Prosecutors say they are ready to file charges in Jairo Mora murder

Prosecutors in the Ministerio Público said Monday it will accuse five Costa Ricans and two Nicaraguans in the murder of environmentalist  Jairo Mora last May 31.

In addition to murder, the prosecutors in Limón said they will be leveling allegations of sexual abuse, aggravated robbery, rape and depriving individuals of  liberty.

Mora was the man who protected turtles on the Caribbean coast and who was abducted and murdered while in the company of others who were headed to the beaches to guard the turtle eggs. His death generated international headlines.

The charges were expected, and the suspects have been jailed for months. The Poder Judicial said that the allegations will be filed formally with a court after they have been served on the suspects.

The men who are suspects also are suspected of stealing turtle eggs for resale and being involved in stealing gasoline through an intermediate at the state refinery, the Poder Judicial said.

In addition to the Mora murder, prosecutors also included a separate incident of robbery and sexual assault that took place in the same isolated area May 17.

Volunteers working with the turtles frequently move the eggs to safe, guarded areas. Mora was on his way to a beach when he and four women companions were intercepted about 11:30 p.m.  One woman was a Spanish veterinarian. The other three were believed to be volunteers from the United States.

The Poder Judicial is alleging that Mora was beaten and then tied to a vehicle and dragged though the sand. Death came from suffocation because of sand being jammed in his throat, the Poder Judicial said.

Those facing charges have been identified by their last names of  Salmon Meléndez, Delgado Loaiza, Quesada Cubillo, Centeno Rivas, Cash López, Arauz Martínez and  Salmon Meléndez. A woman, identified by the last names of  Delgado Loaiza faces a lesser charge of accepting a cell telephone that she knew to be stolen.

Once charges are filed formally and a judge is selected, the suspects will go to a preliminary hearing. The allegations are likely to be sustained there. Then there will be an open court trial.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.