Copyright
Pedro Pérez Zeledón.

Argument on the question of the validity of the treaty of limits between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and other supplementary points connected with it, submitted to arbitration of the President of the United States of America, filed on behalf of the government of Costa Rica by Pedro Pérez Zeledón, its e online

. (page 1 of 21)
Online LibraryPedro Pérez ZeledónArgument on the question of the validity of the treaty of limits between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and other supplementary points connected with it, submitted to arbitration of the President of the United States of America, filed on behalf of the government of Costa Rica by Pedro Pérez Zeledón, its e → online text (page 1 of 21)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


53> .*SIP >



>f ? :>S>
3^-^ *>tiL>

>~- ^ TT^>



















>^> ^RT-^^^ ^,
^

fe^^^S^






ip-^ljefe ^ ,



r^o5TO>



'm
>> o



r>>^>



:>&> z> ->,>

->> !>>3J>'
->^> ~> :>3>

























University of California Berkeley



__ .^^ , ^^ ^>M>

^> >x> ^> "i>^-'"5> > >

-5> '^>^ - ! 5>- !>^>>SL> >,^>

^D"^3> 71> Z>3^> > :



> p^ > 5 :z> ^>^>

^S^-?^^ ^to^
^>J>DI> 5 >"^> ^> ^t> ^
Zi>I> >S

^ig^?l? i,>3-

o 5
O"t

^;^>

r > >>:>
1 pt2>

!>t3
>^> :>

>:^>
->^>

^7Tl> ^)

s^

^3

> -' ^ ' '

- ;. l> ;

> V |

0%

>:^r>

=^^?-P^ ^> ^>

' >i>3>3>

>ir






















A




jf

p A



,



ARGUMENT



ON THE QUESTION OF THE VALIDITY OF

THE TREATY OF LIMITS BETWEEN

COSTA RICA AND NICARAGUA



AND



OTHER SUPPLEMENTARY POINTS CONNECTED WITH IT,



SUBMITTED TO THE



Arbitration of the President of the United States of America,



FILED ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF COSTA RIGA



BY



PEDRO PEREZ ZELEDON,

ITS ENVOY EXTRAORDINARY AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY
IN THE UNITED STATES.

(TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY J. I. RODRIGUEZ.)



WASHINGTON :

GIBSON BROS., PRINTEES AND BOOKBINDERS.
1887.



3 7 TV



Bancroft Library



.CONTENTS.



ANTECEDENTS.

Treaty of Guatemala establishing the basis of the arbitration . 5
Points which, according to the Government of Nicaragua, are
doubtful and require interpretation, ..... 9

INTRODUCTION, 15

FIEST PART. HISTOEICAL PKELIMINARIES.

CHAPTEK I.

Nicoya ; its annexation to Costa Rica, ...... 21

CHAPTEK II.

The San Juan river during the Spanish rule, . . . .30

CHAPTER III.

The San Juan river from 1821 to the date of the treaty of 1858, . 38

CHAPTER IV.

Negotiations for the settlement of the question of limits from the
dissolution of the Republic of Central America to the year 1858, 45

CHAPTER V.

Continuation of the subject of the foregoing chapter, . . .51

SECOND PART. ELUCIDATION OF THE PRINCIPAL POINT.
CHAPTER I.

Exposition of the arguments made by Nicaragua in support of
the idea that the treaty of 1858 is not valid, . . . .61

CHAPTER II.

The treaty of limits was not made under the sway of any consti-
tution, but under a Government temporarily endowed with un-
limited powers, 65

CHAPTER III.

The consideration of the exceptional regime existing in Nicaragua
in 1858 continued, 70

CHAPTER IV.

The treaty of limits does not imply any reform or amendment of
the Nicaraguan Constitution of 1838, x 77

CHAPTER V.

The treaty of limits was ratified, not once or twice, but on several
repeated occasions by the Nicaraguan Legislatures, . . .82



IV



CHAPTER VI.

The public law of Nicaragua recognizes the principle that the
Republic is bound by an international treaty whatever the im-
portance thereof may be, ........ 89

CHAPTER VII.

