Now that there is a new administration it may be worthwhile to appeal directly to the New President of Costa Rica. I was placed on the Interpol Red List by the very corrupt former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla whose administration saw the shark finners make huge profits with few arrests. Her administration also did nothing to prevent the death of Jairo Mora Sandoval who requested government protection months before he was murdered. I am hopeful that President D. Luis Guillermo Solis will address both corruption and the illegal slaughter of turtles and sharks in Costa Rican waters. Costa Rica continues to demand my extradition for an incident in 2002 when I stopped Costa Rican fishing boat illegally finning sharks in Guatemalan waters. I intervened with permission of the Guatemalan government. Despite the entire incident documented on film for the documentary Sharkwater which demonstrated that no fishermen were injured, I was charged with attempted murder on the word of the eight fishermen. I appeared in court in 2002 and the charges were dropped. Two weeks later I was instead charged with 8 counts of assault. I appeared in court yet again and the charges were dismissed. A decade later I was charged a third time for the reckless operation of a ship and Costa Rica issued a demand for my extradition. The shark fin mafia have a $25,000 price on my head so being incarcerated in a Costa Rican jail just awaiting a trial would be a death sentence. And once brought to Costa Rican, if tried and acquitted Costa Rican would deliver me to Japan on charges of conspiracy to trespass (hardly an extraditable offense) and one that I am not guilty of. The charge is part of plea bargain for a crewmember who did board a Japanese whaling ship and he made this deal in exchange for a suspended sentence. I believe that President Solis has great potential to make a significant and positive difference in protecting marine diversity in Costa Rican waters. I would like to request a favor of all on this facebook page to send a polite message to President Solis with a request that Costa Rica drops the extradition order demanding that I be brought to Costa Rica. Sea Shepherd and I would like to return to helping protect the turtles and sharks in Costa Rican waters. Please write a short message or copy the message below (In English or Spanish) and post it on the President’s Facebook page or send it by email: E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luisguillermosolisr Paul Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
June 3, 2014