed.
After a long debate on procedural matters, regulations and the voting, the Council finally approved the resolution by a show of hands, albeit amid criticism that a consensus had not been reached.
In remarks to Efe, Nicaraguan Ambassador Denis Moncada noted that his country’s president, Daniel Ortega, will go to the International Court of Justice to establish the border, given that this is a matter on which the OAS has no jurisdiction.
In a 2009 ruling, the ICJ acknowledged Nicaragua’s sovereignty over the San Juan River, but also the perpetual navigation rights of Costa Rica along a 140-kilometer (87-mile) stretch of the river.
Costa Rica and Nicaragua have been at odds since Oct. 21 when San Jose complained that Managua dumped sediment from a dredging operation it is conducting in the San Juan River into its territory, something the Ortega government denies.
Costa Rican authorities also accused the Nicaraguans of sending troops onto a portion of Calero Island in the Caribbean, which San Jose considers to belong to it, while Managua is arguing that the soldiers are on sovereign territory and are deployed there to fight drug trafficking.Marcela Sanchez: Google, Latin American Maps, and Risks of the Information Age
Latin expert Marcela Sanchez takes us through a thoroughly modern take on a millenia old problem -- how a seemingly expansionist Sandanista government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua is blaming Google maps errors for their acquisition of undefended Costa Rican territory.