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13153 Nicaragua - Agreement Concerning Cooperation to Suppress Illicit Traffic by Sea and Air


   
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TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 13153

 

NARCOTIC DRUGS

 

 

 

 


Agreement Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
and NICARAGUA

 

Signed at Managua June 1, 2001

 

 

 

 

 


 

NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”

 

NICARAGUA

Narcotic Drugs


Agreement signed at Managua June 1, 2001;
Entered into force November 15, 2001.

AGREEMENT
BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA
CONCERNING
COOPERATION TO SUPPRESS ILLICIT TRAFFIC
BY SEA AND AIR
The Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of
Nicaragua, hereinafter, "the Parties",
Bearing in mind the complex nature of the problem of illicit traffic by sea and air;
Having regard to the urgent need for international cooperation in suppressing illicit traffic
by sea and air, which is recognized in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and its 1972
Protocol, in the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, in the 1988 United Nations
Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (hereinafter,
"the 1988 Convention"), in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the
1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation and its Annexes;
Taking into account that the technical and material resources of the Government of
Nicaragua are inadequate to combat illicit international trafficking efficiently and effectively;
Concerned that illicit drug trafficking has increased in recent years, a phenomenon that
affects both countries and State institutions, leading to an increase in domestic consumption and
effects on health and on society in general that have an adverse impact on the peoples and
governments of Nicaragua and the United States of America;
In view of the fact that this illicit traffic takes place in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific
Ocean, which, because of their natural conditions, are conducive for the performance of this
activity;
Recalling that the 1988 Convention requires the Parties to consider entering into bilateral
agreements to carry out, or to enhance the effectiveness of, its provisions;
Reaffirming their commitment to fight effectively against illicit traffic through the
continued technical assistance, training and development of enhanced capabilities; and
Desiring to promote greater cooperation between the Parties, and thereby enhance their
effectiveness, in combating illicit traffic by sea and air on the basis of mutual respect for the
sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States;
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
Definitions
In this Agreement, unless the context requires otherwise:
a. "Illicit traffic" has the same meaning as in Article 1(m) of the 1988 Convention.
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b. "Law enforcement authority" means for the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua,
the National Police, Navy and Air Force of the Nicaraguan Army, and for the Government of the
United States of America, the United States Coast Guard.
c. "Law enforcement officials" means, for the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua,
uniformed members of the National Police, Navy and Air Force of the Nicaraguan Army, and,
for the Government of the United States of America, uniformed members of the United States
Coast Guard.
d. "Law enforcement vessels" means ships of the Parties clearly marked and identifiable
as being on government non-commercial service and authorized to that effect, including any boat
and aircraft embarked on such ships, aboard which law enforcement officials are embarked.
e. "Law enforcement aircraft" means aircraft of the Parties engaged in law enforcement
operations or operations in support of law enforcement activities, clearly marked and identifiable
as being on government non-commercial service and authorized to that effect aboard which law
enforcement officials of the Parties are embarked in accordance with this Agreement.
f. "Law enforcement operational teams" means the law enforcement officials of one Party
authorized to embark on a law enforcement vessel of the other Party.
g. "Suspect vessel or aircraft" means a vessel or aircraft, of any nationality or without
nationality, used for commercial or private purposes, in respect of which there are reasonable
grounds to suspect it is engaged in illicit traffic.
Article 2
Nature and Scope of Agreement
The Parties shall cooperate in combating illicit traffic by sea and air to the fullest extent
possible, consistent with available law enforcement resources and priorities related thereto, in
conformity with their respective laws and with the international law of the sea and of the air.
Article 3
Operations in and over National Territory and Waters
Operations to suppress illicit traffic in and over the territory and territorial sea of a Party
are subject to the authority and jurisdiction of that Party.
Article 4
Operational Teams
1. The Parties shall establish a joint law enforcement operational team program between
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their law enforcement authorities. Each Party shall designate a coordinator to organize its
program activities and to identify the vessels, aircraft and officials involved in the Program to the
other Party.
