Sea turtle egg poachers charged with killing Costa Rican conservationist
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2013: (Actually published on October 8, 2013)
LIMON, Costa Rica––Nine alleged sea turtle egg poachers and drug smugglers are facing charges in connection with the killing of marine biologist Jairo Sandoval Mora, 26, and the sexual assault of at least two of the four women who accompanied him on a patrol of Moin Beach near Limon on the night of May 31, 2013. “In the early morning hours of July 31, 2013––exactly two months after Mora’s body was discovered ––Judicial Investigation Office agents conducted six simultaneous raids that led to the arrest of six murder suspects and two women in possession of stolen items. A ninth suspect fled and was arrested 10 days later,” reported Lindsay Fendt in the September 3, 2013 edition of The Tico Times. Fendt’s in-depth account detailed the deterioration and eventual disintegration of a 2009 deal brokered by Limon butterfly farmer Vanessa Lizano between the poachers and the conservation group Widecast, Mora’s employer. Ten poachers were hired to relocate leatherback nests to give hatchling sea turtles a better chance to reach the ocean. The agreement failed when other poaching gangs became active on Moin Beach.