Colombia y Nicaragua, un conflicto territorial. Análisis jurídico.

El archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina, ubicado a 270 kilómetros de Colombia, es calificado por las Naciones Unidas como “Reserva Mundial de la Biósfera” y es también un espacio geográfico que ha generado una controversia limítrofe de larguísima data entre nuestro país y Nicaragua.

Con el fin de dar término a la disputa territorial entre Colombia y Nicaragua que se venía presentando desde finales del siglo XIX,  se celebró en 1928 el Tratado Esguerra-Bárcena que, entendido como un acto formal y público, pretendía la armonización de las relaciones entre ambos países a través del reconocimiento de la soberanía y la delimitación de las fronteras marítimas. El tratado pretendía en ese entonces, que se reconociera el pleno dominio de Colombia sobre el archipiélago de San Andrés.

En el año de 1948 se suscribió un pacto denominado el Tratado Americano de Soluciones Pacíficas, el cual invocó Nicaragua permitiéndole justificar el cuestionamiento ante la Corte Internacional de Justicia (CIJ) sobre el Tratado Esguerra-Bárcena, pues a su juicio, ese tratado carecía de validez en la medida en que había surgido en un momento de presión militar y política a Nicaragua por parte de Estados Unidos. De otro lado, Colombia aseveró que el pacto de 1928 era plenamente válido, pues una vez firmado y ratificado el tratado entre los Estados, este no podría ser objeto de controversia alguna. Así lo sustentó de acuerdo al Protocolo de 1930, allí se dijo que el Tratado Esguerra-Bárcena se había celebrado de forma debida y que la posesión de Colombia sobre el archipiélago de San Andrés estaba respaldada por no ser una invasión o alguna clase de despojo. De ese modo fue aprobado por ambos Estados dicho acto, con lo cual entró en vigor.

En virtud de las consideraciones de Nicaragua, en 2001 ese país presentó ante la CIJ una demanda para solicitar que se tratase la cuestión sobre la soberanía y dominio del archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina. Así las cosas, la Corte se pronunció declarándose competente para revisar y componer la controversia colombo-nicaragüense acerca de la frontera del mar Caribe. Pese a ese pronunciamiento, fue claro que dicho Tribunal no tenía jurisdicción para resolver el conflicto sobre la soberanía y dominio del archipiélago, pues confirmó que el Tratado Esguerra-Bárcena de 1928 era válido y que efectivamente tales islas pertenecían al territorio colombiano.

Presentados los argumentos de parte y parte, el 6 de diciembre de 2007 la Corte de La Haya declaró en su fallo que el asunto sobre la soberanía y dominio del archipiélago de San Andrés, Santa Catalina y Providencia estaba resuelto y que por consiguiente, no tenía jurisdicción al no presentarse ningún conflicto. No obstante, la Corte consideró que aún quedaba por resolver en el Tratado de 1928 la cuestión acerca de la delimitación de la frontera marítima y la soberanía de los cayos de Roncador, Serrana y Quitasueño que, al momento de celebrarse el Tratado el dominio de estos lugares se encontraban en disputa entre Estados Unidos y Colombia por lo cual no era objeto de discusión.

Finalmente, la CIJ cuestionó la reacción de Nicaragua después de tantos años cuando anteriormente no se había pronunciado sobre ningún supuesto vicio de fondo del Tratado Esguerra-Bárcena. La Corte declaró que la documentación registrada por Nicaragua daba total respaldo a la validez de aquel acuerdo.

Surge entonces la pregunta, ¿cuáles hubieran sido los argumentos ideales para que la soberanía y el dominio del archipiélago de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina quedara en poder nicaragüense?

Por: Daniela Vargas Trejos
Estudiante de la Escuela de Derecho – Universidad EAFIT




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