To The President of The Republic of Costa Rica

June 13, 2013

Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures team were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of Jairo Mora Sandoval while on his evening patrol of protecting leatherback sea turtle nests along Costa Rica's northern Caribbean Coast on Friday May 31st.  OFS's Latin America Director, Ruben Arvizu took immediate action on behalf of Jean-Michel and submitted a letter to Costa Rica's president, Laura Chinchilla, asking the government to take action against this crime and to ensure greater protection for sea turtles in Costa Rica.

Jairo Mora

Laura Chinchilla Miranda

San Jose, Costa Rica

Dear Madame President,

I have the honor to address you, on behalf of Ocean Futures Society (OFS), a nonprofit organization founded by Jean-Michel Cousteau, whose main purpose is to communicate and raise awareness of the enormous importance of the oceans for the survival of life on our planet.

I have had the pleasure of visiting your beautiful country several times, where the group Cousteau filmed the documentary Island of Peace, as Jean-Michel calls Costa Rica, referring to the exemplary state so special that keeps the Republic of Costa Rica as a demilitarized nation and strong defender of its ecology. In the early 90s, I was in San Jose for the collection of signatures for the Campaign for The Rights of Future Generations launched by Captain Jacques Cousteau. On that occasion I received more than seven hundred thousand signatures of citizens of all ages. The campaign was supported both by the government, educational institutions such as the National University and the University for Peace, private companies and the media such as the newspaper La Nacion.

The main reason for this letter is to tell you with all due respect, our sadness and disappointment upon hearing about the cowardly murder of a outstanding Costa Rican, Jairo Sandoval Mora, a courageous protector and defender of the turtles and their environment. This crime, in the province of Limón, has shaken the conscience of many internationally, especially because it occurs in Costa Rica. We hope that the government, which you so worthily lead, will bring to the forefront the investigation and punishment of those that stole the life of Jairo.

His mission, without official support, was carried out arduously and with great difficulty, having only the simple help of friends like Vanessa Lizano and the Widecast organization.

This sad event was brought to our attention by Mr. Randall Arauz, of Sea Turtle Restoration Project of Costa Rica, who have launched an international campaign to collect signatures asking justice for Jairo and for the government of Costa Rica to provide support to efforts to protect the turtles in its territory.

I am certain that hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of signatures from many countries will be collected supporting this issue and your government will bring justice to this abominable act and take action in the fight for the protection of sea turtles in Costa Rica. We sincerely wish that Jairo’s death will not be in vain, and that the love he showed in his noble work will continue and his name and memory will be honored in the country of his birth.

I appreciate the attention you give to this letter and I take this opportunity to greet you with my highest consideration.

Ruben Arvizu

Ruben Arvizu collaborates with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society as Film/Producer/Writer and Director for Latin America. In March 2012 he was named Ambassador of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate.

Photograph: Masked assailants kidnapped and murdered Jairo Mora on the beach while protecting nesting leatherback turtles and their eggs. Photo Courtesy of WIDECAST