EspañolThe Nicaraguan Army is seeking to purchase fighter aircraft to combat drug trafficking within national airspace, Brigadier-General Aldolfo Zepeda told press on Tuesday, February 10.
“In order to prevent drug-smuggling aircraft passing through our airspace,” Zepeda said, the Nicaraguan authorities are “taking steps to buy jet interceptors.”
The general described the move as “purely defensive, not aggressive,” denying rumors that the Colombian armed forces plan to reinforce their aerial firepower as a reaction to the Nicaraguan decision.
Zepeda also denied that the government was interested in purchasing Russian-made warplanes such as the Mikoyan MiG-29.
“Nicaragua does not constitute a threat for any country to argue that they are arming themselves in case of an eventual strike from Nicaragua,” Zepeda said. “We are a peaceful country, we respect international law. Our differences at the international level are taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and Nicaragua upholds those decisions,” he added.
In November of 2012, the ICJ assigned Nicaragua economic rights over a disputed maritime area comprising 90,000 square kilometers, according to Nicaragua, and 75,000 square kilometers according to Colombia.
The Nicaraguan army is also considering buying eight patrol vessels and has been weighing different alternatives, including ships from Russia — previously a firm military ally to Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime between 1979 and 1990.
In 2013, the government of El Salvador announced the purchase of 12 warplanes from Chile.