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In Memory of Jairo Mora: A Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica

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Source: Widecast

Source: Widecast

San Jose, Costa Rica – The senseless and thus far unsolved murder of the young environmentalist and biologist Jairo Mora Sandoval while he protected the delicate ecosystem of Playa Moin in Limon, where leatherback sea turtles massively arrive to nest, has prompted dialog between public officials and environmental protection groups to ensure that Jairo’s legacy be continued and honored.

Environmental protection leaders met with public officials from the Ministries of Public Safety (MSP in Spanish) as well as Environment and Energy (MINAE in Spanish) and requested that Jairo’s name be memorialized by adding it to the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. Located south of Puerto Viejo, this was one of Jairo’s favorite places in Costa Rica to visit and protect. Among those present at the meeting was Didier Chacon, president of Widecast.

In addition to naming the pristine refuge to after Jairo, his fellow environmentalists also requested the formation of a “Truth Commission” to be lead by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC in Spanish) to offer protection to environmental protection workers in Costa Rica. This request comes with a sense of urgency since September is a peak month for turtle nesting in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica where Jairo met his violent demise at the hands of criminals.

MSP Vice Minister Celso Gamboa explained that the investigation into Jairo’s murder is ongoing. During the meeting, public officials also spoke about the ongoing work of installing 17 radars in several remote protected areas of Costa Rica such as Isla del Coco, where illegal fishing and drug trafficking are taking a toll on the ecosystems.

Notable businessman Roy Rivera from Cartago is reaching out to his contacts for the purpose of raise more money and adding it to the current reward offered to anyone who comes forward with credible information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible for the murder of Jairo Mora. Mr. Rivera is no stranger to violence or death threats. In August 2012, an unidentified man pulled a gun on him and fired four shots into the air as he warned him to give up his pursuit of leading the Cinderella football team Club Sport Cartagines, which is believed to be the victim of a curse.

As an interesting aside, an environmental activist sought by Costa Rica on criminal charges of endangering lives at sea has already taken action on the two proposals above. Paul Watson -the Canadian founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, star of reality TV show Whale Wars and international fugitive- plans to christen a new Sea Shepherd vessel the “Jairo Mora” and has also pledged $30,000 towards the reward for information that will bring the murderers to justice. This is not surprising to those who know Watson, a man who prefers to take direct action.

Source: La Prensa Libre

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