Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica concerned over Nicaraguan action at Isla Portillos

December 14, 2018

Costa Rica on Thursday expressed its reservations in regards to a Nicaraguan project to create a wildlife refuge within the border territory of Isla Portillos, which has been the center of a dispute between the two countries.

The concern is in response to a bill sent to Nicaragua’s Legislative Assembly to declare the Harbour Head Lagoon a wildlife refuge.

In February 2018, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Costa Rica has sovereignty over the “whole northern part of Isla Portillos, including the coast,” but excluding Harbour Head Lagoon.

“The Government of Costa Rica has reservations about some aspects included both in the explanatory statement as well as in the law’s own body, which make incorrect qualifications about the geographic condition of the Harbor Head Lagoon, and on its direct connection with Nicaraguan territory,” the Costa Rican chancellery said Thursday in a statement.

The dispute over the wetland of Isla Portillos brought the two countries before the ICJ, a judicial branch of the United Nations. In 2016, the Court sanctioned Nicaragua for environmental damage it had committed during its occupation.

The statement from the Costa Rican chancellery indicates that it supports actions to protect the environment in the small border territory, “but at the same time will remain vigilant that its sovereignty in the area is not undermined.”

Apparently concerned that Nicaraguan efforts at Harbour Head Lagoon would involve crossing through Costa Rican territory, the chancellery explained that “the sea referred to in the Nicaraguan bill constitutes the territorial sea of the Republic of Costa Rica.”

The statement continued, saying 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 this or any other zone belonging to Costa Rica.”

Editor’s note: The Tico Times fully acknowledges the irony of embedding Google Maps into this story. In 2010, Nicaragua justified incursion into Isla Portillos in part based on the online atlas. We encourage our readers against starting any new international disputes.


​​
​​Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years.
​​
​​

Support the Tico Times

You may be interested

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area
Costa Rica
4824 views
Costa Rica
4824 views

Costa Rica announces new restrictions to limit mobility in Greater Metropolitan Area

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 10, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Friday announced a series of health measures to limit mobility in the Greater Metropolitan Area, which…

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020
Costa Rica
21286 views
Costa Rica
21286 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 10, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 10, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 360 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,845 cumulative known cases, the Health…

News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus
Costa Rica
4752 views
Costa Rica
4752 views

News briefs: WHO says Costa Rica facing community transmission of coronavirus

The Tico Times - July 10, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…