The whole of the present controversy rests substantially upon the
use of a certain word. Validity of the treaty in good faith, . 93

CHAPTER VIII.

Eepeated acknowledgments of the validity of the treaty by dif-
ferent Nicaraguan administrations, ...... 97

CHAPTER IX.

Costa Rica has never admitted that the treaty of limits required
for its validity further ratifications, . . . . . 104

CHAPTER X.

The second alleged cause of the nullity of the treaty of limits,
which is the want of ratification by Salvador, examined in gen-
eral, 108

CHAPTER XI.

Whether the treaty of 1858 was, or was not, the result of violence
used against Nicaragua by the Administration of Don Juan
Rafael Mora, President of Costa Rica, Ill

CHAPTER XII.

The Government of Salvador was not an essential party to the
treaty of limits, 115

CHAPTER XIII

The Government of Salvador was, primarily, a fraternal mediator,
and subsequently, and in regard to only one secondary clause
of the treaty, guaranteeing party of the execution of the said
clause, 120

CHAPTER XIV.

The guarantee cannot be construed as a condition of the treaty, . 127
CHAPTER XV.

Examination of the latter reasons alleged by Nicaragua in support
of her theory that the treaty of limits is invalid, . . . 134

THIRD PART. ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS PROPOUNDED BY NIC-
ARAGUA IN REGARD TO THE RIGHT CONSTRUCTION OF THE
TREATY OF LIMITS.

CHAPTER I.

Whether the starting-point of the border line is movable as the
waters of the river, or whether the Colorado river is the limit



PAGE.

of Nicaragua, and whether the waters of the San Juan river
can be deviated without the consent of Costa Kica, . . 139

CHAPTER II.

Whether men-of-war or revenue cutters of Costa Kica can navi-
gate on the San Juan river, 155

CHAPTER III.

Whether Costa Rica is bound to co-operate in the preservation
and improvement of the San Juan river and the Bay of San
Juan, and in what manner ; and whether Nicaragua can under-
take any work without considering the injury which may result
to Costa Rica, 162

CHAPTER IV.

W 7 hich is the centre of the Salinas Bay ? Is Costa Rica a party to
the grants of interoceanic canal which Nicaragua might make ?
What are, in this respect, the rights of Costa Rica ? . . 169

CONCLUSION, 179

DOCUMENTS.

No. 1.

Treaty of limits between Costa Rica and Nicaragua concluded

April 15, 1858, 185

No. 2,

Decree of the Federal Congress of Central America in 1825 ap-
proving the annexation of Nicoya to Costa Rica, . . . 192
No. 3.

The state of things existing at the time of the labors of the Con-
stituent Assembly is declared to be an extraordinary regime,
wherein the constitutional rules in force under regular circum-
stances could be laid aside, 193

No. 4.

Communication from the Costa Rican Secretary of State. It
shows the ardent desire of Costa Rica to settle finally, and for-
ever, the questions pending between it and Nicaragua, even at
the sacrifice of its own rights and its national pride, . . 195

No. 5.

Communication showing the spirit of conciliation and fraternity
which prevailed in the making of the treaty of limits. The
limits between Nicaragua and Costa Rica are, more than any-
thing else, internal or domestic jurisdictional boundaries, . 197
No. 6.

Congratulation by the United States Minister for the near settle-
ment of the differences between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.



VI

PAGE.

Speech of Gen. Mirabeau B. Lamar, Envoy Extraordinary and
Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States in Nicaragua, . 199
No. 7.

Note of the Costa Eican Secretary of State showing the peaceful

disposition of Costa Rica in regard to the question of limits, . 200
No. 8.

Communication from the Secretary of State of Costa Eica show-
ing that the initiation of the treaty of 1858 was due to the
friendly mediation of the Government of Salvador and to over-
tures made by Nicaragua subsequent to the repudiation made
by the latter of the treaty of 1858, which Costa Eica kad ap-
proved of, 202

No. 9.

Act of exchange of the ratifications of the treaty of limits, . . 204
No. 10.

