Dispute over sovereignty heating up along the Río San Juan

The government has accused Nicaragua of entering Costa Rica and cutting some trees there. This is a continuation of the prolonged Río San Juan situation.

Casa Presidencial released photos showing a boat and its crew working along the Costa Rican border and workmen cutting brush and logs. The border between the two countries is the south bank of the river for most of its distance.

Earlier this week the government said that dredging in the river was undermining the Costa Rican bank.

The International Court of Justice has yet to make a finding in the 2010 case where Nicaragua soldiers invaded Isla Calero in far northeast Costa Rica and tried to dig a channel to the Caribbean. Since then there have been periodic provocations by the Nicaraguans.

Officials said that Fuerza Pública officers are now under orders to detain anyone who sets foot on Costa Rican soil without the legal right to do so. It was the Fuerza Pública that discovered the latest activity.

Costa Rican officials also said they alerted the International Court of Justice to the situation and served a diplomatic note on Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan workers were quoted as saying they were cleaning the river.

In the legislature members of the Partido Liberación Nacional said that the government should continue constructing the roadway along the south bank of the river.

The project was mired in corruption during the Laura Chinchilla presidency, but it did bring some public utilities to isolated communities along the river.  Until the road way was built, residents could only use the river for transportation, and sometimes they were harassed by Nicaraguan soldiers.

Nicaragua appears to be seeking access to the Caribbean for development along its side of the river. Much of the channel mouth is silted up.

Police officer confronts workmen along the river's south bank.

Police officer confronts workmen along the river’s south bank.


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