Colombia bails on ICJ treaty

Colombia no longer recognizes the authority of the world court

(posted Nov. 28, 12:00 p.m.)- Repeating his call for bilateral talks on the margins of international law, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced this morning that his country has officially withdrawn from the treaty that recognizes the authority of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and hopes to settle the border issue directly with Nicaragua.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (official photo)

Colombia’s withdrawal from the treaty comes amid increasing internal pressures in Colombia to reject the Nov. 19 ruling that extends Nicaragua’s maritime territory by 100,000 square kilometers.

“Never again will we allow what happened on Nov. 19 with ruling by the ICJ,” Santos tweeted to his 1.4 million followers this morning.

Santos said that his country’s withdrawal from the treaty, which ironically is called the Bogota Pact, does not mean “Colombia intends to remove itself from mechanisms for peaceful solutions to problems.”

The decision, he said, is “based on a fundamental principle: borders between states should be established by states.”
Colombia did not seem to believe in that fundamental principle when it entered into an 11-year litigation process with Nicaragua in 2001. Now that the ICJ has ruled in Nicaragua’s favor, Colombia is calling for bilateral talks to resolve the issue outside of international law.

Nicaragua has said that there is nothing to negotiate, and that Colombia will have to accept the ICJ ruling.

  • Janela

    Fishing it’s been a very important way of commerce for The Raisales community ever since they were dumped there by the English slave traders 3 centuries ago but now their water have been stolen by some european international court.
    These people identifies themselves as Colombian and they want nothing to do with Nicaragua

    Once again Europeans judges tracing borders without any knowledge just like they did with the African continent in the past century. SMH

    We Colombians will not obey this rule “”"”"PERIOD”"”"”".

    • http://no Damian

      First,The ICJ is not made of only European judges. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judges_of_the_International_Court_of_Justice
      Second, Not everything was in favor of Nicaragua. The Islands were given to Colombia including some cays. Nicaragua was granted more sea water.
      Colombia needs to be behave in a mature way but national Colombian politics is in the way. Current peace agreement with the FARC and handing ocean territory to Nicaragua seems to be a signal of weakness and that is putting the Colombian government under pressure.

  • Tanya

    Colombia after many years of border dispute, agreed to submit their arguments to the ICJ, Nicaragua did the same, expecting that whatever was the court ruling were to be respected, now, after 11 years just because the ruling is not in total favour for Colombia is politically favourable for president Santos to present baseless arguments with the intention of presenting as a “sovereignty defender”…question, what if the court ruling was entirely in favour of Colombia, the expected behaviour from the Nicaraguan government could be the same.

    When this type of dispute ends? we all know that in any court decision one of the parties will not be entirely satisfied, but, this is what a court ruling is all about, a decision based on 11 years of analysis and evaluation from a team of prestige magistrates with the most dignified and respected background in the world.

    The Colombian government exhibiting this intransigent posture will only gain the scorn from the rest of Latin american nations.