Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

May 17, 2013

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On 27 April, three years passed since the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, of Finnish origins, who were attacked by an armed group with presumed links to local and state authorities on this day in 2010, as they were traveling in a humanitarian and observation caravan to the Triqui community of San Juan Copala to document the conditions in which dozens of family had been living under conditions of siege.

Members of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ), the Revolutionary Popular Front (FPR), and teachers from Section 22 of the Huajuápan chapter of the National Coordination of Educational Workers (CNTE), together with other social organizations, on 26 April carried out mobilizations and a march to protest the impunity experienced in the case of these murders.

Omar Esparza Zarate, leader of MAIZ in the Mixteco region and widower of Bety Cariño Trujillo, expressed that “These three years have been difficult, because I not only lost a comrade–the pain is there and will always be there–but also because of all the harassment, intimidation, illegal searches of the office, and sensing that one has to always be on edge due to lack of knowledge of when the aggressors will make good on their death-threats.”  Furthermore, he added that “for three years, we have spoken to the lack of interest on the government’s part to see justice done.  We have not perceived any sort of will to resolve these murders, nor for punishment of those responsible for them, in accordance with the law.”  Finally, Omar Esparza lamented that the state authorities have not observed their commitment, nor have they declared responsibility for the intellectual and material authors of the crimes.  Beyond this, he stressed that the deaths of social activists is certainly a constant feature of life in the country.

For its part, the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) made public that “with relation to these crimes, 12 arrest-orders have been declared against the presumed murderers, among which is included the leaders of UBISORT which one day before the departure of the caravan made serious threats against the physical integrity of our comrades.  We also indicate that ex-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz should be considered an intellectual author of these bloody acts, given his public recognition of his having financially supported the paramilitary UBISORT group.”Similarly, Amnesty International and Frontline Defenders have reminded the federal and Oaxacan state authorities of their responsibilities to guarantee that these acts not remain in impunity.

For more information (in Spanish):

La herida está ahí y siempre va a estar: Omar Esparza (El Imparcial, 27 de abril de 2013)

UCIZONI: Demandamos castigo para los asesinos de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Kaos en la Red, 26 de abril de 2013)

A 3 años de la muerte de una indígena y un finlandés en Oaxaca (E-Oaxaca, 26 de abril de 2013)

Oaxaca: A tres años del asesinato de defensores de derechos humanos seguimos reclamando justicia (Amnistía Internacional México, 27 de abril de 2013)

México: Se cumple el 3° aniversario del asesinato de la defensora de los derechos humanos Bety Cariño (Frontline Defenders, 27 de abril de 2013)

Audio-video:

Entrevista a Bety Cariño: Sembrando sueños, cosechando esperanzas (Código DH, 27 de abril de 2013)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 12 arrest-orders released against presumed material authors of the murder of the Mexican defender Bety Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola (12 October 2012)

Oaxaca: Meeting in front of the PGR against impunity in the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, nearly two years after their murders (21 April 2012)

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)


Oaxaca: 12 arrest-orders released against the presumed material authors of the murder of the Mexican defender Beatriz Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola

October 12, 2012

On 27 September, two years and five months after the murders of the Mexican human-rights defenders Beatriz Cariñ and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola, 12 arrest-orders were released against the presumed material authors of their deaths.  The announcement was made in a press-conference carried out in Mexico City on 1 October.  At the event, the lawyer David Peña from the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD) announced that a penal denunciation will be presented before Finnish prosecutors against the intellectual authors of these crimes; included within these are the PRI ex-governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, then the secretary general of Oaxaca, as well as the mayor of Juxtlahuaca in 2010, when the ambush was perpetrated in which Cariño and Jaakkola lost their lives.  “None of this is being investigated in Mexico; the PGR has not opened an investigation into the intellectual authors, among them former governor Ulises Ruiz for his financing of armed groups like Ubisort.”  Peña noted that the team will meet in Mexico City with officials from Governance, the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), and the Chancellery to request security measures for witnesses and those who were injured on 27 April 2010, given that they fear for their lives.

