The security ministry confirmed Thursday that there were reports that presumed Nicaraguans were on the disputed Isla Calero in extreme northeast Costa Rica. In addition the ministry had scheduled a visit by Costa Rican environmentalists to the location to survey the area.
The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública said that the visit by environmental experts was being conducted by the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía.
Visits to the disputed island is a violation of the rules set forth by the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, which is hearing the territorial dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In October 2010 Nicaraguan soldiers invaded the island, and Costa Rica turned to the court to resolve the matter.
The soldiers eventually withdrew under orders from the court, and the only individuals permitted there were supposed to be environmentalists sent by Costa Rica to safeguard the land. Still young Sandinista groups sometimes go to the island to challenge Costa Rica.
Nicaragua wants to put a channel for the Río San Juan through the island to provide better access to the river to replace the highly silted and meandering initial 40 kilometers of the river. Better access could make the area ripe for tourist development.