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

(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.

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
Sep 4, 2013 6:48 PM CDT
hey dannie baby hush up and go smoke one of your fine cigars! ps send me some thank you!
Sep 4, 2013 5:31 AM CDT
Yet another Falklands !
Sep 3, 2013 8:09 PM CDT
Good. Screw Costa Rica! Maybe Nicaragua will actually enforce the anti-poaching laws!!! Jairo Mora Sandoval (March 22, 1987 – May 31, 2013) was a Costa Rican environmentalist who was murdered on May 31, 2013, while attempting to protect leatherback turtle nests. Sea turtles are protected by law in Costa Rica, but poaching remains common. Locals take eggs, which are believed to be an aphrodisiac, and sell them on the black market. The egg trade has been linked to illegal drug trafficking and violence. Environmentalists working in Limón say they are often threatened for trying to protect the eggs. Jairo Mora was one such environmentalist working in the area. In the wake of Mora's death, the organization he worked with cancelled beach patrol efforts in Costa Rica. His death attracted international attention, including a statement from the United Nations. In Costa Rica, his death led to calls for reform of environmental policy. On June 4, the government met with environmentalists to discuss potential changes to policy. A plan submitted by environmentalists and endorsed by Environment Minister René Castro would set up a new protected area named after Mora and grant park rangers more authority to stop poachers, among other changes. On June 5, vigils were held across Costa Rica in honor of Mora.