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

Court rejects tax reform and asks legislators to eliminate four points
Costa Rica
266 views
Costa Rica
266 views

Court rejects tax reform and asks legislators to eliminate four points

Luis Fernando Cascante / Semanario Universidad - October 17, 2018

The Plenary Court has rejected the proposed tax reform bill in its current state and asked the members of the…

30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua
News
446 views
News
446 views

30 protesters released from prison in Nicaragua

AFP / The Tico Times - October 17, 2018

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega freed 30 political opponents on Monday, an action greeted with relief by human rights organizations. They…

La Sele continues to struggle, falls to Colombia, 3-1
La Sele
478 views
La Sele
478 views

La Sele continues to struggle, falls to Colombia, 3-1

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 17, 2018

One of La Sele’s shining moments happened right there, at the Red Bull Arena, a little over a year ago.…