From Captain Paul Watson
Dear President Chinchilla,
I can understand you agreeing to throw me under the bus as a political favor to your friends in the Japanese government.
After all, I’m just a gringo. You don’t owe me a thing and you picked up a few hundred million yen for Costa Rica for your troubles. I’m sure there were no kick –backs, because after all, that is unheard of in Costa Rica politics, well at least since the days of President Pacheco or so your Minister for Foreign Affairs has assured me. You probably picked up a few votes from the shark finners and poachers. Nothing wrong with that. Some would call it good politics.
But what I don’t understand Laura is why you intend to have your government shamed and your reputation smeared to protect a couple of low life narco-thugs from being brought to justice.
Jairo Mora Sandoval. Remember him. If not, we’re going to make sure you never forget him. He was a Tico, Laura, one of your own people. Born and raised in Costa Rica and only twenty-six years old. Tall, dark, young, intelligent and handsome, Laura, and passionate, oh yes, very passionate, the kind of man Costa Rica should be proud of.
I’m sorry, I’ll correct myself, he is a man that Costa Ricans are indeed proud of, immensely proud of from what I can see, and many Costa Ricans are not very happy with the fact that your government does not seem to be taking his murder very seriously.
First of all the initial government response dismissed it as an accident. I’ve not encountered many accident victims who had their hands bound and were beaten to death. Perhaps the Minister was implying that Jairo was beaten yes, but the perpetrators did not actually mean to kill him. They just wanted to rough him up a bit, teach him a lesson, a little friendly intimidation, but low life thugs are really undependable these days.
And strangely Jairo himself had warned the police and the government in advance that this “accident” was about to happen. I guess he could have had premonitions or just a good healthy case of justified paranoia.
After two months of not much happening the new governmental theory is that it was a robbery, as if that somehow makes it better. “We have some great news for you Mrs. Mora, your son was not killed by narco-poachers, he was murdered by robbers instead. We’re so relieved and we hope you are also.”
The government in now implying that being killed by robbers is somewhat more acceptable than being slain by narco-poachers.
Let’s look at the robbery theory, three foreign women and a Costa Rican man are kidnapped and tied up by men carrying automatic weapons and wearing masks. They are taken to a place where they are held and threatened.
We’ll lets conveniently forget the kidnapping crime so we can focus on the robber theory.
The robbers then decide to take one of the party, a man who happens to be a known nuisance to the narco-poachers and they take him for a walk on the beach and then they kill him. His hands were tied so he did not resist. I mean do these politicians in San Jose really expect such a stupid story to wash with the public.
Come on Laura, who are these thugs and why does it seem like you are reluctant to bring them to justice? Unless they are close cousins, what possible motive would you have for having your government ministers make such ridiculous statements. You must have a public relations department. If so I would fire them if I were you.
I can guarantee that if the victim was named José María Rico Chinchilla, this murder would have been solved by now. Jairo was a son of Costa Rica and you are supposed to be the mother to the Costa Rican peoples. The murder of a high profile conservationist under suspicious circumstances should have received the highest priority.
Costa Rica is not Zimbabwe. You have resources and you have access to the F.B.I. if you request it. The killers are not master criminals. You don’t need Sherlock Holmes. This is a solvable crime Laura, so why is it not being solved?
Unless of course there is something that these narco-poachers know that you don’t want the public to know what they know.
A decade ago eight shark poachers simply accused me of trying to kill them and despite the entire incident documented by our own cameras for the documentary Sharkwater, the police wasted no time in charging me with attempted murder and when the evidence did not support the charge, they recharged me with assault and when the evidence did not support that charge, you decided to charge me a decade later with dangerous navigation stemming from that same incident.
Who the hell gets extradited for dangerous navigation when no one was hurt and no property was damaged, Laura?
In other words when the shark finners demanded action, the government was quick to jump but when the conservation community demands action, I guess there is no one available for you to say, “Show me the money.”
This stinks Laura, it stinks of fresh turtle turds and if this murder is not solved, people around the world will want to know the reason why.
Jairo gave his life to protect sea turtles on Costa Rican beaches. That was his job and he took his responsibilities seriously. He knew the risks but he also felt that he could depend on the police and his government to protect him.
In that he was tragically, fatally, wrong. He was unfortunately too young to know better.
You however did not protect him and now these killers are free to kill the next conservationist or environmentalist who gets in their way.
And don’t tell me you were not aware of him. A young man, valiantly defending turtle nests in the face of violent narco-poachers? I was aware of him, and I’m a damn Gringo in the middle of the ocean Laura, so if you did not know of him, all I can say is you need to look into what is going on in Costa Rica, especially on the beach at Moins.
Your job Madame President first and foremost is to protect the life and freedom of the people of Costa Rica and failing that your job is to bring these kidnapping, turtle egg poaching, drug running killers to justice.
You failed to protect Jairo and because of that he was brutally murdered. Do you intend to fail in giving his family the justice they deserve?
Now, one course of action you will most likely take is to arrest a few people taking care to isolate the motive as anything BUT drugs. I’m sure there are “recruits” in the narco community coerced into the position to take the fall if the situation gets hot AND it is getting hotter. It will get much hotter.
I can even see a few confessions that will stress the killing was a robbery and had absolutely nothing to do with drugs or poaching. Poor Jairo being the luckless victim of a random robbery, you know that sort of thing. It won’t wash Laura. Jairo was not a random victim. He was very much a targeted victim and your government knows it.
Do you know what I see Laura? Perhaps a book? Perhaps a couple of books by different authors. Perhaps a motion picture to highlight this crime? Certainly a documentary. Sort of like the Karen Silkwood story or the Chico Mendes story.
For myself I intend to make sure that the name Jairo Mora Sandoval is a household word. I intend to make sure that his work and his legacy are not forgotten.
Editor’s Note: This open letter from Paul Watson was originally published on his Facebook page, and are not subject to our standard editorial review. The claims made herein are soly those of the author.