(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.
“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.