Costa Rican conservation NGO claims wildlife refuge was poisoned

August 6, 2010

 

The Marine Turtle Restoration Program (Pretoma) is preparing to file a formal complaint with Costa Rica’s Environment Tribunal against Agropecuario Caletas S.A. for allegedly spraying harmful chemicals on a wildlife refuge in the northwestern province of Guanacaste.  
 
Pretoma charges that a plane from the farming company sprayed toxic chemicals over the Caletas-Arío National Wildlife Refuge, poisoning the area’s wildlife.  
 
A Pretoma volunteer who was on patrol at the Caletas refuge on July 20 filmed a crop duster spraying a liquid over a field that the group claims is within the refuge. The video also shows dozens of dead fish and crabs on the beach shortly after the spraying.
 
Andy Bystrom, a spokesman for Pretoma, said the chemicals released over the area drained into a nearby mangrove wetland and then entered the Río Bongo, killing the river’s fish and crabs.
 
The videohas been posted on YouTube at       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyzhyCmFcdE
 
Agropecuario Caletas S.A. denies the charges and claims that the video could have been shot in any part of Costa Rica, not necessarily Caletas.
 
“That’s what they always say, but we have all kinds of witnesses,” Randall Arauz, director of Pretoma, said.
 
Ana Ventura, the volunteer who filmed the video, recalled a “strong poison smell” and said that after the plane passed, “most of the volunteers ran to get T-shirts to cover their noses and mouths.”
 
Arauz said he is gathering information and will present the case to the Environment Tribunal next week.
 
Last year, Pretoma filed a complaint against Agropecuario Caletas S.A. for illegally excavating land in order to build a road near the refuge.
 
The Environment Tribunal imposed a $30,000 fine on the company for the earthmoving and ordered the group to repair the damages. The payment is still pending.
Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Costa Rica meets with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss Nicaragua, Venezuela, indigenous rights
Costa Rica
1 views
Costa Rica
1 views

Costa Rica meets with Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss Nicaragua, Venezuela, indigenous rights

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 23, 2019

Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Ventura Robles, met with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) this week…

Freed Nicaraguan prisoner tells of torture
Central America
37 views
Central America
37 views

Freed Nicaraguan prisoner tells of torture

AFP - April 23, 2019

One Nicaraguan guard pinned his hand to a table with his knee while another ripped out a nail with a…

Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education
Costa Rica
10 views
Costa Rica
10 views

Costa Rica celebrates 150 years of free education

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 22, 2019

Costa Rica on Monday celebrated 150 years of free, obligatory and state-paid education with a ceremony at the Escuela Jesús…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!