The country’s reliance on international agencies will be put to the test Wednesday when the International Court of Justice issues its decision on the land dispute between this country and Nicaragua.
President Luis Guillermo Solís told the nations in a taped television speech Sunday that Costa Rica will not appeal the decision. He said he hoped that Nicaragua also would not contest it and that relations between the two countries could become normal.
Solís said in his talk that Costa Ricans are on the side of truth and seem to fully expect a decision that supports his government’s claims fully.
Nicaragua invaded the land in 2010, so the decision is a long time in coming.
The activity there has been disguised as a dredging operation, but the real motive is to punch a channel through the Isla Calero to the Caribbean sea so that vessels have rapid access to the river. In the final 30 or so kilometers the river meanders, doubles back on itself and is silted up.
A channel would provide quick access to the river but it also would increase the amount of Caribbean seabed owned by Nicaragua by moving the national border south.
The continental shelf is supposed to be rich in petroleum.
Costa Rica has since filled in the channel under court supervision.
Nicaragua has raised the related claim that a rough road Costa Rica extended along the south bank of the Río San Juan was an environmental threat.
Laura Chinchilla was president when the land invasion took place. Although the country declined to confront Nicaraguan militarily, heavily armed Fuerza Pública officers have been stationed at the border.
The 15 justices of the World Court are from 15 different countries, including the United States.
The U.N. Security Council is supposed to enforce the court rulings, but sometimes countries just ignore them, as in the case of Nicaragua’s Caribbean territorial dispute against Colombia, which Bogata rejected.