2. The Government of the Republic of Nicaragua may designate qualified officials of its
law enforcement authority to act as operational teams. Subject to Nicaraguan law, these teams
may:
a. Embark on United States law enforcement vessels and/or aircraft;
b. Authorize the pursuit of suspect vessels and aircraft fleeing into or over the Nicaraguan
territorial sea by the United States law enforcement vessels and/or aircraft on which the
operational teams are embarked;
c. Authorize the United States law enforcement vessels and/or aircraft on which the
operational teams are embarked to conduct patrols in the Nicaraguan territorial sea, with a view
to the suppression of illicit traffic under this Agreement;
d. Enforce the laws of Nicaragua in the Nicaraguan territorial sea, or seaward therefrom
in the exercise of the right of hot pursuit or otherwise, in accordance with international law; and
e. Authorize the United States law enforcement vessels on which they are embarked to
support the operational teams in carrying out their functions under this Agreement.
3. The Government of the United States of America may designate qualified officials of
its law enforcement authority to act as operational teams. Subject to United States law, these
teams may:
a. Embark on Nicaraguan law enforcement vessels and/or aircraft;
b. Authorize the pursuit of suspect vessels and aircraft fleeing into or over the United
States territorial sea by the Nicaraguan law enforcement vessels and/or aircraft on which the
operational teams are embarked;
c. Authorize the Nicaraguan law enforcement vessels on which the operational teams are
embarked to conduct patrols in the United States territorial sea with a view to the suppression of
illicit traffic under this Agreement;
d. Enforce the laws of the United States in the United States territorial sea, or seaward
therefrom, in the exercise of the right of hot pursuit or otherwise, in accordance with international
law; and
e. Authorize the Nicaraguan law enforcement vessels on which they are embarked to
support the operational teams in carrying out their functions under this Agreement.
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4. The Government of the United States of America shall, whenever feasible, assign to
operational teams persons fluent in Spanish, and to have liaison officials fluent in Spanish on board
U.S. law enforcement vessels on which Nicaraguan operational teams are embarked.
5. The Government of Nicaragua shall, whenever feasible, assign to operational teams
persons fluent in English, and to have liaison officials fluent in English on board Nicaraguan law
enforcement vessels on which U.S. operational teams are embarked.
Article 5
Authority of Law Enforcement Officials
When an operational team of one Party is embarked on the other Party's vessel, and the
enforcement action being carried out is pursuant to the team's authority, any search or seizure of
property, any detention of a person, and/or any use of force pursuant to this Agreement, whether
or not involving weapons, shall be carried out only by the operational team. However:
a. Crew members of the other Party's vessel may assist in any such action if expressly
requested to do so by the operational team and only to the extent and in the manner requested.
Such request may only be made, agreed to, and acted upon in accordance with the applicable laws
and policies of both Parties; and
b. Such crew members may use force in self-defense, in accordance with the laws and
regulations applicable to them.
Article 6
Operations in the Territorial Sea
1. Neither Party shall conduct unilateral operations to suppress illicit traffic in the
territorial sea of the other Party. At the request of one of the Parties and after receipt of
authorization, or upon receipt of authorization with an operational team on board, joint operations
may be conducted in the territorial sea of the Parties to combat illicit traffic.
2. This Agreement constitutes permission by a Party ("the first Party") for the other Party
to conduct operations to suppress illicit traffic in the territorial sea of the first Party in any of the
following circumstances:
a. an embarked operational team of the first Party so authorizes;
b. a suspect vessel or aircraft, encountered by one Party ("the other Party") flees into the
waters or airspace of the first Party and, if no law enforcement vessel of the first Party is
immediately available to investigate, the law enforcement vessel of the other Party without an
operational team of the first Party embarked shall inform the first Party of the situation and may
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pursue the suspect vessel or aircraft into the waters or airspace of the first Party. Suspect vessels
may be stopped, boarded and searched, and, if the evidence warrants, detained pending
expeditious instructions from the law enforcement authority of the first Party as to the exercise of
jurisdiction in accordance with Article 10; or
c. an operational team of the first Party is not embarked on a law enforcement vessel of
the other Party, and no law enforcement vessel or official of the first Party is immediately
available to investigate, in which case the law enforcement vessel of the other Party shall inform
the first Party of the situation and may enter the waters or airspace of the first Party in order to
investigate any suspect aircraft or board and search any suspect vessel located therein. If the
evidence warrants, law enforcement officials of the other Party may detain the suspect vessel and
