Nicaragua and Honduras signed a border treaty in 2021 that includes the Fonseca Gulf. El Salvador, however, has not recognized this treaty thus far.
President Daniel Ortega’s administration denounced to the international community that El Salvador sent armed military ships to Nicaraguan territory in the Pacific Ocean.
“Salvadoran military ships have entered less than 30 miles away from our coasts and remain in that place claiming sovereignty over those maritime spaces. Nicaragua wishes to emphasize that these spaces have always been under the unquestionable sovereignty of Nicaragua and that El Salvador has never before attempted or claimed sovereignty over them,” the Ortega administration stated.
“Prior to the hostile actions that are being carried out by El Salvador, there was no document in which El Salvador claimed Sovereignty over those spaces, nor any record that it has entered that area as it is currently doing,” it added.
The Nicaraguan government also recalled that El Salvador has historically upheld an interpretation according to which “Honduras has no rights in the mouth of the Fonseca Gulf and therefore in the waters outside of it, in the Pacific Ocean.”
The Fonseca Gulf is one of the world’s best natural harbors and has an extension of about 3,200 square kilometers. Around it are economically very active ports such as La Union (El Salvador), San Lorenzo (Honduras), and Potosi and Morazan (Nicaragua).
Due to its geopolitical importance, this gulf has been a focus of tension for Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador for decades. To avoid any conflict, Nicaragua and Honduras signed a border treaty in October 2021 that includes the Fonseca Gulf. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, however, has not recognized that treaty thus far.
“The incursion of Salvadoran military vessels occurred on February 4 and 5 in the jurisdictional maritime space to the southwest of Punta Cosiguina… the vessels of the Salvadoran Naval Force that entered on February 4 were identified with the numbers PM-15 and PM-10. The next day a military artillery vessel identified as PC-01 and a Boston Whaler-type artillery speedboat entered,” outlet Red Colectiva reported.