Oaxaca: “Justice in Mexico is slow and selective, and it leaves victims without protection”: Euro-deputies on the Copala case

March 10, 2015

betycarino

Photo: Cuartoscuro/Archive

In mid-February, a committee of female deputies from the European Parliament who participate in the Mixed Parliamentary Commission (CPM) Mexico-European Union lamented that in Mexico justice is slow, selective, and dismissive of protection for the families of victims, after finishing a meeting with Oaxacan officials.  During their seventh visit to Mexico, they came to assess progress in the investigation of the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, of Finnish citizenship, on 27 April 2010, as they were participating in a humanitarian-aid caravan toward San Juan Copala.  One member of the committee held that it is incredible that, five years after the murders, the Mexican authorities had only made two arrests, and that the 11 arrest-orders against the presumed killers who serve in public office go unobserved.  “The advance in the process has been incredibly slow.  As a European I can really say that this is a simple case that could have been resolved very rapidly, because from the start it has been clear who those responsible have been, but now the lawyers must seek out the suspects as well as possible witnesses.  That is very strange,” she said.

Beyond this, the National Association of Democratic Laywers (ANAD) denounced that two of the principal witnesses in the case are at risk because they have been threatened by members of Unity for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (UBISORT), thus leading them to request political asylum in Finland or another European country.  The Euro-deputies said it would be “disastrous” for the Mexican government if the two primary witnesses in the case find it necessary to flee the country.  “Until November 2014 there was a clear commitment to protect the witnesses with concrete measures, but for some reason it now seems that there is no agreement about who will do it now.  There is a sort of back-and-forth among the federal and state authorities.  It is unacceptable that the victims suffer, and that impunity prevail,” stressed the deputies.

Another of the representatives affirmed that “the case of Jyri and Bety is a possible opening to defy impunity.  It is an emblematic case that exemplifies how a relatively straightforward case can be converted into a process full of injustice.”  She added that, “If this case has been so slow, despite all the public attention it has received, we ask how it is for those victims whose cases go unheard.”  The legislators have announced that they will continue to return to Mexico until the Cariño and Jaakkola case is resolved.

For more information (in Spanish):

Detienen a dos funcionarios de Oaxaca por el homicidio de los activistas Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Animal Político, 2 de marzo de 2015)

La justicia en México es lenta y selectiva, y no busca proteger a las víctimas: Eurodiputadas (Sin embargo, 23 de febrero de 2015)

Eurodiputadas piden proteger a testigos del caso Bety Cariño (CIMAC Noticias, 18 de febrero de 2015)

Eurodiputadas exigen avance en caso Jaakkola (La Jornada, 22 de febrero de 2015)

¿Cómo se ve México desde el extranjero? Corrupto y con dolor, dicen periodistas en EU (Sin embargo, 21 de febrero de 2015)

Testigos del crimen de los activistas Cariño y Jaakkola pedirán asilo político en Finlandia (Proceso, 11 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (1 March 2015)

Oaxaca: 4 years and 7 months later, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended (8 February 2015)

Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice (7 December 2014)

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: 4 years and 7 months on, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola is apprehended

February 8, 2015

índice

On 21 January, Elías Cruz Merino, leader of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and official of San Juan Copala, was arrested as one of the presumed murderers of the human-rights defenders Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola (Finnish).  Both were killed in April 2010 as they participated in a humanitarian caravan headed to San Juan Copala.  Cruz Merino is accused of the premeditated murder of the two activists.

Since April of last year, the National Association of Democratic Lawyers denounced that those responsible for the murders had been plainly identified, but that the government had refused to implement the corresponding arrest-orders.

Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño and leader of the Indigenous Zapatista Agrarian Movement (MAIZ), affirmed that this arrest constitutes an advance, but he observed that 10 other arrest-orders remain unobserved.  He noted: “For us it is clear that they continue to be protected by certain power-groups in Oaxaca.  Still, we will continue to demand that justice not be delayed but instead expedited.”    Esparza Zárate also announced that European parliamentarians will carry out a visit to Mexico in February to pressure the Mexican State and continue demanding justice.

For more information (in Spanish):

Capturan a policía implicado en crimen de los activistas Cariño y Jaakkola (Proceso, 22 de enero de 2015)

Encarcelan a dirigente del MULT por homicidio de ‘Bety’ Cariño y de finlandés (Radio Formula, 22 de enero de 2015)

Capturan a presunto homicida de Bety Cariño (Noticias.net, 23 de enero de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice (7 December 2014)

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)


Oaxaca: Parents of Jyri Jaakkola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice

December 7, 2014

Foto @ SIPAZ

Photo @ Cencos

Starting on 5 November, Eve y Raimo Jaakkola, parents of the Finnish activist Jyri Jaakkola, carried out their fifth visit to Mexico to meet Mexican authorities and demand punishment for those responsible for the murder of their son and of Bety Cariño, who died in an ambush in April 2010 conducted by a paramilitary group in San Juan Copala, Oaxaca.  Since then, 4 and a half years have passed, and though an agreement was made between relatives and lawyers on the one hand and the federal government on the other, impunity persists for the murders of Bety and Jyri, and the existing arrest-orders have yet to be implemented.  These agreements were made on 14 May of this year, after Omar Esparza Zárate, widower of Bety Cariño, launched a hunger strike of 16 days in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to demand that the institution sign a list of agreements to guarantee justice in the case.

Furthermore, Jyri’s parents reported that they would newly request that the European Parliamentary Subcommittee on Human Rights demand the Mexican government to provide a report on the case.  “For me it is impossible to understand that in the first few weeks, we already knew who were the probable suspects, and they still have yet to be arrested […].  There are municipal authorities who are possibly responsible.  They go to Oaxaca to work, and there are arrest orders against them, but nothing happens,” noted Jyri’s mother.  She added that “the Eurodeputies see a connection between our case and that of Ayotzinapa.  They know that impunity exists behind these acts, and that this makes it likely that things like this will recur.”

Regarding the delay in arrests, Karla Michel Salas, lawyer with the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD), noted that the authorities have claimed that those responsible live in San Juan Copala and environs, where the group Unity and Social Welfare for the Triqui Region (UBISORT) holds power and “has arms and is dangerous.”  She added: “With this, the federal authorities accept that there is a region where the State cannot intervene, and where extra-legal groups terrorize the people.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Padres de Jyri Jaakkola exigen justicia por asesinato de su hijo y Bety Cariño (Cencos, 20 de noviembre de 2014)

Ningún avance para dar justicia por el asesinato de Bety Cariño (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 21 de noviembre 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)


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: state police forcibly removed displaced Triquis in Oaxaca City

January 8, 2013

Mesa de diálogo previa al desalojo (@Gobierno del estado de Oaxaca)

For more information (in Spanish):

Desalojan policías campamento de desplazados triquis en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 24 de diciembre de 2012)

Gabino Cué ‘limpia’ el centro de Oaxaca de manifestantes triquis (Milenio, 24 de diciembre de 2012)

Policías impiden plantón de triquis en Oaxaca (El Universal, 26 de diciembre de 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Triquis return to sit-in (9 February 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: 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)


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