Oaxaca: 5 years since the murder of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

April 28, 2015


April 27 marks five years since the murder of the human rights defenders Bety Criño and Jyri Jaakkola (from Finland), who died while participating in a humanitarian caravan to San Juan Copala in the Triqui zone of the state of Oaxaca. To date, little has advanced “in the apprehension and the trial of those responsible, despite the fact that they are already identified.”, denounced Karla Michael Salas, President of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD). She informs that of the 14 orders of apprehension were put in place against the suspects, one of those listed already has died, and only three have been arrested. She manifested that, “there is a policy of simulation with these detentions, because they only occur when there is pressure or visits from Euro MPs (who follow up on the case) or from the family of Jyri. That cannot be considered as a truthful way to punish the guilty ones.”

As part of the commemoration, various actions and protests were held. Carmen Trujillo, sister to Bety, said that “at 5 years of the murder of Jyri and Bety, a response does not exist and there are two people detained, but that does not mean that the problem has been solved to its roots.” Omar Esparza, widow of Bety Cariño and leader of the organization MAIZ, from his part said the protests will not end until there is progress and until justice is reached.

For more information from SIPAZ (in Spanish):

Cinco años del asesinato de Cariño y Jaakkola (La Jornada, 26 de abril de 2015)

A 5 años de la emboscada en Copala hoy recuerdan a Bety y Jyri (NssOaxaca, 26 de abril de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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

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

Oaxaca: Two female witnesses threatened in the murder case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola

March 1, 2015

Conferencia de prensa ante amenazas (@CENCOS)

Press-conference regarding threats (@CENCOS)

In a press-conference, members of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (ANAD) denounced the threats received by two female witnesses in the case of the murders of the activists Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola (Finnish) in San Juan Copalá, a Triqui region of Oaxaca, in 2010.  Karla Michel Salas of ANAD explained that after the arrest of Elías Cruz Merino, “on 25 January the UBISOR leader, Antonio Cruz García, the father of Elías, who is also a municipal authority in Juxtlahuaca, arrived with a truck and armed men to the homes of the witnesses and he told them that they were coming to take them to Oaxaca City so that they would renounce their accusations against Elías, who until 31 December had acted as the Minister of Education for the municipality.”  The women resisted “in light of the risk of being forcibly disappeared.”  Michel Salas added that “the federal and state authorities know that there is great risk.  The risk is so great, in fact, that during the latest audiences that have been carried out, the judge has been strongly protected by more than 30 fully armed investigative police.”

Amidst the lack of protection and effective responses on the part of the authorities, the ANAD reported that it had decided to protect them itself with its own resources in a safety-house and request that Finland grant them asylum for humanitarian reasons.

Omar Esparza, the widower of Bety Cariño, indicated that the father of Elías Cruz Merino returned thereafter to threaten the entire community, that if “these women testified, he would do something to them with his own hands.”  The ANAD lawyers in the end denounced the intimidation and harassment of the judge and prosecutor who are elaborating the case against the UBISORT group, in addition to indirect threats against ANAD and relatives of Bety and Jyri.

For more information (in Spanish):

Acoso contra testigos del homicidio de un defensor y una defensora de los derechos humanos (Acción Urgente, Amnistía Internacional, 12 de febrero de 2015)

Denuncian amenazas de paramilitares a testigos del asesinato de activistas (La Jornada, 12 de febrero de 2015)

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

En riesgo, mujeres testigos del caso Bety Cariño (CIMAC Noticias, 11 de febrero de 2015)

Denuncian amenazas a testigos del caso de Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola(CENCOS, 11 de febrero de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

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: MORENA-affiliated Triqui leader kidnapped and executed

February 5, 2015

Foto @ Contralínea

Photo @ Contralínea

On 11 January, Julián González Domínguez, leader of the International Network of Oaxacan Indigenous Persons (RIIO) and representative of the Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) in the Triqui region, was murdered after an armed group forcibly removed him from his home in the La Brama Paraje Pérez community in the Santiago Juxtlahuaca municipality.  The RIIO state coordination expressed that Julián González, founder of the Movement for the Unification of Triqui Struggle (MULT) and MULT-Independent (MULT-I) was subsequently found in the same municipality with two gunshot wounds in the head.  It added that the leader had received death-threats owing to agrarian conflicts in the region.

It should be noted that González Domínguez was the point-man for organizing the visit of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Tlaxiaco municipality on 24 January.  His wife had previously been awarded precautionary measures by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

For more information (in Spanish):

Asesinan a líder triqui, impulsor de la autonomía (Contralínea, 13 de enero de 2015)

Ejecutan a líder de Morena (Noticias Net, 13 de enero de 2015)

La Mixteca, Oaxaca, asesinan dirigente de MORENA (Regeneración, 11 de enero de 2015)

Comando asesina en Oaxaca a dirigente triqui afín a Morena (Excelsior, 12 de enero de 2015)

Chiapas: The EZLN announces new activities, meeting of indigenous peoples, and “Ethics amidst looting”

April 10, 2014


In a March 2014 communique, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) announced a series of activities for the months of May and June.