For his part, Omar Esparza, husband to Beatriz Cariño, stressed that it is not enough to release arrest orders, but rather that now it depends on the government of Gabino Cué to observe the orders and arrest these 12 persons.

This information was released to coincide with the visit of the Eurodeputies Satu Hassi y Ska Keller, who were in the country from 1 to 5 October to verify the grave humanitarian situation that prevails in states like Oaxaca and Guerrero.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ordenan capturar a 12 presuntos asesinos de Cariño y Jaakkola (La Jornada, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Denunciarán a Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia por muerte de activistas (Proceso, 1ero de octubre de 2012)

Boletín de prensa de la ANAD y Alianza Mexicana por la Autodeterminación de los Pueblos (1ero de octubre de 2012)

Video conferencia de prensa aquí (33 min.)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Meeting in front of the PGR against impunity in the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, nearly two years after their murders (21 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Triquis return to their communities after 16 months of sit-in (8 February 2012)

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)


Oaxaca: Two years after the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

May 16, 2012

 

On 27 April 2012, 2 years passed since the murder of the human-rights defender Beatriz Cariño and of the Finnish international observer Jyri Jaakkola, an event that took place as they were traveling in a humanitarian caravan toward the community of San Juan Copala in the Triqui region of Oaxaca.

Many civil-society organizations, both national and international, pronounced themselves on the occasion: “During all this time we have observed the weak advance of investigations into the murders.  None of the corresponding institutions have committed themselves seriously to resolving the cases; on the contrary, the investigations are on hold, demonstrating yet again the total lack of political will to resolve the aberrant crimes that were committed against Bety and Jyri.”

The Union of Indigenous Communities of the Northern Zone of the Isthmus (UCIZONI) emphasized for its part that “On this 27 of April, two years have passed since the murder of our comrade and friend Alberta Cariño and the Finnish activist Jyri Jaakkola, who died as they were attempting to enter the Triqui community of San Juan Copala on a humanitarian mission.   Despite the fact that the murderers from the UBISORT paramilitary gang have been plainly identified, to date neither the Federal nor State Attorney General’s Offices have proceeded with investigations corresponding to this double homicide.  This has allowed that the material and intellectual authors of the crime continue enjoying impunity.  It would seem that the idea is to protect them.”

The organization Agrarian Indigenous Zapatista Movement (MAIZ) of which Omar Esparza is a part, being the widower of Bety Cariño, has noted that “Because today once again after two years we continue to see how the assassins and tyrants such as Ulises Ruíz Ortiz and all others who decided on the attack on the caravan en route to San Juan Copala on 27 April 2010 are protected and defended.  In light of the absence and incompetence of the Attorney General, it has had to be we the families who have investigated, and we will seek the truth.  On the other hand, in recent days, representatives of the federal government have sought by all means to evade legal actions being taken against Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.”  It should be remembered that just previously to the anniversary of the double murder, the Mexican lawyers for the Jaakkola family, David Peña and Karla Michel Salas, who found themselves in Brussels, Belgium, to report to human-rights organizations and Eurodeputies about the state of the investigations in the case, indicated their surprise at the unexpected presence at the event of Max Diener Sala, subsecretary for Juridical Affairs and Human Rights from the Secretary for Governance.

For more information (in Spanish):

Critican a Calderón por impedir denuncia contra Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia (Proceso, 28 de abril de 2012)

Pronunciamiento nacional e internacional: ¡Justicia para Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola! (OSC, 28 de abril de 2012)

Betty y Jyri, 2 años, Copala, e impunidad (Noticias.net, 27 de abril de 2012)

Comunicado de MAIZ (Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista, 26 de abril de 2012)

Comunicado de Ucizoni en demanda de justicia para Bety Cariño (26 de abril de 2012)

Busca Calderón impedir denuncia contra Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia(Proceso, 25 de abril de 2012)

La ANAD demandará a Ulises Ruiz en Finlandia (La Jornada, 22 de abril de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Meeting in front of the PGR against impunity in the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, nearly two years after their murders (21 April 2012)

