The land in question, Calero Island, lies along the San Juan river and is on the Atlantic coast. Interestingly enough, the official maps of both countries identify Calero Island as part of Costa Rica.
Former Sandanista Eden Pastora explained that his reason for entering Costa Rica with his 80-man dredging team, removing a Costa Rican flag and setting up a military camp under a Nicaraguan flag in territory that was that it had been identified as being part of Nicaragua on Google Maps. Pastora is said to have set up the makeshift base while his troops dredged the river and dumped silt into Costa Rica.
In his own words:
Hay un error en Google, ya enviamos una nota a la empresa para que rectifiquen el mapa. [This is a bug in Google. We sent a note to the company to rectify the map.]
Google’s chief of communications for Central America, Susana Pavón, explained that they could not identify the source of the error, though it should be pointed out that the Bing map was correct.
Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla called for calmness in a televised address to the nation:
Dear Costa Ricans: never before have we had to be united when the aggression and provocation test us. Let us be calm and firm, amid the outrage that these events provoke within us.
This is our strength. The strength of reason and not the strength of arms. We can’t allow ourselves to get carried away by the profound indignation that this undeserved aggression causes us. Our tools are dialogue and international law, with those we are acting.
Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, Denis Moncada, vehemently denied the allegations:
We categorically reject the allegations made by Costa Rica. Nicaragua has not violated the sovereignty of Costa Rica. Nor is the dredging, in Nicaraguan territory, affecting Costa Rican land. With these statements, Costa Rica has broken the diplomatic equilibrium that traditionally exists between the two nations.
Nacion: Nicaragua usa ‘error’ en mapa de Google para justificar incursión [Nicaragua used ‘error’ on Google map to justify incursion].
CNN: Costa Rican president urges restraint in border dispute.
Tico Times: Nicaragua Denies Reports of Intrusion into Costa Rica.