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Calero Island / Harbor Head

The International Court of Justice issued a final ruling 16 Decembe 2015on the two cases raised by Nicaragua and Costa Rica over disputes along the border between the two Central American countries. The ICJ ruled in favor of Costa Rica in both cases. In the case of the disputed area of the Calero Island as Costa Rica calls it or Harbor Head as Nicaragua names it the ICJ ruled it belongs to Costa Rica.

The ICJ also ruled that Nicaragua has to pay Costa Rica a compensation; the amount will be decided by the international court if both countries cannot come to agreement within 12 months.

The five-year dispute concluded with the ruling, which is binding and final, it adds that Managua violated the Costa Rican territory with military presence and its navigation rights on the San Juan river.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua asked the ICJ to recognize their sovereignty over the island, while Nicaragua also claimed before the court that Costa Rica caused environmental damage when building a road leading up to the island for security reasons.

In 2010, Costa Rica sued Nicaragua for allegedly invading and destroying a small wetlands area that both countries claimed as their own. The Costa Rican government argued that Nicaragua tried to modify the map at the border where the disputed area lays. They said Nicaragua opened up three pipes that diverted the course of the San Juan river, a natural border between the two countries.

Justices unanimously found that Nicaragua violated Costa Rican territory by invading Isla Calero with military personnel, and by dredging canals in Costa Rican territory and by violating Costa Ricas navigation rights on the San Juan River, a natural border between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the government of Managua in 2011 filed a complaint against Costa Rica for environmental damage on its territory for the construction of a 120 kilometer-highway that runs parallel to the river.



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