Can Nicaragua protect the waters it won?
A CSM article addresses the question of whether Nicaragua can protect the waters it won in it's ICJ case against Colombia. Most previous articles following the ICJ ruling were about Colombia not being happy with the decision. It's about time to move on.
The issue is real as this is the area where much of Colombia's big cash crop, cocaine, passes through.
“Nicaragua doesn’t have the resources, and we are going to see a surge in drug trafficking,” says John Marulanda, a Colombia-based defense consultant.
Nicaragua has one of the smallest and most antiquated naval fleets in Latin America, and it may have been granted more ocean than it can manage or police.
But, here are some points to help us see the big picture:
- Colombia, not Nicaragua, benefits from the cocaine business.
- Colombia receives a huge amount of military aid from the US. (As I remember, it is only second to Israel.)
- While many of the drug shipments will pass through what is now Nicaraguan waters, they still originate in Colombian or Venezuelann waters.
- With the final destination being primarily the US, this just means more responsibility for Central America with no gain.
There are lots of possible outcomes in this political poker game. One possibility is that this will encourage Nicaragua to join the campaign of Guatemalan president Molina's campaign to legalize drugs in Central America as the way to get out of being the police force for a problem that is really one of Colombia and the US.