Editorial of the official newspaper of Nicaragua on the conclu-
sion of the treaty. It shows the spirit of conciliation and fra-
ternity of Costa Eica and Nicaragua. Thanks given to the
Government of Salvador for its friendly mediation, . . . 205

No. 11.

Leave-taking of President Mora, 207

No. 12.

Leave-taking of Senor Negrete, 209

No. 13.

Answer to the letter of leave-taking of Col. Negrete. He is called
Apostle of Peace. Solemn and effusive expression of gratitude
tendered to Salvador, 211

No. 14.

Editorial of the " Gaceta de Nicaragua " subsequent to the offi-
cial leave-taking of Senores Don Juan Eaf ael Mora and Col. Ne-
grete. The latter is promoted to the rank of General as a re-
ward for his services. The Nicaraguan people feel jubilant for
the friendly relations between Costa Eica and Nicaragua, . 213

No. 15.

Spirit of concord which presided over the treaty. Evident ne-
cessity and advisability that it should be concluded. Faculties
of the Government to approve it. Final character of the treaty.
Identical position of Costa Eica and Nicaragua, . . . 214

No. 16.

The treaty of April 15, 1858, is communicated to the friendly
Governments as a happy termination of the protracted differ-
ences between Costa Eica and Nicaragua, 217



Vll



No. 17.

Validity of the Treaty, 220

No. 18.

The Constitution of Nicaragua declares that the Nicaraguan ter-
ritory borders on the south by the Republic of Costa Rica.
The Treaty of Limits is raised to the character of fundamental

law, 222

No. 19.

The value and force of the Treaty of Limits is recognized, and one

of its provisions is thus carried into effect, .... 223
No. 20.

Costa Rica is recognized as a party to the contract of the Intero-
ceanic Canal, and its acquiescence is asked to make certain mod-
ifications in it, 224

No. 21.

Official despatch acknowledging that the Nicaraguan territory
ends at the Salinas Bay as declared by the Treaty of Limits of

1858, 226

No. 22.

The Nicaraguan Chambers direct Article VIII of the Treaty of
Limits of April 15, 1858, to be complied with, and the Execu-
tive Power carries their decision into effect, .... 227
No. 23.

Official despatch showing the validity and strength of the Treaty

of Limits and the execution thereof by both Republics, . . 228
No. 24.

Costa Rica a party to the contract of Interoceanic Canal ap-
proves modifications made thereto, 229

No. 25.

Despatch showing the validity and strength of the Treaty of Lim-
its, and its execution, ........ 230

No. 26.

The Government of Nicaragua asks that of Costa Rica to remove
its custom officers from the La Flor river, its former frontier,
to the new limit fixed by the treaty of April 15, 1858, . . 231
No. 27.

The Government of Costa Rica is invited to assist that of Nicara-
gua in improving the port of San Juan del Norte, almost de-
stroyed by the deviation of the waters of the San Juan river
into the bed of the Colorado river, ...... 233

No. 28.

Nicaragua reminds Costa Rica of the duty imposed upon her by
the treaty of April 15, 1858, to defend her frontiers at San Juan
and the Bolarios Bay, . . 235



Vlll



No. 29.

Execution of the Treaty of Limits, 237

No. 30.

The Nicaraguan Chambers direct the Executive to comply with

Art. VIII of the Treaty of Limits of April 15, 1858, . . .238
No. 31.

The strict compliance with the Treaty of Limits demonstrated.
The Government of Costa Kica asks the rights vested in it by
Article VI of a contract of transit to be expressly secured, . 239
No. 32.

The Government of Nicaragua asks for some forces to be situ-
ated at Sarapiqui (a confluent of the San Juan river, on the

right bank), T 242

No. 33.

The Nicaraguan Chambers order one of the provisions of the

Treaty of Limits of 1858 to be complied with, .... 244
No. 34.

Validity and force of the Treaty of Limits. Costa Rica does not
accede to situate forces at Sarapiqui on the ground that it is

unnecessary, 245

No. 35.

Costa Eica protests against the occupation and deterioration of

the Colorado river, 247

No. 36.

