Officials try to construct unified position on canal

Costa Rican officials are trying to enlist all sides of the political spectrum in a unified position against the Nicaraguan invasion of the country.

Gioconda Ubeda, the vice foreign minister, held a series of meetings Thursday with individuals as diverse as Luis Guillermo Solís, the presidential candidate of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, and  Elizabeth Odio Benito, a former vice president and a former judge on the international criminal court. More meetings are planned.

Meanwhile, a photo of one of the channels believed constructed by Nicaragua shows it is about 200 meters long connecting the Río San Juan and the Caribbean. That is about 656 feet. The channel also appears to be between 20 and 30 meters wide, some 65 to 99 feet.

The whole area has been under a freeze ordered by the International Court of Justice as the jurists consider the original case brought by Costa Rica after Nicaraguan soldiers invaded a small piece of Costa Rica in October 2010.

Under a temporary order, Costa Rica was supposed to be able to send environmental workers into the area but Nicaragua was not supposed to do that.

The dredge that has been photographed from a private helicopter appears to be one of the same crafts that have been working in the river for nearly three years.

In one challenge to the central government, a lawmaker claimed officials obtained infrared photos of the area from Colombian intelligence services, Enrique Castillo the foreign minister, reported that the photos came from Geosolutions Consulting Inc., a Costa Rican firm.

Colombia also has an ax to grind with Nicaragua over disputed maritime territories that may contain petroleum. A reader raised the possibility that if Nicaragua managed to hang on to the small piece of Costa Rica that it has seized, the country to the north also will be able to claim a stretch of Caribbean maritime territory.

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