Colombia rejects changes to maritime boundaries

Colombian president vows to defend Colombia’s constitution, sovereignty following World Court decision

(posted Nov. 19, 5:22 p.m.)- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said his government rejects the International Court of Justice’s decision to change the maritime boundaries in favor of Nicaragua because such a move is a violation of Colombia’s constitution and national sovereignty.

In a message this afternoon to the people of Colombia, President Santos called the World Court’s redrawing of the map “inconsistent” with other elements of the Court’s ruling and incompatible with the 1928 Esguerra-Bárcenas Boarder Treaty.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (official photo)

 “These are all omissions, errors, excesses and inconsistencies that we cannot accept,” Santos said. “Taking all this into account, Colombia—represented by its head of state—emphatically rejects this aspect of the ruling by the Court.”

Santos said Colombia will not “rule out any recourse or mechanism provided by international law to defend our rights.”

He said his government “respects the law,” but thinks the World Court is “seriously wrong” in altering the maritime boundaries to give more ocean to Nicaragua.

 Santos said that first and foremost his job as president is to defend Colombia’s constitution and “it is evident that this ruling contradicts our Magna Carta and various international treaties.”

Santos closed by telling the people of Colombia and San Andres that they can rest assured that his government “will defend, with total conviction, the rights of the islanders and all our compatriots.”

Previous to Santos’ comments this afternoon, today’s ruling by The Hague, which is legally binding for both countries, was hailed by Nicaragua as a final resolution to the decades’ long border conflict between the two countries. It now appears the conflict has become even tenser.

President Daniel Ortega is expected to give a national address tonight.


  • yader

    his goverment “respects the law”?, did He really say that?, isn’t He talking contradiction himself?

    It’s great that We are lawfully entitled to more ocean. We should have the islets also, but that’ ok.

  • Augusto

    Colombia is acting with disrespect to Nicaraguans and with little seriousness on the matter. He sounds like a sore looser and a child who runs to mama because he didn’t get what he expected. As a Nicaraguan I’m ready to defend my what rightfully belongs to us.

    • lc

      uds solo son campesinos por Dios en caso de una problema armado uds no tienen forma de defender nada, los dejamos en el pedazo de mar que les dio la haya y nos quedamos con ese pedazo de isla en que viven.

  • David

    The court is violating the sovereignty of Colombia by redrawing the lines, Colombia will defend the current limits by any necessary means

  • Daniel

    Why should Colombia lose lands and ocean? The court is wrong and Colombia should go to war with Nicaragua.

    • gavroche

      Colombia should go to war with Nicaragua?
      Wrong: Colombia should be happy because Nicaragua has “more room” to dump the three million expats!

  • Alvaro

    How can a European court decide what happens in the Americas? The Colombia navy should sink any boat that crosses into their territorial waters.

  • Carlos Briones

    An objective reading of the ruling shows that the Court sought God’s help to resolve this century-old dispute. The court was compelled to split the baby in half. Giving Colombia rights to a land 775 miles away from its coasts and according Nicaragua with more water in which to fish.

    In legal proceedings, the parties know well in advance the Court’s “tentative rulings.” Colombia and Nicaragua’s counsel knew this decision was imminent and each side, surely, made it abundantly clear to each their principals where things stood way before yesterday’s ruling. As such, it seems disingenuous for Colombia’s Santos to appear in national t.v. and rant and whine as he did. Unless of course, he is following his political party’s agenda to secure future votes by exploiting the misplaced patriotism of his gullible constituency.

  • Author – The Third Cell

    I guarantee you that Colombia will not give anything toNicaragua. The provincial governor of San Andres said the ruling was legally binding. BY WHO? Who is going to enforce it? NO ONE!! The Colombian Navy, the best equipped in South America will continue to kick out Nicaraguan fishing boats and any oil exploration by Nicaragua. Give me a break The International Court of Justice is a JOKE along with the United Nations who set this fiasco up in the first place. Israel has ignored The International Court of Justice’s ruling for years and what has happened? NOTHING! The International Court of Justice along with the United Nations needs to be dissolved. Neither one has done anything productive in decades!

    • gisella

      yo creo que nos deberíamos ir a un dialogo con Colombia para establecer acuerdos para la navegación , no es cuestión de irse a la guerra pero la actitud de los colombianos de no respetar las disposiciones de la cij es falta de madurez de parte de su presidente nadie les esta quitando nada simplemente es cuestión de limites territoriales que por década han venido auto proclamándose dueños de esos limites

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  • elhombredelamancha

    A.Look at the map: are the keys and the inslands close to Colombia?
    If Colombia has been in possession of those it does not mean
    it has been according to geography and to the law.
    It does not mean because the IC decided, the islands and keys etc
    belongs to Colombia.
    According to the court we estill are loosers, still Colombia has
    possesion of those important pieces of territory.
    As consolation price: have the waters…
    B. Is everything done?
    When we study elementary school –a few years ago– we learned
    that Providencia, San Andres, and the keys were ours. We look
    at the map and it was easy to identify as ours, Colombia was
    too far.
    C. We don’t like when governments start making a lot of noise
    after journeys like this. They announce that big projects for the
    area and after, zero, nothing, nada. We have seen a lot in our
    recent past.
    D. We liked the inviation of the autority officers of the past by
    Ortega’s government in order to announce and celebrate the
    conclusion of this process. However, we do not celebrate that
    the flag of Ortega’s party was among our national flag. Ortega
    lacks of understanding that the victory belongs to all.
    Our national flag is Blue and White and we have only one National

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  • http://none juan

    islands should belong to whom geographically makes sense. the fact that colombia is a bigger country and with bigger army i supposed is not and should not grounds for them to act like bully and take possesion just because, and what will them use it for? to smuggle drugs, that’s what colombians do best.

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