Environmentalists join chorus against Talamanca

One of the major ecological organizations in the country has denounced the Municipalidad de Talamanca for what it called its dangerous intolerance of environmentalists.

The organization, the Federación Ecologista, issued a press release in Spanish Monday night in which it was critical of xenophobia and attacks against free expression.

The mayor of Talamanca posted a letter on Facebook Thursday that suggested that two expats living on the southern Caribbean coast should leave the canton and the country.

The Federación said that the municipality, using public resources, attacked, intimidated and censured citizens of the canton who had made environmental complaints.

The expats made complaints over the forests, mangroves and wildlife of the coastal zone including the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Gandoca-Manzanillo, said the Federación.

A.M. Costa Rica has identified the targets of the anger of the municipal mayor as Carol Meeds, a U.S. expat, and Philippe Vangoidsenhoven, who is from Belgium. Mayor Melvin Cordero Cordero cited them by name in the letter he posted on Facebook.

The Federación said that former legislator and presidential candidate José María Villalta filed a complaint that seeks to condemn the action of the mayor.

The complaint seeks reparations for damages, a public retraction and an agreement to abstain from similar actions in the future, said the organization.

The letter by the mayor constitutes a veiled threat and promotes intolerance against those who present environmental complaints and supports extreme acts such as the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval, said the organization.

Mora met his death while seeking to protect turtle nests on the Caribbean’s Moín beach.

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