There’s no denying the fact that Costa Rica has a “history of peace and neutrality” and remains one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Therefore, researching an event that has stirred up various opinions in country like Costa Rica proved to quite an arduous task. However, as I scrolled through various Twitter headlines and clicked through countless pages on Google, I couldn’t help but realize the one issue that seemed to always pop-up.
The Costa Rica- Nicaragua San Juan River dispute dates back to 2010, and there have been hearings as recently as last year. The conflict centers around an event in 2010 when Costa Rica claimed Nicaragua crossed Costa Rican territory while dredging the San Juan River. The Nicaraguan government denies this claim by stating, “they can’t invade [their] own territory”.
The tensions have led to an array of different opinions regarding Costa Rica. In the Christian Science Monitor, Tim Rogers claimed that the dispute will “force Costa Rica to reexamine its commitment to disarmament and confront the ghosts of its wimpy image”.
NPR’s Renee Montagne gave insight on the views of many Costa Ricans. While Costa Rica sees that the land has always been their own, Google Maps mistakenly attributed that land to Nicaragua in their database.
One can clearly see the different media biases. For instance, a CID- Gallup Poll shows that 91 percent of Nicaraguans think the crisis was caused by unclear border limits and 73 percent of Costa Ricans think the crisis is because of Nicaragua’s military invasion of their country.
Despite the contrasting opinions, it is up to the International Court of Justice to finally put an end to the dispute.