Search

 

Cablegate: Costa Rica - San Juan River Dispute Drags On

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0799 2612234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182234Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1218
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 5793
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000799

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM IO NU CS
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA - SAN JUAN RIVER DISPUTE DRAGS ON

REF: A. SAN JOSE 619
B. WHA ASDAR 8/28/09

1. (SBU) Costa Rica and Nicaragua continue to be locked in a
long-standing dispute over the management of the San Juan
River, despite a July 13 International Court of Justice (ICJ)
ruling to settle the matter (Ref A). Though both countries
claimed to accept the ruling, on August 25 the GON announced
plans to start dredging the San Juan in order to increase
waterflow (Ref B). The GOC is concerned that dredging the
San Juan, which was expressly forbidden by the ICJ ruling,
would cause environmental damage along Costa Rica's Colorado
River, which is fed by the San Juan. The GOC has sent three
diplomatic notes to the GON objecting the plan, and insisting
that an environmental impact study be done before any further
action is considered. GOC point-person on the San Juan
dispute Arnoldo Brenes told us that the GON has $4 million
already allocated for the dredging project, which was planned
to begin in October (a month later than the announced start
date of September).

2. (SBU) On August 30 Costa Rican press reported that the GON
was continuing to charge fees to Costa Rica vessels on the
San Juan, which also violates the ICJ ruling. However,
Brenes later told us that they had received some reports from
fishing vessels that the GON had suspended the charges as of
September 1, at least in the area where the Sarapiqui river
meets the San Juan. Brenes said that they hadn't yet
received reports on the issue from other parts of the river,
and had yet to receive any communication on the issue from
the GON in response to their diplomatic notes.

3. (SBU) In a meeting in early September MFA Chief of Staff
Elaine White said she would welcome any information we could
give them about the GON's plans for dredging the river.
Stating that the GOC's staff in Managua was "limited", she
asked if we could pass along any information our Embassy in
Managua could find on the issue.

4. (SBU) Comment: While the two countries share a common
border, Costa Rica and Nicaragua remain worlds apart. The
fact that the GOC has requested information from us about the
GON's plans for their shared border shows just how little the
two governments communicate. From our conversations with GOC
officials, it is clear that any "dialogue" they have with the
Nicaraguans merely consists of mailing off a diplomatic note
and waiting for a reply, which often never comes. Though
there had been hope that the ICJ ruling had put the San Juan
dispute to rest, it is clear that border problems between the
two neighbors will continue to be an issue.

BRENNAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UNFCCC: Simon Stiell Appointed New Executive Secretary
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Simon Stiell as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany...
More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>



UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>


Afghanistan: One Year On From Regime Change And Children Face An Unimaginable A Crisis
On the one-year anniversary of regime change in Afghanistan, a new World Vision report highlights the grave risk the country’s children face from starvation, forced child marriage, and child labour... More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>