Ms. Chinchilla meets with former presidents on Ortega

President Laura Chinchilla Miranda got multiple votes of confidence Monday from two former presidents and five former foreign minsters. They said they supported her use of diplomacy in trying to turn back the Nicaraguan invasion of a large island in northeast Costa Rica.

Absent from the meeting was former president Óscar Arias Sánchez, who already is on record as being critical of the actions of his protegee.

Attending were Abel Pacheco and Luis Alberto Monge.

The former diplomats and ex-presidents had praise for Ms. Chinchilla’s wisdom and adherence to Costa Rican tradition in pacifism and negotiation over the land grab.

Diplomacy has been successful in that the Organization of American States voted 21 to 2 Friday that Nicaragua should remove its troops from the disputed zone. Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan president, rejected the decision by the
hemispheric body and said that the vote was promoted by drug trafficking interests.

Meanwhile, reports from Nicaragua say that troops on the Isla Calero are being strengthened to perhaps as much as 200 soldiers from the original 50. In addition, Costa Rican police detained a bus load of Nicaraguans fleeing the country Monday, and some young men said they were leaving because the army was aggressively recruiting.

Ortega has said he wants his country to have access to the Río Colorado, which is completely in Costa Rican territory.

Costa Rica has said it might take the case to the United Nations. Ortega has said he might take the case to the International Court of Justice.

Meanwhile, NIcaraguans have dug a ditch across the disputed island, and locals expect that the Río San Juan will blow out a new mouth along this ditch when the first flood comes. The dispute originally started with dredging, but locals say the force of the river is much greater.

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