Vol.18  No.1214
Friday Edition, December 14, 2018 Second news page
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Government rejects Nicaraguan
project on Costa Rican lagoon



By
A.M. Costa Rica staff


The government issued a warning to the government of Nicaragua, rejecting the project known as "Harbor Head Lagoon Declaration as a Wildlife Refuge of Nicaragua," because "incorrect qualifications are made about the geographical location of said lagoon, as well as on its direct connection with the Nicaraguan territory."

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on November 29 the government of Nicaragua presented its National Assembly with a bill that insists that the lagoon is Nicaraguan territory. "Laguna Harbor Head is known in Costa Rica as Laguna Los Portillos" which departs from the Costa Rican territory of Portillos Island near the border with Nicaragua.

"The government of Costa Rica states that it has reservations about some aspects included in the explanatory memorandum as well as in the proper body of the law, which makes incorrect qualifications about the geographical condition of Laguna Harbor Head, as well as its direct connection with the Nicaraguan territory,” confirmed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

The Ministry confirmed that the government of Costa Rica is in favor of any initiative that contributes to the protection of the environment, and is willing to cooperate with the government of Nicaragua in the development of joint actions aimed at this objective, “but at the same time Costa Rica will remain vigilant that national sovereignty in the area is not violated."

The provisional Foreign Affairs Minister, Lorena Aguilar, told the Minister of Nicaragua, Denis Moncada, that after the judgments of the International Court of Justice on December 16, 2015 and February 2, 2018, “the conditions exist to reach practical and lasting understandings between both countries on border issues, and hopes that the government of Nicaragua complies fully with the provisions of these judgments.”

According to the judgment of the International Court of Justice of February 2, 2018, "the Lagoon of Harbor Head is a small part within the territory of Costa Rica," so there is no direct connectivity between the lagoon's water mirror and the sand bar that separates it from the sea with another Nicaraguan territory.


Lagoon121418.jpg 
Portillos Lagoon / Foreign Affairs courtesy photo
 
International Court of Justice in February 2, 2018 sentenced "the Lagoon of Harbor Head is a small part within the territory of Costa Rica".



Additionally, the court clarified that, "the sea referred to in the Nicaraguan bill law, belongs to the territorial sea of Costa Rica," and that "Nicaragua cannot, either by legislation, administrative acts or by material acts in the field, carry out actions of dominion over the territory or over the flora and fauna in that or any other zone belonging to Costa Rica."

On the basis of the ruling of the International Court of Justice, the government clarified that access to Laguna Harbor Head is only possible through the Costa Rican sovereign territory. In addition, the Army of Nicaragua cannot enter the lagoon by crossing Costa Rican territory.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be attentive to the response of the Nicaraguan government.











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