Conservation groups around the world are offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the killing of sea turtle activist Jairo Mora Sandoval, who was kidnapped and murdered by armed men in Costa Rica last week. Four foreign women who were also abducted escaped.
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Jairo Mora Sandoval, center, was an environmentalist who worked as a Widecast volunteer. Photo by Widecast.
The 26-year old conservationist worked as a beach monitor for the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, WIDECAST, which has since closed its beach monitoring program as a result of Sandoval's murder.
The reward is growing and is supported by the following conservation organizations:
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Center for Biological Diversity
Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Network
Sea Turtle Conservancy
Humane Society of the United States
The Leatherback Trust
Statements released by conservation groups on the death of Mora Sandoval:
"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 SeaTurtles.org. "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.”
"Jairo worked bravely and tirelessly to protect countless precious lives,” said Jaclyn Lopez, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. "We can’t let cowardly criminals take down dedicated, selfless people like Jairo who’ve spent their lives defending the defenseless. Jairo’s assassins must be swiftly apprehended and tried.”
"Our emotional connection to each other, the sea turtles and their environment is what drives this work and makes Jairo’s death so heartbreaking, yet empowering,” said Wallace "J” Nichols, research associate at the California Academy of Sciences. "We all hope his death will somehow lead to more life.”