San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Jairo Mora

Prosecutors will seek to extend preventative detention for Jairo Mora murder suspects ahead of February deadline

Six-month preventive detention sentences for seven suspects charged in the killing last May of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora will expire  in February, Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office told The Tico Times this week. Prosecutors say they will seek to extend those preventative sentences during court hearings on the days they expire.

On Feb. 1, suspects with the last names Salmon, Delgado, Cash, Arauz, Quesada and Centeno will have served out the six-month sentences, and a seventh suspect, also with the last name Salmon, was arrested later and is set for release on Feb. 9.

The Prosecutor’s Office also told The Tico Times that investigators may have DNA evidence linking one of the suspects to the murder. Preliminary studies on hair follicles from the crime scene could belong to one of the suspects. These preliminary tests are not conclusive, and only further studies will be permissible for use in trial.

The investigation is still in its preparatory stages and prosecutors did not have information on a trial date.

In Costa Rica, suspects are sentenced to periods of preventive detention while prosecutors build a case. If those sentences expire, a judge can rule to extend them or release the suspects.

For a complete rundown on the Jairo Mora case, see our story: Why Jairo died”

Contact Lindsay Fendt at

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Jairo Mora Sandoval was a truly brave young man whose life was violently cut short because he was protecting innocent wildlife from those who would exploit it. He and his friends have made, and are making a difference. In recent years, conservationists have succeeded in protecting over 10 percent of the earth’s surface. Despite this commendable effort, however, hundreds of species of birds, mammals, amphibians and sea turtles remain critically threatened and are completely unprotected by the present system of nature reserves. The problem is that conservation goals, like the plight of the sea turtles in Móin and Limón, are politically attractive talking points only during election season, and quickly fall to the wayside after those who were elected attain political office.

Trade in endangered species is one of the largest illicit commercial activities on the planet, after trafficking in drugs and weapons. Half of all the species of animals sold on the international black market now come from the forests of Central and South America. Evidently, these facts did not escape courageous Jairo’s notice, and perhaps such success emboldened him to press on, like other intrepid conservationists, even in the face of mortal danger.

Is there any hope for our planet’s endangered species, or will they all eventually succumb to extinction at the hands of unscrupulous poachers and drug traffickers? The Bible says that Our Creator notices when a common sparrow falls to the earth, so, would he not notice when an entire species has been endangered? (Matthew 10:29) How comforting it is to know that the time will soon come when human society will no longer threaten the existence of any species on earth! (Isaiah 11:6-9). Not only that, but the Bible also promises that those who have fallen asleep in death, like Jairo, will live again on this earth, after those who would harm it and its precious wildlife have been erased from the earth. (John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 21:3, 4; Psalms 37:9-11, 29)

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