On the very day that actions around the world delivered a petition with 137,000 signatures demanding justice for Jairo, Costa Rican police authorities conducted a series of raids on the Caribbean coast, arresting eight persons believed to be involved with the brutal murder of Jairo Mora Sandoval, a Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist.
The arrests come two months after Sandoval and four women were kidnapped while patrolling the beach for nesting leatherback sea turtles. The four women were robbed, but escaped and called police.
Six men and one woman were arrested, and one suspect is still at large. Police claim they are part of a organized gang involved in robberies and rape of tourists and other local citizens, and that cell phones taken from the victims were recovered.
Activists associated with Mora dispute that robbery was the prime motive and note that Mora had previously been threatened by members of an organized egg poaching ring, possibly also involved in narco-trafficing.
The timing of the raids also come on the same week actions are being held in eight countries. In the US, 137,000 petition signatures were delivered to Costa Rica consulates in Los Angeles and Houston by SeaTurtles.org, the Center for Biological Diversity and local activists.
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.
To see photos of our action in LA, visit our Facebook page.