persons on board pending expeditious instructions from the law enforcement authority of the first
Party as to the exercise of jurisdiction in accordance with Article 10.
3. The law enforcement authority of each Party shall provide prior notice to the law
enforcement authority of the other Party of action to be taken under subparagraphs 2b and 2c
above, except in unexpected circumstances. In any case, notice of the action taken or to be
taken shall be provided to the law enforcement authority of the other Party without delay.
4. Each Party, after authorization by appropriate officials, may permit, on the occasions
and for the time necessary for the proper performance of the operations required under this
Agreement:
a. the temporary mooring of law enforcement vessels of the other Party at national ports
in accordance with international norms for the purposes of resupplying fuel and provisions,
medical assistance, minor repairs, weather, and other logistics and related purposes,
b. entry of additional law enforcement officials of the other Party,
c. entry of suspect vessels not flying the flag of either Party escorted from waters seaward
of either Party's territorial sea by law enforcement officials of the other Party, and
d. escort of persons (other than nationals of the first Party) from such suspect vessels
through and exiting out of the territory of the first Party.
Article 7
Overflight Operations for Suppression of Illicit Traffic
1. Neither Party shall conduct unilateral operations to suppress illicit traffic in the national
airspace of the other Party. At the request of one of the Parties and after receipt of authorization,
or upon receipt of authorization with an operational team on board, joint operations may be
conducted in the national airspace of the Parties to combat illicit traffic.
2. Each Party agrees to permit law enforcement aircraft operated by the other Party under
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this Agreement:
a. subject to Article 8, to overfly its territory and territorial sea with due regard for its
laws and regulations for the flight and maneuver of aircraft; and
b. subject to the laws of each Party, to relay orders from its competent authorities to
suspect aircraft to land in the territory overflown.
3. Each Party, after authorization by appropriate officials, may permit, on the occasions
and for the time necessary for the proper performance of the operations required under this
Agreement, law enforcement aircraft operated by the other Party to:
a. land and temporarily remain at international airports in accordance with international
norms for the purposes of resupplying fuel and provisions, medical assistance, minor repairs,
weather, and other logistics and related purposes,
b. disembark and embark additional law enforcement officials of the other Party, and
c. disembark, embark and depart out of the territory of the first Party with persons
referred to in Article 6(4)(d).
Article 8
Overflight Procedures
Each Party shall, in the interest of flight safety, observe the following procedures for
facilitating flights within the airspace of one Party by law enforcement aircraft of the other Party:
a. In the event of planned bilateral or multilateral law enforcement operations, each Party
shall provide reasonable notice and communications frequencies to the aviation authorities
responsible for air traffic control of the other Party of planned flights by its aircraft in the airspace
of the other Party.
b. In the event of unplanned operations, which may include the pursuit of suspect aircraft
into the airspace, and/or suspect vessels into the territorial sea; of the Parties pursuant to this
Agreement, the law enforcement and appropriate aviation authorities shall exchange information
concerning the appropriate communications frequencies and other information pertinent to flight
safety.
c. Any law enforcement aircraft operating in accordance with this Agreement shall comply
with such air navigation and flight safety directions as may be required by the aviation authorities
in whose airspace such aircraft is operating, and with any written operating procedures developed
for flight operations within its airspace under this Agreement.
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Article 9
Operations Seaward of the Territorial Sea
1. Whenever U.S. law enforcement officials encounter a suspect vessel flying the
Nicaraguan flag or claiming to be registered in Nicaragua, located seaward of the Nicaraguan
territorial sea, the Government of the United States may request, pursuant to Article 17(3) of the
1988 Convention, authorization to board and search the suspect vessel and to search the persons
found on board by such officials. If authorization is granted and evidence of illicit traffic is found,
U.S. law enforcement officials may detain the vessel and persons on board pending expeditious
disposition instructions from the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua. Authorization will
be understood to have been granted if no reply to the request for authorization has been made
within two hours.
2. Whenever Nicaraguan law enforcement officials encounter a suspect vessel flying the
United States flag or claiming to be registered in the United States, located seaward of the United
States territorial sea, the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua may request, in accordance
with Article 17, paragraph 3, of the 1988 Convention, authorization to board and search the
