Oaxaca: State government fails to meet with Euro-deputies due to “lack of will” to deal with case of Bety and Jyri

October 10, 2015

Foto @ Página 3Photo @ Página 3

During an official visit from the deputies from the European Parliament who have been following the case of the murders of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola, which took place in April 2010 on a humanitarian caravan en route to the Triqui region, no representative of the government of Gabino Cué Monteagudo or even the commissioner for human rights, Eréndira Cruz Villegas, received the Eurodeputies Satu Hassi and Ska Keller. The member of the Finnish Parliament, Satu Hassi, clarified that they had decided to come to Oaxaca “because there have been no advances; there is nothing; nothing has happened. For this reason, my conclusion is that there is a total lack of will” to arrest the perpetrators of these crimes. She stressed that they held meetings with the federal government but not with the Oaxacan state government, as the latter indicated that it was not the right time. Hassi mentioned that although there are accords written and signed between Omar Esparza, the widower of Bety Cariño, the Finnish embassy, and the European Union, as well as between lawyers of the families of the activists and the Oaxacan state authorities, nothing has happened, such that there is no other explanation than lack of interest.

She added that “we see a very similar pattern between the case of Jyri Jaakkola and Bety Cariño and that of the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa, because there are large gaps in time before investigations are launched, and the authorities hide evidence or even deliberately destroy it.” She concluded that the cases of the 43 and that of Bety and Jyri are symptoms of the same disease—impunity—such that it is not judicial officials but others who document evidence.

For more information (in Spanish):

Gabino Cué le cierra las puertas a eurodiputadas por caso de Jyri Jaakkola y Bety Cariño; no las recibe (Página 3, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Diputada finlandesa cuestiona a EPN por no resolver asesinato de activistas en Oaxaca por grupo ligado al PRI (Revolución TRESPUNTOCERO, 29 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: 5 years since the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (28 April 2015)

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)

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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: New wave of violence in the Triqui region

August 18, 2011

(@jovenestriquisdecopala.wordpress.com)

On 5 August, three Triqui indigenous members of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I) were ambushed and murdered by gunshots at the crossroads that lead to the communities of Agua Fri and San Pedro Chayuco.  MULT’-I attributed the triple homicide to the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and the Union for Social Welfare in the Triqui Region (Ubisort), which are respectively linked to the Popular Unity Party (a state party) and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).  MULT, MULTI, and Ubisort have had disputes over control of the area, leaving at least 500 dead within the past three decades.

The corpses of Álvaro Jacinto Cruz, Francisco Ramírez Merino, and José Luis Ramírez, from Agua Fría Copala, were taken to the Palace of Government of Oaxaca to protest the violence that grips the region.  Reina Martínez Flores, leader of the dipslaced Triquis who find themselves at a sit-in at the Palace, requested that Governor Gabino Cué punish the murderers of the three Triquis and that he stop the violence so that the displaced can return to their community.  She asked, “How many more brothers should die so that the government acts?”

At the end of the protest, once the protestors had taken the bodies to a truck so as to leave to bury them in their place of origin, there occurred an altercation with state police who attempted to close the area so that health personnel sanitize it.  Reina Martínez Flores denounced that before the police intervention state functionaries had already threatened to remove them, arguing that the corpses could propagate some sort of disease.  The secretary of Public Security, Marco Tulio López Escamilla, rejected the idea that there was an attempt to exacerbate the pain suffered by MULT-I, insisting instead that the Health Secretary personnel had concluded that the state of the dead was a bad one, and that others took advantage of this situation so as to generate confrontation.

For more information (in Spanish):

Triquis llevan a sus muertos al palacio de gobierno de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 8 August)

UBISORT se deslinda de asesinatos en Agua Fría (NSS Oaxaca, 8 August)

Gabino Cué manda a golpear a las mujeres desplazadas de San Juan Copala (Comunicado del Municipio Autónomo de San Juan Copala, 8 August)

Se deslinda MULT de balacera en Copala (NSS, Oaxaca, 7 August)

Triquis velan a sus muertos en Palacio de Gobierno (El Universal, 7 August)

Comunicado del Municipio Autónomo de San Juan Copala sobre la masacre del MULT-PUP en Agua Fría Copala (6 August)

Asesinan a tres indígenas Triquis en Oaxaca (El Universal, 5 August)

Comando ataca a indígenas triquis; mueren tres (Proceso, 5 August)

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: 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: following the caravan “Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá

June 21, 2010

On June 8, the humanitarian support caravan “Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola,” composed of some 300 people, left from the Oaxacan municipality of Huajuapan for San Juan Copalá to deliver between 30 and 35 tons of food to the autonomous municipality that has for months been surrounded by members of the group Union for the Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT for the Spanish acronym), which is linked to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The caravan was not able to enter the community due to a blockade that UBISORT members had created on the road to San Juan Copalá; the road-block was made up of a line of stones at the location of  La Pavimentada and a group of Triqui women guarded by armed men, including Rufino Hernandez Juarez, leader of UBISORT.

