Seven People Arrested in Connection with May Killing of Costa Rican Sea Turtle Activist

Arrests come as thousands demand justice for Jairo Mora Sandoval

On Wednesday, authorities in Costa Rica arrested seven persons believed to be involved in the May murder of sea turtle defender Jairo Mora Sandoval. The arrests came the same day as environmental activists in eight countries delivered to Costa Rican embassies and consulates a petition with 137,000 signatures demanding justice for Sandoval.

photo of binders on a table, the wanted poster for the killers on the coverSea Turtle Restoration NetworkOn Wednesday, environmentalists delivered to Costa Rican embassies and consulates a petition with 137,000 signatures demanding
justice for Jairo Mora Sandoval.

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 yesterday. One suspect is still at large. Police claim they are part of an organized gang involved in robberies and rape of tourists and other local citizens.

Environmental activists in Costa Rica dispute that robbery was the prime motive and note that Mora had previously been threatened by members of an organized turtle egg poaching ring, possibly also involved in narco-trafficing.

“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.

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