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Conservation group delivers $14,000 check to family of slain turtle protector Jairo Mora

Plenty of outraged environmentalists and concerned citizens have protested in the six months since Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval was murdered, but some 150,000 people also were motivated to give.

On Saturday, Todd Steiner, executive director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, hand-delivered a $14,000 check to Mora’s family in Gandoca, northeast of the capital on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. The money was collected through a petition demanding justice for Mora’s murder.

“It was an honor to meet Jairo’s family and express the world’s sadness and outrage over his murder,” Steiner said. “We won’t rest until the perpetrators of this horrendous crime are convicted, and mechanisms are put in place to assure this never happens again.”

Mora was killed on May 30 while walking along Moín Beach collecting sea turtle eggs. Steiner’s group, along with several other sea turtle NGOs, also offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mora’s killers.

Eight suspects are now in custody pending trial, but the NGOs said they would not release reward money until a conviction is made.

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