Costa Rican turtle conservationist murdered by death squad


This is a video about a meeting in Costa Rica, protesting against the murder of pro-turtle activist Jairo Mora Sandoval.

Conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval (pictured) was murdered in Costa Rica on May 31. Photograph courtesy Christine Figgener, Baulas y Negras Ostional

From Wildlife Extra:

Conservationist killed in Costa Rica for defending turtles

Jairo Mora Sandoval – RIP

June 2013. Jairo Mora Sandoval, a 26 year-old conservationist who dedicated his life to protecting and defending wildlife in Costa Rica, has been murdered while patrolling nesting sites of leatherback marine turtles.

On May 30 Mora and four volunteers from the United States and Spain were patrolling Moín Beach in Costa Rica. Mora was attacked by at least five masked men carrying guns, and his body was found on the beach the next morning.

Such death squads also exist in other countries, like Honduras, Colombia and Brazil. Often, they are hired by rich landlords to murder conservationists, small farmers or trade unionists; which, these landlords think, interfere with their profits.

In Costa Rica, corporate Big Agriculture has a history of violence against turtle conservation.

WWF condemns the brutal murder of Jairo Mora Sandoval, a 26 year-old conservationist who dedicated his life to protecting and defending wildlife in Costa Rica. He sadly lost his life while patrolling nesting sites of one of the most endangered and charismatic creatures, leatherback marine turtles. Our thoughts are with Jairo’s family and friends during this difficult time.

WWF joins other groups calling on the Government of Costa Rica for justice and for bold security measures that assure a safe environment for those committed to working towards conservation.

“Stricter measures protecting civilians, as well as full enforcement of national laws protecting marine turtles, should be put in place to ensure incidents like this one don’t ever happen again,” said Carlos Drews, Global Species Program Director, WWF-I.

Poaching & crime

“Conservation should not be a dangerous job or activity, but unfortunately linkages between poaching and other forms of crime mean that protecting our natural world is increasingly risky. Wildlife crime is becoming more organized and life threatening than ever before. That is unacceptable.”

“Costa Rica enjoys a global reputation as an environmentally friendly country, and a prime ecotourism destination. Incidents such as Jairo’s death will quickly tarnish that reputation if Costa Rica fails to act.”

“WWF will continue to partner with people around the world to stand-up and give voice to species in need. It’s time for political leaders to take concrete action to protect wildlife, people and enforce the rule of law,” added Drews.

See also here.

This music video is by Manuel Monestel from Costa Rica, singing a song honouring murdered Jairo.

10 thoughts on “Costa Rican turtle conservationist murdered by death squad

  1. This is a very bad mark against Costa Rica, the government should stop this type of violence now, or as the article says it will lose it’s allure as a great place to migrate too. And it is so sad for this young man who probably felt safe there. May he rest in peace.

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