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Spanish shipwreck ‘San José’ embargoed over treasure dispute
04 April 2019 @ 00:40

A COLOMBIAN court has embargoed the Spanish galleon San José, sunk by British pirates near Cartagena de Indias in the 18th century, in response to an appeal by a US treasure-hunting firm which is claiming the rights to 50% of the goods on board.

The High Court of Barranquilla has overturned a ruling of October 2017 and returned to that of the same month in 1994, placing the shipwreck under government custody once again.

This earlier verdict was passed after Sea Search Armada (SSA) sued the Colombian government in 1989, claiming 100% of its ‘financial, historic, cultural and scientific’ treasure belonged to the company ‘if it was found within the continental platform’, or within a set of secret coordinates dating back to 1982.

A lower court in Barranquilla ruled that the treasure on board should be split half each between Colombia and SSA, but at the time, the San José had not been found.

Famously mentioned in Nobel Literature Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Love in the Time of Cholera, with the main characters hoping to trace it and claim the treasure inside, the San José finally emerged on December 4, 2015 – an historic mystery solved 300 years on and announced by former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.



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