Nicaragua takes Costa Rica to ICJ over riverside road

(posted Nov. 5, 7:30 a.m.)–Nicaragua and Costa Rica are putting on their suits and ties again to go back before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) this week to argue the case against Costa Rica’s border highway that hugs the southern bank of Nicaragua’s San Juan River. 

Nicaragua says Costa Rica’s roadway project has caused extensive environmental damage (photo/ Kamilo Lara)

Nicaragua is asking the Court to take provisional measures against Costa Rica to halt construction on the 160-kilometer highway, known as Route 1856. Nicaragua claims the highway has caused serious and irreversible environmental damage to the area. 

Nicaragua filed its case––imaginatively titled “Construction of a Road in Costa Rica along the Rio San Juan”––on Oct. 11 as a tit for tat response to Costa Rica’s case against Nicaragua for cutting two new water canals into disputed borderland. That case, titled “Certain Activities carried out by Nicaragua in the Border Area,” was heard by ICJ magistrates last month. 

The ICJ then decided to join the two cases and will make its decision on requests for preventive measures after hearing the case against the Costa Rican road project this week. The Court is scheduled to be in session until Friday.

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