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Colombia, Nicaragua Continue Maritime Border Dispute

First Posted: Aug 22, 2014 10:11 AM EDT

Despite a ruling by the International Court of Justice on the maritime border dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua, the disagreement between the two Latin American nations continues.

At the center of the dispute is a group of islands and maritime borders between the two countries, dating back almost two centuries. Both countries claim a group of three islands and the extended maritime borders that come with them.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague last ruled on the issue in November 2012, according to Fox News Latino, granting Colombia sovereignty over the three disputed islands but expanding Nicaragua's maritime territory by 120 square kilometers.

Colombia has vehemently rejected the ruling, sending warships into the contested area and breaking off relations with the Central American nation, hindering bilateral negotiations to redraw the maritime borders between the two nations.

In September 2013, Nicaragua sued again, bringing another case to the ICJ, according to BBC News. The new case asks the court to define the new maritime borders and expand Nicaragua's maritime territory "beyond its 200 nautical miles."

Colombia continues to oppose Nicaragua's claims. According to Colombia Reports, President Juan Manuel Santos made a statement denouncing Nicaragua and their new case against the South American nation.

"Nicaragua now intends to claim an allegedly extended continental shelf. Colombia argues that this demand is unacceptable," the Colombian president said.

In retaliation Colombia has filed a counter-suit against Nicaragua.

"Today, Colombia stands before the International Court of Justice with a written request known as 'preliminary objections,' asking the Court to declare incompetence in hearing the case brought against our country by Nicaragua on September 16 last year," Santos said.

According to BBC Mundo, President Santos reasserted his nation's respect for international law, which is why his country has turned to the ICJ.

"Our country respects international laws. That is why I decided that we should express frankly and quite forcefully to the same ICJ the legal reasons preventing it from again ruling on any Nicaraguan request," the Colombian leader said.

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