Participating in the caravan were residents of San Juan Copalá, members of the Other Campaign, deputies from the PRD and PT, members of the Mexican Alliance for the Self-Determination of Peoples (AMAP), the Mexican Union of Electrical Workers (SME), the Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC), other civil society organizations, members of the Catholic church, human rights groups, environmentalists from various Mexican states, as well as journalists and European observers. The caravan was escorted by 500 officers of the State Preventative Police (PEP), who according to accounts recommended that the members of the caravan desist from continuing in face of the UBISORT road-block. After hearing gun shots fired near the blockade, the caravan leaders concluded that conditions were lacking to continue and so decided to return to Huajuapan to ensure the safety of the caravan members.

According to the analysis of Jorge Albino Ortiz, a representative of San Juan Copalá and coordinator of the caravan, state police laid a “fence” on the road to the autonomous municipality on June 8 precisely to protect UBISORT. He asserted that the police actions against the caravan show the state government’s support for this organization and added that the state administration acts in this way to negate the autonomous project that has been developed in the municipality since 2007.

According to Romualdo Wilfrido Mayrén Peláez, coordinator of the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace with the archdiocese of Oaxaca, there has since 8 June been considered the possibility that the International Red Cross and the United Nations deliver the tons of food currently stored in Huajuapan to San Juan Copalá.  He also mentioned the  prospect of organizing another caravan, this one composed entirely of women.

The area remains very tense. In the words of Triqui activist Marcos Albino, “Triqui children have not had been able to have childhoods, given the climate of violence encouraged by the governor Ulises Ruiz.” Mayrén Peláez, legal representative of the archdiocese of Oaxaca, has argued that “what is happening in San Juan Copala is a war: there are disappearances, deaths and aggressions.” For his part, the PRD legislator, Alejandro Encinas, announced in early June that he expected the Organization of American States and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to appoint a representative to document human-rights violations in the area.

Solidarity marches also took place on the 8th in Mexico City, Queretaro, and Oaxaca de Juarez. The demonstrations in Mexico City, organized by female Triquis, students, and members of civil society organizations, were met by riot police who attacked their members. In Queretaro, the demonstrators demanded security guarantees for the caravan as well as a speed-up of the investigation by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) in San Juan Copalá. In Oaxaca de Juarez, members of Oaxacan Voices Constructing Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL) engaged in a roadblock, during which electoral propaganda promoting the candidacy of Eviél Perez Magaña (PRI-Green Ecologist) in state elections to be held in early July was burned. According to David Venegas, a member of VOCAL, these activities were coordinated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).

In a statement released on June 10, the editors of La Jornada asserted that impunity in Oaxaca, experienced in relation to the Triqui region, reflects that “the rule of law [there] is nonexistent.” For his part, Miguel Concha, president of the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco de Vitoria, said that the inability of the new caravan to enter San Juan Copalá “confirms that there are armed groups that are out of control or protected by the government Oaxaca,” a conclusion that is shared by David Peña, of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers, who said in an interview that “in this region of Oaxaca there is an absence of the rule of law […]. There, the one who commands an armed group, is clearly paramilitary.” Peña added that “we can’t conceive that an armed group has more power and control in the region that both governments [i.e. state and federal]. “

For more information (in Spanish):

With road-blocks and shots the humanitarian convoy is prevented from reaching San Juan Copala (La Jornada, 9 June)

They are protected by the police (La Jornada, 10 June)

The real war of the Mexican government, against indigenous peoples: a special report (La Jornada, 12 June)

The International Red Cross is asked to take supplies to San Juan Copala (La Jornada, 10 June)

The prospect that a female-only caravan be sent to Copala is considered (La Jornada, 9 June)

Security in San Juan Copala worsens; attacks reach other communities, it is said (La Jornada, 3 June)

Solidarity marches in 3 locations (La Jornada, 8 June)

Riot-police in the capital obstruct march in support of aid-caravan (La Jornada, 9 June)

Copala: violence and power-vacuum (La Jornada, 10 de junio)

Blog of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala

Cyber-action for San Juan Copala: All with the Caravan Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: On the “International and National Humanitarian Caravan Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakola” to San Juan Copala (8 June 2010)

Oaxaca: The Peace Network’s Communiqué on the Caravan to San Juan Copala (9 June 2010)