Oaxaca: Hunger strike over murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola concludes upon conclusion of agreement with authorities

May 18, 2014

betyyjyry2

Omar Esparza, former husband of Bety Cariño, together with other persons in solidarity who had engaged in a hunger strike in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in Mexico City have ended their protest after 16 days upon reaching an agreement with the Secretary of Governance (SEGOB), the PGR, and the Oaxacan State Attorney General’s Office in which the latter institutions agree to arrest the 12 presumed perpetrators of the murders of Betty and Jyri Jaakkola and to provide protection to witnesses of the murders.

“In essence, the agreement is a commitment to carry out actions to protect those who witnessed the murders and to arrest those responsible.  The authorities have never said that they would not do their work, but it all remained at the level of talk and good intentions; now we have it signed in writing, and this gives us much certainty and tranquility,” said Karla Michel Salas, president of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers.

Esparza noted that “This is a small victory, but not the final one.  Instead, it is a beginning and we are going to be attentive to seeing whether the authorities follow through with their commitments and perform their work.  It is a first step to make visible the impunity that prevailed in the case.”  He added that he would hold monthly meetings with the SEGOB to evaluate progress in the case.

Beyond this, the UN Office in Mexico of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has promised Esparza to continue following the case and to call on the governments of Enrique Peña Nieto and Gabino Cué to “promote pertinent actions to re-establish dialogue and reconstruct the social fabric in the community of San Juan de Copala toward the end of transcending the causes that have led to the present situation there.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Activistas levantarán huelga de hambre; acuerdan acciones para capturar a asesinos de Betty Cariño (SDP noticias, 14 de mayo de 2014)

Cumplen 15 días en huelga de hambre (Noticias, 14 de mayo de 2014)

Levantan familiares de Bety Cariño el plantón frente a instalaciones de la PGR (La Jornada, 15 de mayo de 2014)

ONU-DH toma nota de acciones de apoyo por huelga de hambre de Omar Esparza (Grupo Fórmula, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Insta ONU a Peña y Cué a solucionar el conflicto en Copala (Proceso, 15 de mayo de 2014)

Video: 13 dias en huelga de hambre exigiendo justicia para Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Serapaz, 14 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Oaxaca: Mothers of the disappeared express solidarity with Omar Esparza and his family on hunger strike (18 May 2014)

Oaxaca: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 May 2014)

Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (17 May 2013)

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)


National/Oaxaca: Mothers of the disappeared express solidarity with Omar Esparza and his family on hunger strike

May 18, 2014

Omar Esparza con las madres de migrantes @ Brigada Solidaria

Omar Esparza with mothers of the disappeared @Brigada Solidaria

On 10 May, Mother’s Day, there was held the Third March for National Dignity in Mexico City on the part of mothers of victims of forced disappearances coming from more than a dozen Mexican states and even other countries to demand that their children be found.  A year and three months after the Secretary of Governance presented the National Registry for Disappeared Persons (Renped), and just days from the one-year anniversary of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) created its Special Office of Search for Disappeared Persons, hundreds of mothers and relatives of victims mobilized to denounce “that we do not know the total number of disappeared persons to date; we do not know how many persons the State has found; we do not understand why the federal government resorts to claiming that the task of resolving several disappearances belongs to local authorities, when the victims could be in any part of the republic or abroad.”

The latest formal report (February 2013) regarding the total number of the disappeared stressed that in the Renped there were registered 26,121 names.  However, “we do not know if the list released by the Secretary of Governance has been updated.”  It should be noted that, at the end of last year, 7166 names were excised from the Renped without any sort of explanation.

During the march, the mothers made a stop in support of the nearly 15 days of hunger strike taken by Omar Esparza, relatives, and members of civil society who installed themselves in front of the PGR starting on 29 April.  The hunger strike is a form of protest to demand the arrest of the 12 persons considered responsible for the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola.  The accused do have arrest-orders released against their names, but these have not been carried out to date.

For more information (in Spanish): Firma la petición de Amnistía Internacional Entrevista a Omar Esparza (Subversiones, 10 de mayo de 2014)

Exigen justicia a cuatro años del asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola(CENCOS, 6 de mayo de 2014)

“La violencia no tiene madre, las víctimas sí” (Animal Político, 11 de mayo de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (2 May 2014)
Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (17 May 2013)
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: In response to 4 years of impunity, hunger strikes and protests taken to resist murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

May 2, 2014

Imagen @ Red Política

Image @ Red Política

On 27 April, four years passed since the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola when they were participating in a humanitarian-aid caravan destined for San Juan Copala.  Members of the European Parliament and relatives affirmed that the cases could have been resolved within two months, but that the authorities have not demonstrated the necessary political will to do so.  Barbara Lochbihler, president of the Subcommission on Human Rights from the European Parliament, commented that “we have been discussing the situation of human-rights defenders and social activists in Mexico for nearly two months.  And year by year we see that the situation continues to worsen.”  Relatives denounced that, despite the fact that 13 people have been identified as the presumed murderers, the federal and state governments refuse to release arrest-orders against them.  For her part, Karla Michel Salas, president of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, stressed that “we know their names and that some of them even are public officials, but the arrest-orders are refused” using the argument that the government cannot itself enter the region of San Juan Copala.

It is for this reason that Omar Esparza, husband of Bety Cariño, and Eeva-Leena and Raimo Jaakkola, parents of the Finn Jyri, have initiated a day of national and international protest to obligate the Mexican State to observe its responsibility and to demand justice.  Esparza and two members of the Zapatista Indigenous Agrarian Movement (MAIZ) undertook a hunger strike in front o the UN High Commissioner’s Office for Human Rights on 29 April to denounce the failures of the Mexican State to respect human rights in this case.

For more information (in Spanish):

Al cumplirse 4 años, sigue impune el asesinato de la Defensora de Derechos Humanos Bety Cariño (Red de Mujeres Activistas y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos de Oaxaca, 24 de abril de 2014)

Bety Cariño, puente de organizaciones y amistades (Desinformémonos, 28 de abril de 2014)

Con huelga de hambre y protestas en Europa recordaran asesinato de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Página3, 26 de abril de 2014)

Oaxaca: Es inaceptable la inacción de autoridades federales y estatales para detener a posibles responsables del asesinato de activistas(Amnistía Internacional México, 28 de abril de 2014)

Madre de activista finlandés asesinado en Oaxaca en 2010 acusa a México de negligencia y de ignorar su tragedia
Madre de activista finlandés asesinado en Oaxaca en 2010 acusa a México de negligencia y de ignorar su tragedia

Audio-video:

Familiares de Bety Cariño anuncian huelga de hambre (Cencos, 24 de abril de 2014)

Sembrando sueños, cosechando esperanzas: Bety Cariño (CodigoDH, abril de 2013)

Jyri Jaakola activista preocupado por los derechos humanos (Radio Camote, 19 de marzo 2012)

Message on the 4th anniversary of murders of Jyri Jaakkola & Bety Carino 27.4.2014 (Satu Hassi, 24 de abril de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Three-year impunity continues in the case of the murders of Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (17 May 2013)

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: 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)