Marine life activist Paul Watson is in a heap of legal trouble, although the charges look to be exaggerated if not outright fabricated. The Whale Wars star is facing criminal prosecution for “unsafe navigation” for a decade-old incident in Costa Rica. However, Watson’s lawyers are wary of the criminal summons because they don’t believe that unsafe navigation laws even exist in Costa Rica in the first place.
Many expect that the charges go deeper than settling an old score in Costa Rica. It appears that the nation has an extradition agreement with Japan, another country that would love to get its hands on Watson, and may even be willing to offer
“economic aid” back to Costa Rica in return for the favor.
Television audiences already understand Japan’s beef with Watson. Animal Planet’s documentary/reality series Whale Wars follows Watson as he takes on Japanese whaling vessels along the Antarctic coast. The sixth season of the popular show is set to air later this year.
As Watson tells it, he interrupted an illegal shark finning operation in 2002. Despite a documentary crew filming the whole altercation, the disgruntled shark poachers accused Watson of attempted murder by ramming their boat. Although these charges were dropped in court, now 10 years later the Cost Rican government is resurrecting the charges under the label of “unsafe navigation.”
“Why the persistence?” Watson asks. “And who gets extradited for unsafe navigation when no one was hurt and property was not damaged?”
Watson, who in 1997 formed the radical activist group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to protect marine life , is currently wanted on criminal charges in three countries. While the animal activist employs tactics of questionable legality, his activism is aimed at stopping those who illegally kill whales and sharks. Interestingly, however, the legal repercussions seem to fall on Watson rather than the poachers of endangered sea life.
“I do not expect the charges to be dropped against me,” Watson wrote on Facebook. “The corruption goes all the way to the top to the office of the President. Hopefully the pieces will begin to fall into place and more will be revealed about how Costa Rica has one of the worst records of marine conservation in all of Latin America.”
According to Watson, government officials are in cahoots with the poachers and intentionally overlook the inhumane slaughtering of marine life in the name of profit. This unscrupulous alliance would explain not only why governments allow not only for the illegal vessels to continue their practices, but also why Watson is continually subject to their trumped up wrath.
The persecution of Watson should be alarming to activists everywhere. With Julian Assange and Edward Snowden as other recent examples, extradition agreements are increasingly looking like a global conspiracy to maintain the corrupt status quo rather than promote justice. How is anyone supposed to change the world for the better when nations work together to stop activists from exposing the truth?
Read more: activism, activist, animal activism, animal planet, costa rica, extradition, extradition agreements, germany, japan, marine life, navigation, paul watson, sea life, sharks, whale wars, whales
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.