From 26 to 30 May will take place the meeting of indigenous peoples: “At this meeting we will exchange our thought and history of struggle and resistance as indigenous that we are.”  Some 30 peoples have been invited, including the Wixárika, Nahua, Zoque, Purépecha, Mazahua, Afromestizo, Triqui, Peninsular Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol, Zoque, and migrants.  The letter stresses that the “invitation is closed and is ONLY for the indigenous peoples invited during this first round.  Those who are not invited will not be allowed to enter.”

In other news, “On Saturday 31 May 2014 in the Oventik caracol, we will announce together with our brothers and sisters from other indigenous communities our conclusions and a declaration for future plans in terms of resistance against the looting which we suffer, as well as our rights and indigenous culture.”

Furthermore, “Sunday 1 June 2014, also in the Oventik caracol, we will make a simple homage to our fallen comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This event is open and all are invited to attend.  The event will take place at approximately 2pm, and female and male commanders from the Revolutionary Clandestine Indigenous Committee-General Command of the EZLN, the writer Juan Villoro, and Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés will participate.”

In the end will be held a final activity: “From Monday 2 June 2014 until Sunday 8 June of this year, there will be held in the Oventik caracol and at CIDECI in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, a seminar on the question of ‘ETHICS AMIDST LOOTING,’ which will also commemorate our comrade Don Luis Villoro Toranzo.  This seminar is open and all are invited.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Anuncia EZLN encuentro de pueblos; irá ‘Marcos’ “si su salud se lo permite”, La Jornada, 1 de abril de 2014


For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Presentation of new EZLN magazine (2 March 2014)

Chiapas: Celebration of 20 years since the Zapatista uprising (15 January 2014)

Chiapas/National: “Rebobinar 2: On Death and other excuses” (1 January 2014)

Chiapas: New communique from Subcomandante Marcos, Rebobine 3 (7 December 2013)

Chiapas: EZLN criticizes structural reforms (13 November 2013)

Chiapas: Tens of thousands of Zapatistas mobilize themselves in 5 cities (27 December 2012)

Oaxaca: new ambush in Triqui region leaves 3 dead and 2 injured

September 1, 2010

On Saturday 22 August there occurred an ambush in the Triqui region of the state of Oaxaca that left 3 dead and 2 injured.  The attack took place in the Santiago Juxtlhuaca-Putla de Guerrero highway, near the autonomous municipality of San Juan Copalá; the dead are Antonio Ramírez López, Antonio Cruz García, and Rigoberto Silvano González Ramírez and the injured Víctor de Jesús González and Alfredo Martínez González, all associated with the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULT-I).  According to Jorge Albino Ortiz, spokesperson for San Juan Copalá, the victims had been travelling through the region helping to prepare and organize a caravan of Triqui women and children that was slated to leave for the state’s capital city (Oaxaca de Juárez) the following day; the caravan was meant to meet with the UN High Commissioner to denounce the violent context they suffer.  The murders are being attributed to the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) and the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), both claimed to be paramilitary groups, although Rufino Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT, has denied responsibility for the attack on behalf of his group.

In light of the 22 August attack, the aforementioned caravan of women and children was suspended.  Marcos Albino, member of MULT-I who has been organizing a sit-in of Triqui women in Mexico City, asserted that, in place of the caravan, “we will carry out other actions; they will not succeed in immobilizing us.  We will continue in resistance, promoting dialogue and peace until death, if it comes to that.”

Following his denial of responsibility for the 22 August attack, Juárez Hernández made a call directed at MULT-I to promote dialogue toward the end of “avoiding more murders and detaining the agony of poverty and violence” lived in the region.  “The problem with our ethnicity,” he continued, “must be resolved among the indigenous, not through outsiders or foreigners unfamiliar with the situation who are mis-informed.” He added that “we respect that different organizations, political and religious groups want to intervene, but it must be said that it does not help at all if their false declarations provoke more violence and generate rancor among brothers who live together every day in the region.” For peace to be a possibility, he said, “there should be no PRI-cacique, nor PRD or radical-leftist, let alone insurgent projects or uprisings that would divide us more.”

On 23 August, Evencio Nicolás Martínez Ramírez, general secretary of government, and María de la Luz Candelaria Chiñas, prosecutor, announced that the solution to the situation of violence that prevails in the Triqui region “depends on them (the indigenous), not on the government or the State Attorney General’s Office.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Indigenous Triquis associated with San Juan Copala are ambushed (La Jornada, 22 August)

Three dead and two injured, outcome of paramilitary ambush (La Jornada, 23 August)

UBISORT denies responsibility for ambush of Triqui caravan (La Jornada, 23 August)

Peace in the Triqui region depends on the indigenous, not on us: authorities (La Jornada, 24 August)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: more violence in the Triqui region following the killing of Anastasio Juárez Hernández, leader of UBISORT and brother to Rufino Juárez Hernández (13 August)