Oaxaca: Triquis return to their communities after 16 months of sit-in (8 February 2012)

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)


Oaxaca: Meeting in front of the PGR against impunity in the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, nearly two years after their murders

April 21, 2012

(@zapateando.com.mx)

On 17 April, members of different civil and social organizations carried out a meeting in front of the headquarters of the Federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City to demand the clarification of the murder of the human-rights defenders Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola that occurred on 27 April 2010 when they were attempting to bring humanitarian support to the community of San Juan Copala in the Triqui region of the state of Oaxaca.  Protestors demanded that authorities conclude with their investigations, “given that they now have all the necessary evidence and testimony, and it is just a question of political will to resolve it.”

They announced that they will submit an international criminal denunciation against the Oaxacan ex-governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  Beyond this, the Cariño family declared that it will next week visit Finland, Jaakkola’s country of origin, to officially submit the denunciation against Ruiz for his responsibility for the crime.  “Yes, it is necessary to go to the other side of the world to find justice, so that is how we will do it,” signaled Omar Esparza, Bety Cariño’s husband.

In the protest participated organizations like the Zapatista Indigenous Agrarian Movement, the Mexican Alliance for the Self-Determination of Peoples, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, and Campesino and Urban Communities in Solidarity with Alternatives, among others.

For more information (in Spanish):

Piden aclarar asesinato de Cariño y Jaakkola (La Jornada, 18 de abril de 2012)

OSC anuncian denuncia penal internacional contra Ulises Ruíz a dos años del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Boletín de Prensa MAIZ  / Alianza Mexicana por la Auto Determinación de los Pueblos, 17 de abril de 2012)

Convocan a protesta para exigir detención de homicidas de activistas (Proceso, 30 de marzo de 2012)

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: Triquis return to their communities after 16 months of sit-in (8 February 2012)

Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala (14 December 2011)

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)


Oaxaca: justice demanded for San Juan Copala

December 14, 2011

Reyna Flores Matrínez (@sanjuancopalaoaxaca.wordpress.com)

In light of the lack of responses by the state government 16 months after their having been expelled from San Juan Copala, displaced women from the Triqui zone have announced that they will engage in a walking march starting on 19 December from the communities of Agua Fría, Santa Cruz Tilapa, and Yosoyuxi toward the capital.  In a press-conference, Reyna Martínez, representative of the group, lamented that to date, and despite the 27 murders in the zone, there have been launched only three criminal investigations, and that in any case substantial advances in the investigation of the events are lacking.  She also denounced the lack of interest on the part of the government to find a solution to the problem, “given that in recent months this has been in the hands of low-ranking officials who have no capacity for creating solutions.”

In other news, following the announcement on 8 December that there would be presented at the European Parliament the report of the Euro-deputies Satu Hassi (Finland) and Franziska Keller (Germany) after their official visit to Mexico last September (a presentation that was deferred to the subsequent year), several media have published articles on said report which identifies several challenges regarding investigations into the murder of activists Jyri Jaakkola and Bety Cariño, which occurred on 27 April 2010 near San Juan Copala: “Change does not come overnight, and now a new party has come into power in Oaxaca following 70 years of PRI governments.  Regardless, lack of coordination between federal and state levels, the co-existence of different judicial systems, and the poor existing standards for investigations continue to serve as obstacles for there to be significant progress, despite the efforts of the government.”  The report also indicates that “We fear that without political will to delimit responsibilities, impunity will continue to prevail.  People feel that the credibility of the Mexican State is at stake.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Informe europeo: Los crímenes de San Juan Copala, puras disculpas (Proceso, 2 December)

Realizarán mujeres desplazados de Copala caminata a la capital(Noticiasnet.mx, 7 December)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño and Jaakkola (17 October 2011)

Oaxaca: Heriberto Pazos Ortiz, leader and founder of MULT, is killed (26 October 2010)

Oaxaca: the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala is dismantled (30 September 2010)

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region against individuals who had been granted precautionary measures by the IACHR (20 October 2010)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)


Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño y Jaakkola

October 17, 2011

Franziska Keller, Satu Hassi, and Gabriela Küppers @ Oaxaca entrelíneas.com

The Eurodeputies Franziska Keller, Satu Hassi, and Gabrielle Küppers met on 3 September during their tour from 2 to 7 September with Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo to request information regarding the advance of investigations into the murders of the Mexican activist Beatriz Alberta Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola that occurred on 27 April 2010 in San Juan Copala.  The representatives of the European Parliament lamented that to now those responsible for the deaths of Jyri Jaakkola and Bety Cariño have to date not been detained, though they see progress in that the government at least attends to them, given that the previous administration of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz denied audiences with the Commission of the European Parliament altogether.

Seventeen months after the crimes, which also led to more than a dozen injuries and the disappearance of four persons for 60 hours, no one responsible has been arrested.  “This is a problem of impunity that prevails in all of the country,” say Hassi and Keller.  Though they noted the arrest of Rufino Hernández, leader of the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), as a positive development, given that he presumably participated in the death of the Finnish citizen and Bety Cariño, they indicated that this arrest has to do with other crimes committed by the leader.

In May of this year, on days 18 and 20, a delegation of the Subcommittee for Human Rights from the European Parliament visited Mexico.  In a recent report they observed that the “militarization” of the war against drugs launched by the government of Felipe Calderón itself represents “a problem in terms of human-rights violations.”

The document also indicates that despite the fact that high officials within the Calderón government with whom they interviewed “have expressed a storng commitment to bring national law into conformity with international conventions,” the representatives of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) have complained that the same authorities “very rarely” take seriously the rights-violations documented by them.

The Eurodeputies expressed their concerns regarding the “excessive power of the military.”  Mexican senators, according to the report, “have told us that they do not have any interest in allowing the military to break the law, but that in fact the Army enjoys a much greater public trust than any other public organization, including the Church and obviously the Congress.”

In other news, the visitor of the CNDH confided to the Eurodelegation that “the lack of ongoing investigations into the murder in Oaxaca of Jyri Jaakkola, whom he knew personally, is emblematic of the climate of impunity” that prevails in the country.

“The European Parliament respects the concern Mexico has for its international standing, but the spirit of solidarity with the NGOs and the victims obliges us to continue demanding that Mexico observe its obligations under international human-rights law,” says the report.

For more information (in Spanish):

Contradicciones de México en derechos humanos: Parlamento Europeo, Proceso, 23 September 2011

Paramilitares de Oaxaca, en la impunidad: eurodiputadas, Contralínea, 29 September 2011

Lamentan representantes de Parlamento Europeo que aún no haya detenidos por muerte de Jaakola y Cariño, Oaxaca Entrelíneas.com, 3 September 2011

Eurodiputadas visitan Oaxaca para conocer avance sobre caso Copala, Ciudadanía Express, 1 September 2011

Eurodiputadas en Oaxaca, para pedir resultados de casos Cariño y Jaakkola, E-Oaxaca, 3 September 2011

Contradicciones de México en derechos humanos: Parlamento Europeo, Chacatorex, 28 September 2011

Para más información de SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)


Oaxaca: Third National Forum “Weaving Resistance in Defense of our territories”

June 8, 2011

Photo @ Colectivo Oaxaqueño

On 20 and 21 May was held the Third National Forum “Weaving Resistance in Defense of Our Territories” in Capulálpam de Méndez, Oaxaca, where 59 indigenous communities and 51 social and civil organizations pronounced themselves regarding respect for their collective rights regarding property and natural resources, following a profound reflection having to do with the principal problems faced by indigenous communities and peoples.  They expressed during the day that “in light of the lack of efficient legal resources for the defense of collective rights, we peoples today find ourselves in resistance so as to protect the natural resources of our territories, such as water, forests, biodiversity, as well as to show our self-determination as a legitimate right of the people.”

