Nicaragua Threatens to Reclaim 20% of Costa Rica

Daniel Ortega wants to go to International Court of Justice

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 3, 2013 8:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nicaragua's president warned once again yesterday that his country might seek to reclaim 20% of neighboring Costa Rica, AFP reports. "Costa Rica did not win that territory in an international court, but rather by force, with arms," said Daniel Ortega at a military ceremony. He was referring to Guanacaste province, a popular tourist spot he says Managua lost to "occupation" in 1824; he may appeal to the International Court of Justice to get it back.

Just last month, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla led a march to protest Ortega's attempts to reclaim Guanacaste, Bloomberg reports. The territory was annexed to Costa Rica about three years after Central America became independent of Spain, and 34 years later, in 1858, Nicaragua signed a treaty ceding the territory to Costa Rica. But Nicaragua had been under temporary military rule around that time, and the administration says the treaty was not "signed voluntarily." The two countries have quite a history of border disputes.

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks during a ceremony in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday, July 5, 2013.
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks during a ceremony in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday, July 5, 2013.   (AP Photo/Lucia Silva)
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