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


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)


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)

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