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COSTA RICA
Turtle egg theft raises alarms
4/19/2012
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Heavily armed group swipes eggs of endangered species, just before hatching.

Armed with AK-47s, a group stole 1,500 leatherback turtle eggs from their nests on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, a local protection group reported April 16.

“For weeks, we have been asking for help from the police because the threats against our personnel are constant,” said Vanessa Lizano, who leads a group of volunteers who try to protect the species and their young. The eggs “were just about to hatch.”

The armed group stole the eggs from 19 nests in Moin after holding up the volunteers at gunpoint.

“We ask the people to please not consume turtle eggs in order to end this market,” she told a local television station.

In February, the environmental secretariat of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, requested that the country respond to a complaint filed by local environmental NGO Pretoma that accused Costa Rica of noncompliance with its own legislation on sea turtle conservation.

The complaint accused the country of impunity for offenders who operate in marine protected areas, among other offenses.
—Latinamerica Press.


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