Nicaragua celebra triunfo ante Colombia por soberanía de aguas. FOTO: EFE

Nicaragua celebrates victory over Colombia for water sovereignty

Nicaragua celebrated this Thursday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled in its favor in its dispute with Colombia, which will allow it to issue fishing permits “and any permit for the exploration and exploitation of resources in their areas.”

The ICJ considered valid Nicaragua’s complaints about the violation by Colombia of its “sovereignty and jurisdiction” with its fishing permit for Colombian vessels and its “interference” with Nicaraguan marine scientific research tasks in Managua waters.

“Today the Court has issued a firm, definitive and mandatory judgment in which it agrees with Nicaragua in confirming that Colombia implemented a State policy that has violated the jurisdiction and sovereign rights of Nicaragua,” the Government said. of the president, Daniel Ortega, in a statement.

According to Managua, the UN tribunal determined that Colombia interfered with Nicaragua’s fishing activities, marine scientific research, and naval operations in its exclusive economic zone.

Nicaragua celebrates victory against Colombia for water sovereignty. PHOTO: EFE

In addition, it tried to impose conservation measures on Nicaragua’s natural resources and marine environment, authorize fishing activities in the Nicaraguan exclusive economic zone, and issue Presidential Decree 1946 of September 9, 2013, which ignored an ICJ ruling.

The ICJ, according to Nicaragua, ordered Colombia “to cease its illegal conduct in all the aspects mentioned and to reform its legislation in accordance with customary international law, in particular the provisions of Presidential Decree 1946 and its reforms, in such a way that they do not cover areas belonging to Nicaragua nor are faculties incompatible with international law shed.”

On the other hand, Managua highlighted that the ICJ confirmed “that Nicaragua has not violated any historical fishing rights of the Raizal population of the San Andrés and Providencia Archipelago,” and that rather “it recognized as positive the gesture” of the Nicaraguan Executive “in express interest in bilaterally addressing the situation of the Raizal population of the Archipelago through an agreement”.


“The ruling has made it explicitly clear that Nicaragua is the sovereign State to issue fishing permits, and any permit for exploration and exploitation of resources in its areas,” Managua stressed.

Also to “conserve the marine environment of its entire exclusive economic zone, among others, in accordance with international law, the Cartagena Convention and the Protocol relating to specially protected areas and wild flora and fauna,” he added.

In that sense, in Managua’s opinion, it was “confirmed that the Nicaraguan Caribbean Biosphere Reserve, created in 2021, is within the jurisdictional areas of Nicaragua in accordance with international standards.”

Colombia awaits this week the ruling of the lawsuit imposed by Nicaragua before the ICJ
Colombia awaits this week the decision of the lawsuit imposed by Nicaragua before the ICJ. PHOTO: EFE

Likewise, Nicaragua announced that “it will take the necessary steps to adjust its legislation with respect to its straight baselines in the Caribbean Sea so that they can fully comply with the recommendations of the high court.”

It also reaffirmed “its firm commitment to the rule of law at the international level and the peaceful settlement of disputes between states.”

This ruling has its origins in an ICJ ruling issued on November 19, 2012, by which Colombia maintained sovereignty over the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, as well as the keys that comprise it, and conserved 12 nautical miles of water surrounding these territories, but lost almost 75,000 square kilometers of sea to Nicaragua.

Nicaragua then denounced before the ICJ, based in The Hague, that Colombia had violated international law by not applying that sentence because its Navy carries out operations in Caribbean waters that do not correspond to it and Bogotá issued the decree that established an “integral contiguous zone” .

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