Nicaragua and Colombia are still making waves over territory. Seven months after The Hague sided with Nicaragua on a dispute over international waters, the two countries won't let it rest. Last week, Colombia's Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín warned Nicaragua against auctioning off oil exploration in disputed Caribbean waters, including the Seaflower marine protected area
Colombia responded to Nicaragua’s plan to offer almost 70,000 square kilometers (43,000 square miles) to energy companies -- some of which belong to Colombia. “The Colombian government reiterates that it will not accept nor permit exploration or the placement of exploration infrastructure to exploit hydrocarbons under concessions that presume to be offered by Nicaragua in areas that belong to Colombia,” read the statement.
Colombia’s basis for the accusation were a number of maps depicting future explorations, published on the website of Nicaragua’s Ministry of Mining and Energy. However, Nicaragua replied on Tuesday saying that it had not offered any explorations.
“How could Nicaragua offer something that everybody knows is not allowed?” said Samuel Santos, the Nicaraguan foreign minister.
Santos assured that the maps from the website had been published in October 2012, before The Hague’s decision was made known a month later. Nevertheless, according to the minister, no company that is up to date with the situation would ask for such concessions.
Meanwhile, Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported that Santos accused Colombia of doing exactly that they were condemning. “Colombia has been offering oil explorations in the area that was later determined Nicaragua, and even within the limits of Seaflower,” he said.
Holguín replied to the statement a day later, calling it “unacceptable,” reported Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa.
“It is inadmissible that they are now trying to justify themselves by saying the webpage was not updated. We found those maps on July 29,” Holguín said.
The maps have since been removed from the website.