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Patrolling for Poachers in Costa Rica (Excerpt from 'Shell Game')

In this excerpt, VICE News visits Costa Rica's Moín beach with local police to see if tensions remain between poachers and conservationists on the isolated coastline.

by VICE News
Jul 1 2015, 5:10pm

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Since sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica began in the 1950s, conservationists and poachers have peacefully shared the beach. But the murder of the environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval in 2013 shocked the eco-friendly country and brought attention to a violent overlap between conservationism and drug trafficking in Costa Rica's abundant national parks and untouched coastlines.

With five per cent of the world's biodiversity, the unique geography of Costa Rica is a hotspot for eco-tourism and conservation work. However, it is that same geography that makes the country so vulnerable to the violent drug trade that surrounds its borders. Costa Rica has become a major transshipment point for drug traffickers, with deadly consequences for those caught in the middle.

In this excerpt, VICE News visits Moín beach with local police to see if tensions remain between poachers and conservationists on the isolated coastline.

Watch Danny Gold answer your questions about this story 'On The Line'

Poachers and Drug Traffickers Are Creating a Deadly Environment in Costa Rica