An environmentalist who protected leatherback turtles off the coast of Costa Rica in the Caribbean was found dead Friday at a beach used by drug traffickers, authorities said.
The Judicial Investigation Organization of Costa Rica said in a statement that the motive for the murder of Jairo Sandoval Mora has not been determined.
Mora worked with the nonprofit organization Widescast, which protects turtle nests on the beach Moin, Limón province.
The battered body was found on Friday with hands tied and shot in the head, said the director of Widecast Didiher Chacon.
Mora, 26, watched the beach along with four volunteers on Thursday night when the masked arrived. The women escaped and went to police, Chacon said.
The activist said it is suspected that the murder was the work of drug traffickers. Moin added that the beach is used to bring drugs.
It was decided to withdraw all volunteers from the beach, leaving the turtle eggs at the mercy of looters, who sell them for a dollar a piece.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica