• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Costa Rica included in list of most dangerous countries for environmentalists

April 20, 2015

The deaths of Tico environmentalists Jairo Mora Sandoval and Diego Saborío González have earned Costa Rica a spot on the list of most dangerous countries for environmental activists. The list is compiled each year by U.K.-based non profit Global Witness, which keeps tabs on environmental conflicts worldwide.

The group found a 20 percent increase in killings of environmentalists last year. A total of 116 activists were murdered in 2014 in 17 countries — nine of them in Latin America.

Brazil topped the list as the most dangerous country for environmental activists, with 29 murders — the vast majority of them indigenous people.

Colombia was second with 25 murders, followed by the Philippines with 15, Honduras with 12, Peru with 9 and Guatemala with 5.

Per capita, Honduras is currently the most dangerous country for activists, with a total of 101 deaths between 2010 and 2014 in a country of 8 million people.

The most recent list is part of the Global Witness’ yearly report “How Many More?” released Monday.

In 2014 two environmentalists were killed each week somewhere in the world, the group found. Most of them were shot by police during protests or gunned down by hired assassins.

Read all The Tico Times coverage of Jairo Mora’s murder

Forty percent of all victims were indigenous, with most of them dying amid disputes over hydropower, mining and agrobusiness.

Global Witness estimates the real death toll of environmental activists to be much higher.

“Many of the murders we know about occurred in remote villages or deep within the jungle, where communities lack access to communications and the media,” the report states.

A criminal court in January acquitted seven men of the murder of 26-year-old sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora, citing reasonable doubt, discarded evidence and an ineffective investigation. Mora was killed at Moín Beach on May 31, 2013.

Diego Saborío, a 28-year-old law student, was shot dead and then burned inside his house on October 12, 2014 by a man who used to enter Saborío’s farm to hunt.

How Many More?

You may be interested

Costa Rica offering all-expenses-paid vacations: How to enter
Costa Rica
5 views
Costa Rica
5 views

Costa Rica offering all-expenses-paid vacations: How to enter

Alejandro Zúñiga - November 26, 2020

Costa Rica is offering all-expenses-paid vacations for U.S. and Canadian residents who have found life’s essentials during what has been…

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica was a long time coming
Archive
14085 views
Archive
14085 views

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica was a long time coming

Rebecca Kimitch - November 26, 2020

For Thanksgiving 2020 we're looking back on a 2005 piece that, in turn, looked back on Thanksgivings past in Costa…

The race to obtain coronavirus vaccines in Latin America
Latin America
21505 views
Latin America
21505 views

The race to obtain coronavirus vaccines in Latin America

AFP Bureaus - November 26, 2020

While the world waits for vaccine candidates to complete trials and pass safety tests, Latin American countries are accelerating negotiations…