Costa Rica and Nicaragua: A Path of Discord

An unpaved road of 160 kilometers along the border is the new generator of discord between Costa Rica and Nicaragua – neighbors with a long history of disagreements that now keep their relationships to a minimum.

San José, the capital of Costa Rica, decided to open the way for increased surveillance and police presence on the border after accusing Nicaragua of invading a small part of its territory in the Caribbean in late 2010.

But road construction heated up the mood in Managua, Nicaragua, and the government of Daniel Ortega accused the Costa Ricans and specifically, Laura Chinchilla, to cause serious environmental damage to the river San Juan, the natural boundary between the two nations, but of Nicaraguan sovereignty.

In the middle of constant verbal attacks, almost endless exchange of diplomatic notes of protest from San Jose to Managua and back, and even complaints to theInternational Court of Justice (ICJ), Chinchilla opened in February the first installment of the controversial road ensuring that in addition to security objectives, the route has a fundamentally social purpose.

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