Eight arrests made in case of slain environmentalist

Judicial agents have detained eight persons in the Limón area in the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora.

The Judicial Investigating Organization took the unusual step of putting some of the arrests on YouTube because the case was publicized highly.

Not all those arrested are suspects in the murder. The Judicial agents are describing a gang of robbers who also were involved in stealing turtle eggs and other crimes.

The encounter with Mora and four female passengers was accidental, according to investigators. Robbers had blocked a road with a tree in order to stick up occupants of a car that came by. Some had a grudge with Mora, and when he showed up, they took him away.

Mora and the non-profit organization for which he worked had filed complaints against some of the individuals for stealing turtle eggs, something that is frequent in the area. The non-profit was trying to safeguard a turtle nesting location.

Judicial agents made the arrests this  morning when they conducted eight raids. The arrests can be seen HERE, HERE and HERE.

Mora was kidnapped and murdered May 30 or early May 31 in Moín.

He was with four women headed to a turtle sanctuary when his was taken.

The vehicle was intercepted between  Barra de Matina and Moín because someone blocked the road with a tree trunk.  When Mora got out of the car he was confronted by the five men, agents said.

A protest march had been planned for this afternoon to deliver a petition demanding justice for Mora.

Organizers said they had collected some 130,000 signatures seeking justice for Mora.

An announcement of the march sent by the Programa de Restauración de Tiburones y Tortugas Marinas  said that sea turtle poaching and drug trafficking continue to threaten the lives of people and sea turtles, endangering Costa Rica’s image as an ecotourist mecca. Costa Rica’s Caribbean beaches have seen an increase in sea turtle poaching, it said, adding that Mora’s murder has forced an abrupt halt to protection efforts in Moín.

Local environmentalists have long complained of lack of police protection.

The four women with Mora when he was abducted were taken to a shack and then freed themselves when captors left.

Agents zeroed in on the suspects because of their prior involvement with turtle eggs and encounters with police over that practice.

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