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Poachers sending death threats to conservationists in Guanacaste

September 26th, 2013 ( Conservationists working to protect sea turtles and their eggs in Nandayure, Guanacaste, are receiving death threats from poachers who plunder turtle eggs from the beach, known in Costa Rica as Hueveros.


Erick Lopez from a conservation group known as Pretoma which works in the Caletas Wildlife Refuge told the Spanish-language online newspaper, CR Hoy, that a conservationist working with his group has received serious death threats in recent days. Poachers allegedly told the conservationists that they should be “afraid of appearing dead on the beach.”


The conservationists, who work to protect turtle egg nests on the beaches of Caletas, Costa Oro, San Miguel and Corozalito, all in Nandayure, say they are tired of calling 911.


“At some of the beaches we have identified the people [responsible] … we call 911 and don’t receive an answer, we visit the police station and they don’t have a vehicle.  What we do is send more volunteers as reinforcements,” Lopez told CR Hoy.


The conservationists said they fear meeting the same fate as environmentalist Jairo Mora, who worked to protect turtle nests in Moin, Limon before being killed by poachers.


The poachers are openly armed with machetes and firearms, according to the conservationists.


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  • Mischa

    It’s time CR got a grip on this problem and stopped showing the world its two faces. It’s just horrible the way environmental protectors are treated here – it hasn’t improved in the slightest in the 30 years I’ve been here. Too many people grabbing the tourist money as fast as they can – soon there won’t be any tourist money what then?

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes

    It’s a pretty safe bet that in remote coastal areas, there will be locals subsisting on whatever they can scavenge from nature, and few if any law enforcement around to stave off poachers. The answer to the problem is for the government to take over the turtle conservancy.

    It can hire and train locals ,who may have been poaching previously, along with armed guard(s) protect turtle nests, and collect excess eggs for sale providing an income and a disincentive to continue poaching, and paying for the program.

    Along with being a feather in the administrations cap, this would help the environmental tourism industry as well as protect sea turtles.

    The question of course is, is this too big a project for Laura to pull off?

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