File No. 817.812/260

The Minister of Costa Rica to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary: I have the honor to inform your excellency that on the thirteenth day of September of this year the most excellent the Central American Court of Justice handed down its decision in the action brought by my Government against the Republic of [Page 887] Nicaragua in the matter of the conclusion of the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty signed in this capital on August 5, 1914.

The high tribunal, as your excellency will see in the judgment of which I permit myself to enclose an English translation,15 definitively declared that

the Government of Nicaragua has violated, to the injury of Costa Rica, the rights granted to the latter by the Cañaz-Jerez Treaty of Limits of April 15, 1858, by the Cleveland award of March 22, 1888, and by the Central American Treaty of Peace and Amity of December 20, 1907,

and abstained from passing upon the question of validity of the Bryan-Chamorro Treaty as foreign to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction.

The sentence unfortunately failed to bring to an end the differences which originated it, for, the Government of Nicaragua far from abiding by it with due submission and respect, officially declared that it rejected it de piano, thus fundamentally disparaging the high authority which issued it.

The intemperate course taken on this occasion by Nicaragua virtually impugns the stability, the very existence of the institution which for nearly nine years has kept off the Central American Republics the sanguinary strifes which they so frequently waged against one another theretofore, an institution in the genesis of which the altruistic intervention of your excellency’s Government took a leading part and on which so much well deserved praise has been bestowed by all those who indefatigably labor in the cause of the high ideals of peace and fraternity among the nations.

In the presence of the situation so created and with a view to procuring all the elements that may serve in enlightening its judgment as to the choice of measures to be taken by it my Government has instructed me very respectfully to beseech of your excellency an expression of your Government’s opinion concerning the action and future of the Court.

I am [etc.]

Manuel Castro Quesada
  1. Not printed. See inclosure to dispatch No. 102, from the American Legation at San José, Costa Rica, dated October 16, 1916, printed ante, p. 862.