Costa Rica News – Only a month ago Jairo Mora Sandoval had revealed to the Costa Rican national Spanish newspaper La Nacion that sea turtle egg poaching on the beaches in Limon were in connection with drug dealing in the area. On Friday less than a month later the lifeless body of the turtle defender and environmentalist was found on Playa Moin in Limon.
Turtle egg poaching has become a big business in Costa Rica. Volunteers fighting for turtle conservation in the area are being assaulted for trying to protect these nests. Boiled eggs are being sold for $1 each in Panama and Costa Rica. Now it was recently revealed that the eggs are even being used to buy drugs as a form of narco-currency.
A nest of leatherback turtle has on average 80 eggs. For an unemployed or poor person that means money. They go to the beach, and can make about $80 for plundering only 3 nests.
Although turtle egg poaching is nothing new in Costa Rica, the exchange for drugs is. This has gained momentum over the past year and was recently exposed by Jairo Mora Sandoval……the result of this exposure……his murder.
The drug addicts that are stealing the eggs are usually armed. Normally it is knifes and machetes but some have guns such as .22 caliber pistols and on rare occasion AK-47s.
In order to get more control over the situation the group headed by Mora started a nursery to take the eggs and monitor them until the turtles were born. This nursery was robbed in 2012. The thieves stole eggs from about 20 nests and volunteers were threatened by armed with an AK47. The volunteers were not hurt but were threatened.
In 2011, this group saved the 3% of the nests and in 2012, 30%. This number was obviously getting too high and the narco-traffickers wanted their money.
Mora was killed by a group of four masked men who ambushed his vehicle which was on patrol with four foreign environmentalists.
Vanessa Lizano, owner of Varadero Eco Tour, spoke with one of them and told the attackers tied them up and they were locked in an abandoned house. Then they took the environmentalist Mora. At 6 am the foreigners managed to get loose and gave the alarm to the authorities.
Later that same morning the body of Mora was found.
The worst part of this entire situation is that it is going to scare more people away from trying to protect these turtles on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The Costa Rican government and authorities will never find the culprits of these acts, other than the ones that the drug traffickers offer as sacrifices to keep their business going.
This was a message sent by the drug traffickers that no one will stand in the way of them making money and truth be told it was a very effective warning, especially to a culture of people that are very non-confrontational.
Perhaps another warning need to be sent back at these drug dealers, but what is the solution?
The Costa Rican government is happy letting the Carribean side of Costa Rica lose all tourism and it seems like the racism towards blacks of the ruling Costa Rican rulers will finally kill this side of Costa Rica. But as it is with most things the future consequences of this have not been thought about and the crime will start heading west towards San Jose and other parts of Costa Rica.
Maybe the group Sea Turtle Conservation with Guns should be formed to fight back.
So many people are against the actions of Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson, but honestly the only way to stop these acts is to fight back……are you ready Costa Rica?