Minister to Visit Gulf of Fonseca

Friday, the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mario Canahuati plans to visit the area of the Gulf of Fonseca after two Honduran fishermen, brothers Denis and Luis Zambrano were detained by Nicaraguan troops last Friday, and have not yet been released. The men were fishing in the waters of the Gulf of Fonseca, whose shores and waters are shared by El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The arrest of the two men occurs within days of a death by drowning of another Honduran man fishing in the Gulf of Fonseca, Victor Manuel Argenal. In that instance, the head of the Nicaraguan Army, General Julio Cesar Aviles, claimed Argenal died when his boat overturned. The general said Argenal’s boat was one of more than 30 Honduran vessels discovered fishing illegally in Nicaraguan waters last weekend. Most of the boats quickly headed back to Honduran waters when they spotted the Nicaraguan naval patrol, but Argenal’s “made a bad maneuver and capsized,” Aviles said.

El Salvador and Nicaragua have been trying for ten years to block Honduras’ access to the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca. At issue in 1992, were six segments of land along the 160-mile border between El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the islands in the Gulf of Fonseca, and the gulf itself. This issue was ruled on by the Court of Justice in The Hague in September 1992, (the court is the judicial arm of the United Nations) and defined the land and maritime boundary between Honduras and El Salvador, but the waters of the Gulf of Fonseca have not yet been marked to define the maritime area of each country.

Gulf of Fonseca

Most recently, a dispute began between Nicaragua and Honduras over the Gulf area, after Nicaragua published a map in January of this year, which outlined that country owning half of the mouth of the Gulf of Fonseca, and at the same time offering the maritime territory for exploration of hydrocarbons.

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