The Government of Nicaragua recognizes that the Colorado river
and its mouth are in Costa Eican territory and belong to Costa
Eica, and cannot be closed against the will of the latter, . . 248
No. 37.

Nicaragua recognizes still more solemnly that the Colorado river
and the right bank of the San Juan river are Costa Eican terri-
tory, 250

No. 38.

The Minister of Nicaragua in Washington solemnly declares be-
fore the American Government that the Eepublic of Costa Eica
borders on the interior waters of Nicaragua, and that its flag is
the only one which, in union with the Nicaraguan flag, can
float on said waters, . . . . . . . . .251

No. 39.

The Government of Nicaragua approves the declaration of its
Minister at Washington, and commends him for his zeal and

fidelity, . . . .252

No. 40.

The action of Don Luis Molina, Minister of Nicaragua in Wash-
ington, is approved and commended. Executive order reward-



IX

PAGR.

ing the important services of Don Luis Molina, Minister Pleni-
potentiary of Nicaragua in the United States, and Mr. Mande-
ville Carlisle and Don Fernando Guzman, .... 253

No. 41.

Validity and strength of the treaty of April 15, 1858, . . .254
No.' 42.

Validity and strength of the Treaty of Limits, . . . 256
No. 43.

The Government of Costa Bica orders an exploration to be made

of its lands bordering on the San Juan river, .... 257
No. 44.

New expeditions to the banks of the San Juan river, . . . 258
No. 45.

Nicaragua acknowledges that Costa Kica borders on the San Juan

river, .259

No. 46.

Nicaragua promises that the interests of Costa Rica will be re-
spected, and that its rights will suffer no detriment, . . 260
No. 47.

Costa Kica protests against the deviation of the waters of the Col-
orado river belonging to that Eepublic, 261

No. 48.

Despatch stating that a sanitary cordon of Costa Rica has tres-
passed on the Nicaraguan frontier as established by the treaty
of 1858, 262

No. 49.

Nicaragua asks that a sf*nitary cordon be moved back to the fron-
tier established by the treaty of 1858, 263

No. 50.

The Government of Costa Rica consents to move back its sanitary
cordon to a point indisputably located within the limits estab-
lished by the treaty of April 15, 1858, . . . . .264

No. 51.

Costa Rica shows her disposition to enter into arrangements with
Nicaragua to determine by mutual agreement what should be
done in regard to communications on the Atlantic side, . . 265

No. 52.

Contract Ay6n-Chevalier. Costa Rica is an essential party to the
interoceanic canal. The contract will be void if Costa Rica
does not accept it. Costa Rica will be invited to make in favor
of the grantee such concessions in the Costa Rican territory as
Nicaragua makes in her own, . . . . . . 266



PAGE.

No. 53.

Editorial of the Nicaraguan "Gaceta" on the Ay6n-Chevalier
canal contract. The San Juan river explicitly declared to be
(1869) in great part the frontier of Costa Rica. The adherence
of Costa Rica to the contract recognized to be indispensable.
Costa Rica is asked to grant in her territory what Nicaragua has
granted in hers. All of this presupposes the acknowledged va-
lidity of the Treaty of Limits, 268

No. 54.

The Government of Nicaragua asks the Government of Costa
Rica to request the National Constituent Convention to mod-
ify certain articles of a treaty between the two Republics for
the digging of an interoceanic canal, . . . . . 270

No. 55.

Project of a road from San Joso de Costa Rica to San Carlos for
the export of coffee through San Juan del Norte. Costa Rica
earnestly invited to co-operate in the restoration of the port of
San Juan by uniting the waters of the Colorado river with those

of the San Juan river, 271

No. 56.

Remarks made by the Government of Costa Rica to the Govern-
ment of Nicaragua when the latter submitted to the Nicaraguan
Congress its so-called doubts in regard to the validity of the

Treaty of Limits of 1858, 274

No. 57.

Remarks of the Government of Costa Rica in refutation of the
doubts entertained by the Government of Nicaragua on the

validity of the Treaty of Limits, 279

No. 58.

