Calming Colombia and Nicaragua's Murky Waters

An article in World Policy revisits the territorial dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua. Nicaragua has been accused of being confrontational with its neighbors with this case, being used as an example. The presentation of the case in this article offers what seems like a more realistic view.

Here and in all the other disputes, Nicaragua has elected to take the case to the World Court and look for a final resolution rather than continue the ongoing finger-pointing. As both sides agree to recognize the court decision this seems like the best way to end these disputes.

After being on the backburner for over three decades, The Hague is finally ruling on a spat between Colombia and Nicaragua over a set of islands that includes San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina in the Caribbean Sea. While Nicaragua will argue that the border between the states should be located between its coast and Colombia’s—and not be defined by the 82nd meridian—there is little chance that Nicaragua will succesfully claim sovereignty over the entire archipelago, and the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision by the end of 2012 will set an important precedent for maritime disputes across Latin America.