The War for the Environment

Outside Magazine has just published a very moving story about a sea turtle conservationist in Costa Rica who was killed in 2013, called Blood in the Sand . The conservationist, 26 year old Jairo Mora Sandoval, was kidnapped and beaten to death by egg poachers while trying to protect leatherback sea turtle nesting sites. He had worked for years in the area, sometimes butting heads with the poachers, and at other times trying to work with them to provide new livelihoods through conservation and eco-tourism.

Unfortunately, due to the economics of the black market trade for eggs, and the lack of funding for protection, efforts in Costa Rica to encourage poachers to convert to conservationists failed. Like drugs, the trade is turtle eggs is highly lucrative and controlled by a small number of powerful people with no qualms about taking the life of anybody who gets in their way.  Lower in the gang hierarchy, is primarily poor and uneducated people trying to earn money to feed their families.

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