suspect vessel and to search the persons found on board by such officials. If authorization is
granted and evidence of illicit traffic is found, Nicaraguan law enforcement officials may detain
the vessel and persons on board pending expeditious disposition instructions from the Government
of the United States of America. Authorization will be understood to have been granted if no
reply to the request for authorization has been made within two hours.
3. Except as expressly provided herein, this Agreement does not apply to or limit
boardings of vessels, conducted by either Party in accordance with international law, seaward of
any State's territorial sea, whether based, inter alia, on the right of visit, the rendering of
assistance to persons, vessels, and property in distress or peril, the consent of the vessel master,
or an authorization from the flag State to take law enforcement action.
Article 10
Jurisdiction over Detained Vessels
1. In all cases arising in the Nicaraguan territorial sea, or concerning Nicaraguan flag
vessels seaward of the Nicaraguan territorial sea, the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua
shall have the right to exercise jurisdiction over a detained vessel, cargo or persons on board
(including seizure, forfeiture, arrest, and prosecution). United States requests to take action
against and/or assume custody of such vessels, cargo or persons will be replied to by the
appropriate authorities in accordance with Nicaraguan law and international treaties.
2. In all cases arising in the United States territorial sea, or concerning United States flag
vessels seaward of the United States territorial sea, the Government of the United States of
America shall have the right to exercise jurisdiction over a detained vessel, cargo and/or persons
on board (including seizure, forfeiture, arrest, and prosecution), provided, however, that the
Government of the United States of America may, subject to its Constitution and laws, waive its
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right to exercise jurisdiction and authorize the enforcement of Nicaraguan law against the vessel,
cargo and/or persons on board.
3. Each Party shall respond to requests pursuant to this Article without delay.
Article 11
Points of Contact
Each Party shall provide the other Party, and keep current, the points of contact for
notifications of actions under Article 6, for processing requests under Article 9 for verification of
registration and the right to fly its flag and authority to board, search and detain suspect vessels,
for instructions as to the disposition of the vessel and persons on board under Article 9, the
exercise of jurisdiction under Article 10, and for results of shipboardings pursuant to Article 13.
Article 12
Cases of Suspect Vessels and Aircraft
Operations to suppress illicit traffic pursuant to this Agreement shall be carried out only
against suspect vessels and aircraft.
Article 13
Notification of Results of Shipboardings
1. Each Party shall promptly notify the other Party of the results of any boarding and
search of the vessels of the other Party conducted pursuant to this-Agreement.
2. The relevant Party shall timely report to the other Party, in accordance with its laws,
on the status of all investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings resulting from
enforcement action taken pursuant to this Agreement where evidence of illicit traffic was found.
Article 14
Conduct of Law Enforcement Officials
1. Each Party shall ensure that its law enforcement or other officials, when conducting
boardings and searches and air interception activities pursuant to this Agreement, act in accordance
with its applicable national laws and policies and with international law and accepted international
practices.
2. While carrying out boarding and search activities pursuant to this Agreement, the
Parties shall take due account of the need not to endanger the safety of life at sea, the security of
the suspect vessel and its cargo, or to prejudice the commercial and legal interests of the flag State
or any other interested State; and shall observe the norms of courtesy, respect and consideration
for the persons on board the suspect vessel.
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3. Boardings and searches of vessels pursuant to this Agreement shall only be carried out
by law enforcement officials from law enforcement vessels. When conducting boardings and
searches, law enforcement officials may carry standard law enforcement weapons.
4. Law enforcement officials may also operate pursuant to this Agreement seaward of the
territorial sea of any State, from vessels and aircraft of other States, including any boat or aircraft
embarked on vessels, clearly marked and identifiable as being on government non-commercial
service and authorized to that effect, as may be agreed to in writing by the Parties.
5. While conducting air intercept activities pursuant to this Agreement, the Parties shall
not endanger the lives of persons on board and the safety of civil aircraft.
6. Law enforcement vessels of a Party operating with the authorization of the other Party
pursuant to Article 4 of this Agreement shall, during such operations, also fly, in the case of the
United States of America, the Nicaraguan National Police and/or Navy service flag, and in the
case of Nicaragua, the United States Coast Guard ensign.
Article 15
Use of Force
1. All uses of force by a Party pursuant to this Agreement shall be in strict accordance
with applicable laws and policies of that Party and shall in all cases be the minimum reasonably
