International team cites Isla Calero environmental damage

n inspection team from the Convention on Wetlands has confirmed Costa Rica’s claim that Nicaraguan soldiers and civilians have caused environmental damage at the Isla Calero in the far northeast part of the country.

The team visited the area between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1, and the report was published Tuesday, said Casa Presidencial.

The report adds weight to Costa Rica’s case against Nicaragua as it goes to the International Court of Justice in a week.

The convention is called Ramsar after the name of the Iranian city where it was negotiated.

René Castro, the Costa Rica foreign minister, said that the
team characterized the treatment of the area as ecocide.

That section in northern Costa Rica was listed as an important international wetland in 1996.

Costa Rica has chosen to stress the environmental damage caused by Nicaraguans instead of taking direct action. The international court case, however, will rest on the boundaries and not environmental damage. Nicaragua claims the island is its territory.

The international court is empowered by treaty to establish the boundaries between the two countries. The international line is the south bank of the Río San Juan.

What the Nicaraguans are doing is building a new mouth for the Río San Juan to make the area attractive for tourism development.

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