Colombia Wins Dispute With Nicaragua Over Islands in Caribbean Sea

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - November 20, 2012

Above: the International Court of Justice delivers its judgment (UN Photo/Frank van Beek)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Colombia, not Nicaragua, has sovereignty over seven disputed islands in the Caribbean, the International Court of Justice ruled in a judgment delivered Monday.

The judgment, which is final and binding, covers the islands of Roncador, Quitasueño, Serrana, Serranilla, Bajo Nuevo, Cayo Bolivar and Alburquerque. All of them belong to Colombia, the court said.

The dispute was first brought before the ICJ in 2001. It also concerned the two countries’ maritime border. On that count, the court delimited the continental shelf and exclusive economic zones of Nicaragua and Colombia in the area lying 200 nautical miles off the Nicaraguan coasts.

The ICJ settles legal disputes between states, sometimes offering advisory opinions on issues referred to the court by UN agencies.

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