In this event the indigenous people of Capulálpam declared the “Y” territory located in a sacred mountain in the same municipality as “historical communal territory for the recharging of aquifers,” affirming that “this patrimony of Capulálpam will never be the object of exploitation.”

The forum also expressed its solidarity with the struggles in Capulálpam de Méndez against the mining project of La Natividad; Santa Cruz Itundujia, against the Federal Commission on Electricity; the Coordination of United Peoples in Defense of Water, in the Valley of Ocotlán; San José Progeso, against the mining project of the Cuzcatlán firm; the council of United Peoples in Defense of the Río Verde, against the hydroelectric project Paso de la Reyna; the Ecologist Front Agua San Felipe, for the defense of water; the Wixárrica people, for the defense of its ceremonial center and the struggles for territorial defense taken in the state and the country, as well as demanding justice for the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola.

For more information (in Spanish):

Declaratoria del tercer foro regional: Tejiendo la Resistencia en Defensa de Nuestros Territorios, CENCOS, 24 May 2011

Pueblos Indígenas exigen respeto a sus territorios frente a proyectos depredadores de sus recursos naturales, Realidad Oaxaca, 23 May 2011

DECLARACIÓN DEL TERRITORIO HISTÓRICO COMUNAL DE RECARGA DE ACUIFEROS LA “Y”, Colectivo Oaxaqueño en Defensa de los Territorios, 24 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Forum Building Resistance in Defense of our Territory (27 April 2009)


Oaxaca: Detention of Rufino Juárez, director of UBISORT

June 2, 2011

On 12 May Rufino Juárez Hernández, director of Union for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (UBISORT), was arrested.  He is suspected to be one of those responsible for the grave climate of violence experienced lately in the Triqui region, particularly the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala.

In accordance with information released by the State Police, Juárez Hernández is accused of being the intellectual author of the murder of Celestino Hernández Cruz, who belongs to the Movement for the Unification of Triqui Struggle-Independent (MULTI).  This was a murder registered on 17 April 2010 in the center of San Juan Copala.

Rufino Juárez is also a suspect in the attack on the humanitarian caravan that was head to San Juan Copala on 27 April 2010 in which were killed Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola.  Days before the departure of the caravan, Juárez Hernández publicly made grave threats to the lives and security of its members.

MULTI and UBISORT, as well as the Movement for Unification of Triqui Struggle (MULT), conflict over local power in the Triqui region, as has been reflected in the high levels of violence employed by militants associated with each of these organizations.  In 2010 at least 36 murders were counted in that region of the state of Oaxaca, all of them the result of different ambushes.

Amnesty International hopes that this action on the part of the State Attorney General’s Office will constitute the beginning of actions taken to dismantle the armed illegal groups found in the region and to put an end to the impunity that has left anxiety among a people that has been subjected to attacks and harassment.  The organization hopes that this judicial action will be the prelude to further clarifications regarding the murder of the human rights defenders Alberta “Bety” Cariño and Jyri Antero Jaakkola as well as clarifications on the presumed ties to be found among municipal and state authorities  and illegal armed groups like UBISORT.

Non-governmental organizations believe this detention is no act of goodwill or concession on the part of the Oaxaca state government but rather the product of national and international pressure to demand justice for the murder of Bety and Jyri.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen por homicidio a líder triqui en Oaxaca, El Universal, 14 May 2011

Acusan de homicidio a líder de la Ubisort, Enfoque Oaxaca, 13 May 2011

México: Un primer paso hacia la justicia en la región Triqui de Oaxaca, Amnistía Internacional

Pronunciamiento Público, Zapateando, 18 May 2011

Comunicado de Prensa, Viento Nuevo, 24 May 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Heriberto Pazos Ortiz, leader and founder of MULT, is killed (26 October)

Oaxaca: the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala is dismantled (30 September 2010)

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region against individuals who had been granted precautionary measures by the IACHR (20 October)


Oaxaca: impunity continues, one year after the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

May 4, 2011

On 27 April 2010, Bety Cariño (human-rights defender and member of the organization Center for Communal Support Working Together-CACTUS) and Jyri Jaakkola (a Finnish human-rights observer) were murdered while participating in a humanitarian caravan en route to San Juan Copala.

