SAN JOSE, Costa Rica— Costa Rican authorities made arrests Wednesday in connection with the murder of Jairo Mora Sandoval, a sea turtle activist who was murdered in Costa Rica two months ago. The arrests, made in a series of raids near Limón, were announced Thursday, the same day as demonstrations around the world, led by Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.org) and the Center for Biological Diversity, demanded justice for Mora.
As part of that effort, more than 137,000 signatures were submitted to the Costa Rican government calling for the conviction of Mora’s murderers and better protection of Costa Rica’s beaches. Mora was a dedicated 26-year-old protector of sea turtle nests and eggs on the country’s Caribbean coast, where turtle egg poaching threatens sea turtle populations.
“We are relieved that arrests have been made, but we remain vigilant to ensure that right people have been arrested, and are brought to justice,” says Todd Steiner, executive director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.
“While we’re greatly encouraged by the arrests, we won’t stop until Costa Rica’s beaches are safe for sea turtles and humans alike,” said Peter Galvin, the Center’s director of programs. “Costa Rica’s a country with a great history of working to protect its natural resources. We want to see that tradition continue.”
“Jairo’s brutal murder was an assault on those who protect endangered wildlife around the world. Justice for Mora is crucial to keeping wildlife and its defenders safe,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Center attorney.
Lopez helped organize and participate in a rally for Mora in Costa Rica; and in Los Angeles, Galvin and Steiner co-hosted a press conference outside the Costa Rican consulate. Similar events were held in Spain, Germany, El Salvador, Ecuador, India and Australia.
Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.org) is an international marine conservation organization headquartered in California whose 60,000 members and online activists work to protect sea turtles and marine biodiversity in the United States and around the world.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.