Nicaragua Accidentally Invades Costa Rica, Blames Google Maps

from the oops dept

You would think that military professionals would rely on something other than Google Maps in determining where countries have their borders. However, down in Central America, there's apparently been something of an international incident, after a Nicaraguan military commander, using Google Maps as his guide, brought his troops into Costa Rica. He insists that he was just following what Google Maps said, and that he never intended to go into the neighboring country. Yet... the report also notes that there was a Costa Rican flag there, which the Nicaraguans took down and replaced with their own flag. You would think, at that point, that everyone involved might double check to make sure they were on the right side of the border. After raising their own flag, the Nicaraguans apparently set up camp, cleaned up a nearby river (nice of them) and then dumped sediment into Costa Rican territory (not so nice of them). If this truly is an honest mistake, then hopefully nothing more is made of it, but it sounds like Costa Rican citizens are quite upset about the whole thing, leading Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla to go on TV to ask citizens to "be calm... amid the outrage that these events provoke within us."


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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    If we ever needed undeniable proof...

    ...that Google is bringing about world change, we now have it!

     

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    Yogi, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:17am

    WTF

    Seems like TechDirt has decided to copy The Onion's business model...I mean, this can't be for real, can it?

     

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    Christopher Gizzi (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    Next time... blame the GPS device.

    And just say it told you to zig when you should have zag'ed.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2010 @ 2:34am

      Re: Next time... blame the GPS device.

      Reminds me of when it told me to take a "slight left". Wondering what a "slight left" was, I paid close attention to that section of road....and found that it was actually a "slight right" that I wanted to take instead.

      Thus I took the right rather the left...and people sue companies for mistakes like this because they're incapable of something resembling thought.

       

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    Jim Gaudet (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Living in Costa Rica

    It's funny that all of sudden there is news about Costa Rica in the "tech" world. Any news, will get people trying to get that traffic.

    But thanks though, because since this crap with Nicaragua, I am getting a lot more traffic to my site..

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    A little more info...

    A few little tidbits I learned when I was vacationing in Costa Rica in 2009. First, they have no military and thus no way to "fight back" if necessary.

    Second, Costa Rica has an illegal immigration problem with Nicaraguans coming over the border for day labor. The Costa Rican folks I talked to about it actually had quite a bit of resentment towards Nicaragua because of this. Add in a strong feeling of national pride on the part of the average Costa Rican and their anger isn't much of a surprise to me.

     

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    Jason, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    That's all folks!

    Google: I toldja you shoulda taken that left at Albaquoikie!

     

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    Michael, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Military Leader?

    "He insists that he was just following what Google Maps said, and that he never intended to go into the neighboring country"

    Is anyone else concerned that this guy is some kind of military leader? Did Nicaragua stop teaching it's military how to use - you know - a map and a compass?

    Can we make sure they do not have any weapons that can reach us? I'd hate to find out they are guiding their bombs with something they found in a Fruit Loops box.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    So George bush is in the clear...

    all he needed to do is say "Google maps said there were WMDs in iraq!!

     

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    chris (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    trusting Google maps!!

    I tentatively trust my TomTom for an accurate map. The military trust Google maps! They have my local pizza place on the other side of the road!

    They should have looked for the dotted line on the ground, that would have told them

    Hey ho

     

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    Yogi, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 11:08am

    WTF

    Seems like TechDirt has decided to copy The Onion's business model...I mean, this can't be for real, can it?

     

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    Jim C, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Taking advantage

    I would consider it more likely that the commander was told there was an error in the map and decided to take advantage of it.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    It's Nice To Have Google Maps To Blame

    The commander in this incident seems a bit less than competent if he used Google Maps at all for any of this.

    On top of that, I'm willing to wager the troops were ordered in there to clean up the river regardless of the international border.

    It all just seems far too tidy an operation to "make a mistake" and just happen to have brought along all the equipment needed to do a river cleanup.

    Of course, it's just so handy to be able to blame this on Google Maps!

     

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      manifesto, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

      Re: It's Nice To Have Google Maps To Blame

      The commander in charge is apparently Eden Pastora, and if that's the case, is far more competent than he's letting on. This whole Google maps thing is just a pretext. There's a long history of territorial dispute along the San Juan River and this is just a country with a history of military aggression as well as border disputes with its neighbors north AND south, provoking a neutral country into some sort of stand-off.

       

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    Feralnostalgia, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    somebody didn't check to make sure they were using the right datum...oops.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    a lot of this information is not accurate, please check

     

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    Jake, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    I'm fully prepared to believe that the Nicaraguan armed forces resorted to Google Maps to stretch out their undoubtedly meager budget, but their subsequent actions suggest that this statement is what's known in journalistic circles as a " barefaced lie".

     

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    Hayden hughes, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    WOW. I'm at a loss for words.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    The first thing that happens when a screwup is made, is to blame some one else for your fault.

    I would dearly hate to know that a military leader for my country was not able to navigate terrain. How else are you going to get where you need to go?

    Depending on civilian infrastructure to do the job won't work if the first thing that happens is jamming air waves and internet traffic. Jamming is one of the first things done in a war scenario.

    It is very obvious that this military leader has no business being a leader, because he is incompetent.

     

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    Johnny Corrales, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Costa Rica - Nicaragua Border

    If this is a accidental invasion, why do the nicaraguans are still in Costarican soil.

    Ortega and Pastora had their own agenda, an messing up with a country without army is easy for them.

    Fuckers!!

     

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    Johnny Corrales, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Costa Rica - Nicaragua Border

    If this is a accidental invasion, why do the nicaraguans are still in Costarican soil?

    Ortega and Pastora had their own agenda, an messing up with a country without army is easy for them.

    Fuckers!!

     

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    Costarrican, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    What did you expect?

    Come on... They do not even know where they are standing. What did you expect from a country with a low education rate and even lower culture?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

    stupid Nicas

     

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    Jon Noowtun, Nov 6th, 2010 @ 2:13am

    This is just more evidence of how EVIL Gargle is!!!!! The entire company should be thrown in jail and their snooping web sites burned!!!!!

    www.Pee2PeeNet.net

     

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    indyjones, Nov 7th, 2010 @ 6:39am

    I see the Ortega brothers/Sandanistas are at it again. Shouldn't surprise anyone.

     

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    al590, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:12pm

    wrong

    they weren`t cleaning the river, they were making it deeper, and they throw the sediments to Costa Rica.
    BTW IS NOT ACCIDENTALLY.

     

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    Gutter Cleaning Auckland, Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    Mistakes happen, but that is pretty huge. I hope everyone forgives one another.

     

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