Costa Rica declares that it will keep its custom-houses and main-
tain its sovereignty over the whole territory which, according to
the treaty of 1858, belongs to it unless other limits are not es-
tablished by mutual agreement or arbitral decision, . . . 290
No. 59.

Costa Rica protests against the non-compliance on the part of
Nicaragua of Article VIII of the Treaty of Limits, . . .291

No. 60.

The explanations of Nicaragua as to the non-compliance with

Article VIII of the Treaty of Limits are accepted, . . . 294
No. 61.

Opinion of the historian of Central America, Dr. Don Lorenzo
Montufar, at present the Secretary of State of the Republic of
Guatemala, in regard to the Treaty of Limits between Costa
Rica and Nicaragua, ......... 296



XI



No. 62.

Extracts from the "History of Nicaragua from the Kemotest
Times to the year 1852," written by order of General Don
Joaquin Zavala, President of the Kepublic, by Seiior Dr. Don
Tomas Ay on. Vol. I. Granada : Printing office of El Centro
Americano, 1882. The author of said history gives the name
of Desaguadero to the San Juan de Nicaragua river, . . 305
No. 63.

Organic laws of Costa Rica in regard to limits with Nicaragua, . 308
No. 64.

Failure of Canal Negotiations with the Government of the United
States owing to the fact that Nicaragua refused Costa Rica in-
tervention in it, . . 316



ANTECEDENTS



ANTECEDENTS.



LEGATION OF COSTA EICA,
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 30, 1887.

Sm : I have the honor to enclose a copy of the treaty signed
at the city of Guatemala on the 24th of December, 1886, by
plenipotentiaries of Costa Bica and Nicaragua with the friendly
mediation of the Guatemalan Government, in which it was
stipulated that both contracting parties should submit to the
arbitration of the President of the United States of America
the question whether the treaty of limits celebrated by them
on the 15th of April, 1858, is or is not valid.

In the name and under special instructions of the Govern-
ment of Costa Eica I request you to interpose your good and
valuable offices with His Excellency the President in order
that he may consent to render to my country the eminent ser-
vice above referred to.

My Government hopes that such a marked favor will be
obtained by it, and grounds its expectations upon the benevo-
lent friendship shown to it by your Government and on the
traditional interest that this great nation has always felt for
the peace, tranquility, and welfare of the other nations of
America which are its sisters.

With protestations of my highest consideration, I am, your
most obedient servant,

PEDBO PEEEZ Z.

To the Honorable THOMAS F. BAYAKD,

Secretary of State , dec., c&c., <&c.



LEGATION OF COSTA RICA,
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 31, 1887.

SIR : I have been favored by your estimable communica-
tion, dated yesterday, in which you were pleased to inform
me that His Excellency the President has been pleased to
consent to be arbitrator to decide the controversy between
Costa Eica and Nicaragua on the validity or invalidity of the
treaty of April 15, 1858, celebrated by the two Republics for
the final settlement of their questions about territorial limits.

It is with great satisfaction that I have received this pleas-
ant information, which I hastened to transmit by cable to my
Government. Indeed, I never apprehended that the illus-
trious Chief Magistrate of this great nation would refuse
Costa Rica the inestimable service of adjusting its differences
with its neighboring sister, the Republic of Nicaragua.

I comply with a very gratifying duty in giving to His
Excellency the President and to you yourself, for your own
part in the premises, my most expressive thanks for this new
testimony of friendship given to my Government. And in
so doing I comply, also, with special recommendations of
my Government.

I shall have the honor to submit to the high consideration
of His Excellency the President, within the period marked by
the treaty, the grounds and reasons which, in the opinion of
the Government of Costa Rica, rendered the validity of the
treaty of 1858 evident and irrefutable.

With feelings of high esteem, I am, your very obedient
servant,

PEDRO PEREZ Z.

To the Hon. THOMAS F. BAYARD,

Secretary of State, dkc., dec., <&c.



TREATY or GUATEMALA ESTABLISHING THE BASIS OF THE

ARBITRATION.

