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FOUR MEN CONVICTED FOR MURDERING COSTA RICAN CONSERVATIONIST

04/11/2016

On March 29, a Costa Rican court sentenced four men for the murder of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval and the kidnapping of his volunteers. Three other defendants were acquitted due to lack of evidence. Jairo Mora Sandoval and four female volunteers were kidnapped on May 30, 2013. Sandoval died of asphyxiation after being beaten, tied up, and dragged along the beach. Sandoval’s conservation work was the primary motive for his murder. Sea turtle eggs, considered an aphrodisiac, are linked to drug trafficking in Costa Rica. The four men were sentenced up to 90 years in jail for the kidnapping and murder, but under Costa Rican law, the maximum time they can serve is 50 years. The decision follows a previous trial, held in 2015, where the seven men were acquitted when certain key evidence was deemed inadmissible; the prosecutor appealed the case and won a new trial. The Court of the Judicial Inspection currently has a disciplinary case against the judges from the first trial for “wrongfully refusing to accept essential evidence.” For the full story, see http://news.mongabay.com/2016/04/four-get-maximum-sentence-for-murder-of-costa-rican-sea-turtle-conservationist/