Costa Rica moves ahead on two fronts over island

Costa Rica continued its diplomatic attack against Nicaragua with two initiatives Thursday.

The country made an urgent request of the International Court of Justice in The Hague to issue stop-work order on the development of a new river mouth on the Río San Juan.

The country also successfully obtained agreement from the Organization of American States to convene what is known as a consultative meeting of ministers of foreign affairs.

René Castro, foreign minster, announced that the action before the international court seeks to recover land lost to the Nicaraguan invasion and to avoid irreparable damages to the environment. In advance of any full-scale hearing, the country is asked for interim measures that require Nicaragua to stop work on what the ministry called a canal, which is on Costa Rican soil. The international court has jurisdiction over the two countries’ international borders.

The Organization of American States request to convene the session Dec. 7 passed with 22 votes in favor and one vote against. Seven countries abstained, including Nicaragua. The schedule of the meeting said that ministers would discuss appropriate measures to be taken.

The hemispheric organization already has voted to ask Nicaragua to remove its troops from the Isla Calero but stop short of calling the island Costa Rican territory.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has declined to do so and called the vote in Washington the product of influence by  narcotraffickers.

Nicaragua began the dispute by dredging in the river. But workers also dug a trench across the island that is expected to lead the river to create a new mouth to the Caribbean.

The Nicaraguan flag has been flying over the island, and Costa Rican police stationed nearby have avoided a confrontation.

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