Analyzing the Venezuela-Colombia Maritime Disputes: A Legal Perspective

The Venezuela-Colombia maritime disputes have long been a source of tension and contention between the two neighboring countries. With overlapping claims over maritime territories and resources, both countries have engaged in a complex legal battle to assert their rights. This article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of these disputes from a legal perspective, examining the historical background, applicable legal framework, territorial claims, relevant provisions of UNCLOS, past and ongoing dispute resolution efforts, as well as the potential political, economic, and security implications. By understanding the complexities and legal intricacies of this ongoing conflict, we can better assess its future implications and potential resolution.

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Colombia and Maritime Security: International Law of the Seas

Colombia has a long coastline and a vast maritime territory, making maritime security a priority for the country. Maritime security can be improved by adhering to international law of the seas, and co-operating with external organizations to strengthen its security. This article will discuss Colombia’s maritime security, the international law of the seas, the maritime security challenges that the country faces, the role of international law, co-operation and external assistance, and measures to strengthen maritime security.

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Colombia–Jamaica maritime boundary and the Joint Regime Area

In 1993 Colombia and Jamaica concluded a treaty (1993 Treaty) concerning their overlapping claims to a continental shelf and EEZ in the Caribbean Sea. Article 1 of the 1993 Treaty establishes a maritime boundary between the two States. Immediately to the west of the boundary, the 1993 Treaty also establishes a ‘Joint Regime Area’ in which, ‘pending the determination of the jurisdictional limits of each Party …, the Parties agree to establish … a zone of joint management, control, exploration and exploitation of living and non-living resources’. Article 3(1), sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of the 1993 Treaty exclude two circular areas of 12 nautical miles radius from the Joint Regime Area. One circular area surrounds the cays of the Seranilla Bank and the other surrounds the cays of Bajo Nuevo. Both of these groups of features are claimed by Colombia – a claim that has been disputed on various occasions by Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the United States.

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