Officials irked by Sandinista campout in disputed territory

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto sadi later Thursday that the photo came from Repretel, the television network. There are not a lot of recreational opportunities for Sandinista youths camping out on Calero.

Young Nicaraguans are camping on the disputed Isla Calero-Isla Portillos region of northern Costa Rica.

The youngsters do not appear to be armed, but they are believed to be there under the direction of the central government in Managua.

The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto lodged a strong protest with the Nicaraguan embassy in San José Wednesday and reminded the diplomats there that the International Court of Justice has specifically forbidden Nicaraguans from entering the area. Costa Ricans can enter only to do environmental remediation.

The Nicaragua youngsters do not appear to be doing damage, although Costa Rica said that they took actions against the plant life.

There are one long tent and two dome tents. The youngsters do not appear to be aggressive. They gave interviews to television reporters Wednesday. The area is hot and filled with bugs and also snakes.

Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo Current campers seem to have better equipment than the soldiers who were there more than a year ago.

The foreign ministry here called the encampment a provocation and said that the activity can only harm relations between the two countries and its peoples.

Nicaraguan troops invaded the area in October 2010. The goal was to construct a new, wider and shorter mouth to the Río San Juan so the area could be developed. This channel is about half finished.

Costa Rica went to the International Court of Justice in The Hague because that entity is charged with overseeing the border treaty between the two countries.

March 8, 2011 the court issued a preliminary ruling that said only Costa Ricans could enter the area and only to correct environmental damage. There have been several invasions of Sandinista youth groups since, but the latest appears to be ready to stay longer. The Nicaraguan central government claims the land is national territory.

The final ruling from the court is not expected for some time, and there is no guarantee that Nicaragua will abide by any decision. Costa Rica has declined to use force.

The invasion might be a protest against the Ruta 1856 that Costa Rica is constructing along the south bank of the Río San Juan to open up the northern area to land traffic. Nicaragua claims the construction is causing erosion to drop dirt into the river, which is Nicaragua territory. It has complained to the international court.

The new highway was built on no-bid direct contracts, and each day there is a new story in the Spanish-language press about corruption involving the project.

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