Reward posted in murder of conservation activist

Conservation groups have posted a $10,000 reward for information on the murder of  Jairo Mora Sandoval.

The announcement came from 10 organizations, including Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network where Mora worked.

“Jairo’s murderers must be brought to justice so that sea turtle activists around Costa Rica and the world know that this will never be tolerated,” said Todd Steiner, a wildlife biologist and executive director of, in a news release. “The whole world is watching to make sure the Costa Rican government brings these thugs to justice and makes sea turtle nesting beaches safe for conservationists to do their work.”

The reward is based on the assumption that men murdered Mora for his work with turtles. Turtle eggs have value, and a principal goal of volunteers and conservationist is to safeguard them from thieves.

However, Vice President Alfio Piva characterized the death as an accident brought about by drug traffickers. He said this on a CNN interview show and spent the afternoon apologizing and praising Mora on his Twitter feed. Piva correctly noted that the area is dangerous because it is used by traffickers. For whatever the reason, Mora was singled out late
Thursday by the men who chopped down a tree to stop his vehicle. They separated him from the four women in his vehicle, took him away, beat him and then shot him in the head. The women freed themselves early Friday. Police and the coast guard have beefed up patrols of the beaches in the Moín area.

The conservation groups said that they have set up a system to accept donations for the Jairo Mora Sandoval Reward Fund HERE!

Due to the murder the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network has halted its sea turtle monitoring program, the organizations noted.

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