Jairo Mora was an activist, a biologist and a defender of sea turtles in Costa Rica and the town of Moín in Limón Province before poachers took his life in 2013.
The result of Mora’s brutal death in 2013 have become evident in Costa Rica as various organizations have banded together to help support the effort to repopulate the waters around Costa Rica with Leatherback Sea Turtles. Mora’s friend and colleague, Vanessa Lizano, said that she couldn’t help but smile even during such a somber event. The beach is now patrolled by a crew from the Tropical Science Center and police to protect the eggs.
Vanessa Lizano and Didiher Chacón (director of Latin American Sea Turtles) held a candle light vigil for Mora who was there former colleague on Saturday, May 30th, 2015. After taking a moment of silence, they put their candles in the sand and headed down the beach to help out with the ongoing patrols. The beaches still see egg poachers on a regular basis, but now there are more than a few organizations that are looking to protect the eggs.
The Tropical Science Center and Operation Moín are both working to make sure that more of the eggs have a chance at hatching. The eggs are taken to a hatchery further north on the beach, and given a better shot at making it to the final stages, and TSC sees funding from APM Terminals who is building a billion dollar port further down the beach from where the leatherbacks regularly land. The port is, however, opposed by Operation Moín, because increased boat traffic will adversely affect incoming turtles.
Jairo Mora patrolled the nests along with Lizano and others starting in 2011. He worked to educate the public in general as to why he was working to help conserve turtle eggs. He was murdered by group of poachers and drug dealers who recently were acquitted of charges in January. Three of the men who were implicated in his murder were found guilty in a separate case that had similar circumstances to Mora’s unfortunate death.