Non-governmental organizations, university collectives, and members of the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala paid the two their respects and denounced the impunity of the case by means of different activities taken up in Oaxaca as elsewhere in the country and the world.  For their part, 250 displaced individuals from San Juan Copala marched to demand justice once again.

Significantly, on the day before the one-year anniversary, Omar Esparza Zárate, husband to Bety and member of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ), together with Fernando Urbano Morales of CACTUS, were detained for 8 hours by federal police on the Mexico-Oaxaca highway.  By means of a communiqué, CACTUS denounced that “Beyond arbitrariness, we know that this arrest takes place within a context of violence, harrassment, and repression against human-rights defenders and ‘coincides’ as well with the fact that tomorrow 27 April marks one year of the murder of our comrade Bety Cariño, shot by paramilitary bullets in the humanitarian caravan to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copala.  This shows the intentionality of the Mexican State to intimidate and terrify those who have since last year demanded justice for the founder of CACTUS and other social activists who have been incarcerated and murdered in this period of mobilization and social repression.”  CACTUS noted that the activities called for to demand justice for the murders of Bety and Jyri would carry on regardless.

For more information (in Spanish):

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño (9 September 2010)

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April 2010)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)


Distrito Federal: visiting Mexico, the parents of Jyri Jaakkola demand justice for the case of their son and that of Bety Cariño

September 6, 2010

The parents of Jyri Jaakkola during a press-conference (@ La Jornada)

At the end of August arrived in Mexico Eeva and Raimo Jaakkola, parents of Jyri Jaakkola, the Finnish activist who was murdered on 27 April while participating in a civil mission of observation headed to the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá in the Triqui region of the state of Oaxaca.  Eeva and Raimo visited the country to demand the clarification of the death of their son and that of social activist Alberta Cariño as well as to “meet with the friends of Jyri,” according to Eeva.

According to media sources, Jyri’s parents met with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the governor-elect of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, though they rejected the possibility of having an audience with the actual governor of the state, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who has been said to have links with the group that has been claimed as responsible for the 27 April attack, the Union for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (UBISORT).  Eeva and Raimo had planned to visit the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá, but these plans were cancelled following an August 22 attack in the Triqui region in which three members of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I) were killed.

Jyri’s parents participated in a press-conference on 24 August in Distrito Federal, together with Alberto Herrera, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico; David Peña, from the National Association of Democratic Lawyers; and Omar Esparza Zárate, Bety’s husband.  In their comments Jyri’s parents stressed that “[t]hose who defend the most marginalized groups are often the ones who face the greatest risks.” They called on Mexican authorities to “punish those responsible” for the 27 April attack, and they requested that President Calderón help them.  With regard to the ongoing situation in the Triqui region, Eeva emphasized that “as mother to Jyri I feel a great sense of solidarity with the Triqui women who have lost their sons,” adding that “I am affected to know that what happened to my son and to Bety also has happened to many other human-rights defenders in Mexico.” This was taken up by Raimo, who expressed concern regarding the possibility that what happened to Jyri and Bety could also happen to other human-rights defenders.

Reflecting on the life and death of Jyri, Eeva said the following:

“We are proud of his manner of thinking and living–his understanding of solidarity was to share one’s life with its joys and sadness, but also with its risks.  We want justice for him, but also for the people with whom he lived and worked.  It is very important that the case of Jyri and Bety be resolved [...].  We hope that the resolution of their murders represent a step toward the changing of the culture of impunity, and that it guarantee security for indigenous peoples and human-rights defenders.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Defending human rights in Mexico can cost one’s life: parents of Jaakkola (La Jornada, 24 August)

Parents of Finnish activist Jyri Jaakkola demand justice (La Jornada, 25 August)

Silent march of Triquis in Oaxaca demands justice for 3 victims of paramilitary group (La Jornada, 30 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Attack on observation caravan–2 dead and 4 missing (29 April)

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June)


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