Convention between the Governments of Nicaragua and Costa
Rica to submit to the arbitration of the Government of the
United States the question in regard to the validity of the
treaty of 15 April, 1858.

The Governments of the Republics of Nicaragua and Costa
Rica desiring to terminate the question debated by them since
1871, to wit:

Whether the treaty, signed by both on the 15th day of
April, 1858, is or is not valid, have named, respectively, as
plenipotentiaries, Senor Don Jose Antonio Roman, envoy
extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Nicaragua, near
the Government of Guatemala, and Senor Don Ascension
Esquivel, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
of Costa Rica, near the same Government, who having com-
municated their full powers, found to be in due form, and
conferred with each other, with the mediation of the minister
for foreign affairs for the Republic of Guatemala, Doctor Don
Fernando Cruz, designated to interpose the good offices of
his Government, generously offered to the contending par-
ties and by them gratefully accepted, have agreed to the fol-
lowing articles :

(1) The question pending between the contracting Govern-
ments, in regard to the validity of the treaty of limits of the
15th of April, 1858, shall be submitted to arbitration.

(2) The arbitrator of that question shall be the President
of the United States of America. Within sixty days follow-
ing the exchange of ratifications of the present convention,
the contracting Governments shall solicit of the appointed
arbitrator his acceptance of the charge.



6

(3) In the unexpected event that the President of the
United States should not be pleased to accept, the parties
shall name, as arbitrator, the President of the Republic of
Chili, whose acceptance shall be solicited by the contracting
Governments within ninety days from the date upon which
the President of the United States may give notice to both
Governments, or to their representatives in Washington, of
his declination.

(4) If, unfortunately, the President of Chili should also be
unable to lend to the parties the eminent service of accepting
the charge, both Governments shall come to an agreement
for the purpose of electing two other arbitrators within ninety
days, counting from the day on which the President of Chili
may give notice to both Governments or their representatives,
in Santiago, of his non-acceptance.

(5) The proceedings and terms to which the decisions of
the arbitrator are limited shall be the following :

Within ninety days, counting from the notification to the
parties of the acceptance of the arbitrator, the parties shall
present to him their allegations and documents. The arbi-
trator will communicate to the representative of each Govern-
ment, within eight days after their presentation, the allega-
tions of the opposing party, in order that the opposing
party may be able to answer them within the thirty days
following that upon which the same shall have been communi-
cated.

The arbitrator's decision, to be held valid, must be pro-
nounced within six months, counting from the date upon
which the term allowed for the answers to the allegations
shall have expired, whether the same shall or shall not have
been presented.

The arbitrator may delegate his powers, provided that he
does not fail to intervene directly in the pronunciation of the
final decision.



(6) If the arbitrator's award should determine that the
treaty is valid, the same award shall also declare whether
Costa Rica has the right of navigation of the river San Juan
with vessels of war or of the revenue service. In the same
manner he shall decide, in case of the validity of the treaty,
upon all the other points of doubtful interpretation which
either of the parties may find in the treaty, and shall com-
municate to the other party within thirty days after the ex-
change of the ratifications of the present convention.

(7) The decision of the arbitrator, whichsoever it may be,
shall be held as a perfect treaty and binding between the con-
tracting parties. No recourse whatever shall be admitted, and
it shall begin to have effect thirty days after it shall have been
notified to both Governments or to their representatives.

(8) If the invalidity of the treaty should be declared, both
Governments, within one year, counting from the notification
of the award of the arbitrator, shall come to an agreement to
fix the dividing line between their respective territories. If
that agreement should not be possible, they shall, in the fol-
lowing year, enter into a convention to submit the question
of boundaries between the two Republics to the decision of
a friendly Government.

From the time the treaty shall be declared null, and during
the time there may be no agreement between the parties, or


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryPedro Pérez ZeledónArgument on the question of the validity of the treaty of limits between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and other supplementary points connected with it, submitted to arbitration of the President of the United States of America, filed on behalf of the government of Costa Rica by Pedro Pérez Zeledón, its e → online text (page 1 of 21)