necessary under the circumstances. Neither Party shall use force against civil aircraft in flight.
2. Nothing in this Agreement shall impair the exercise of the inherent right of self-defense
by law enforcement or other officials of the Parties.
Article 16
Exchange and Knowledge of the
Laws and Policies of the Other Party
1. To facilitate implementation of this Agreement, each Party shall ensure the other
Party is fully informed of its respective applicable laws and policies, particularly those
pertaining to the use of force.
2. Each Party shall ensure that all of its law enforcement officials are knowledgeable
concerning the applicable laws and policies of both Parties.
Article 17
Disposition of Seized Property
1. Assets seized in consequence of any operation undertaken pursuant to this Agreement
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shall be disposed of in accordance with the laws of that Party exercising jurisdiction in accordance
with Article 10.
2. To the extent permitted by its laws and upon such terms as it deems appropriate, the
seizing Party may, in any case, transfer forfeited assets or proceeds of their sale to the other Party.
3. Each transfer pursuant to paragraph 2 of this Article generally will reflect the
contribution of the other Party to facilitating or effecting the forfeiture of such assets or proceeds.
Article 18
Cooperation and Assistance
1. The law enforcement authority of one Party (the "first Party") may request, and the law
enforcement authority of the other Party may authorize, law enforcement officials of the other
Party to provide technical assistance to law enforcement officials of the first Party for the boarding
and search of suspect vessels whether located in or seaward of the territory of the first Party.
2. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to cooperation and assistance pursuant to Article
10 of the 1988 Convention.
Article 19
Consultations
In case a question arises in connection with implementation of this Agreement, either Party
may request consultations between the Parties to resolve the matter.
Article 20
Settlement of Claims
1. Any injury to or loss of life of a law enforcement official of a Party shall normally be
remedied in accordance with the laws of that Party. Any other claim submitted for damage,
injury, death or loss resulting from an operation carried out under this Agreement shall be
processed, considered, and if merited, resolved in favor of the claimant by the Party whose
officials conducted the operation, in accordance with the domestic law of that Party, and in a
manner consistent with international law. If any loss, injury or death is suffered as a result of any
action taken by the law enforcement or other officials of one Party in contravention of this
Agreement, or any improper or unreasonable action is taken by a Party pursuant thereto, the
Parties shall, without prejudice to any other legal rights which may be available, consult at the
request of either Party to resolve the matter and decide any questions relating to compensation.
2. Neither Party waives any rights it may have under international law to raise a claim
with the other Party through the diplomatic channel.
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Article 21
Miscellaneous Provisions
Nothing in this Agreement:
a. Precludes each Party from otherwise expressly authorizing operations to suppress illicit
traffic by the other Party in the territory, waters or airspace of the first Party, or involving suspect
vessels or aircraft flying or displaying the flag of the first Party, or from providing other forms
of cooperation to suppress illicit traffic.
b. Is intended to alter the rights and privileges due any indivishial in any legal proceeding.
c. Shall prejudice the position of either Party with regard to the international law of the
sea or affect the claims to territory or maritime boundaries of either Party or third Parties.
Article 22
Entry into Force
This Agreement shall enter into force upon exchange of notes indicating that the necessary
internal procedures of each Party have been completed.
Article 23
Termination
1. This Agreement may be terminated at any time by either Party upon written notification
to the other Party through the diplomatic channel.
2. Such termination shall take effect six months from the date of notification.
Article 24
Continuation of Actions Taken
This Agreement shall continue to apply after termination with respect to any administrative
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or judicial proceedings arising out of actions taken pursuant to this Agreement.
DONE at Managua, Nicaragua, in duplicate, this first day of June, 2001, in the English and
Spanish languages, both texts being equally authentic.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective
Governments, have signed this Agreement.
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FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
FOR THE GOV MENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA:
Oliver P. Garza
United States Ambassador
Francisco X. Aguirre Sacasa
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lino Gutierrez Jose Adan Guerra Pastora
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Minister of Defense
for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Jose Marenco Cardenal
Minister of Government
Arnoldo Aleman Lacayo
President of the Republic of Nicaragua
Honorary Witness



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