Oaxaca: Eurodeputies in the case of Cariño y Jaakkola

October 17, 2011

Franziska Keller, Satu Hassi, and Gabriela Küppers @ Oaxaca entrelíneas.com

The Eurodeputies Franziska Keller, Satu Hassi, and Gabrielle Küppers met on 3 September during their tour from 2 to 7 September with Governor Gabino Cué Monteagudo to request information regarding the advance of investigations into the murders of the Mexican activist Beatriz Alberta Cariño and the Finnish observer Jyri Jaakkola that occurred on 27 April 2010 in San Juan Copala.  The representatives of the European Parliament lamented that to now those responsible for the deaths of Jyri Jaakkola and Bety Cariño have to date not been detained, though they see progress in that the government at least attends to them, given that the previous administration of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz denied audiences with the Commission of the European Parliament altogether.

Seventeen months after the crimes, which also led to more than a dozen injuries and the disappearance of four persons for 60 hours, no one responsible has been arrested.  “This is a problem of impunity that prevails in all of the country,” say Hassi and Keller.  Though they noted the arrest of Rufino Hernández, leader of the Union for Social Welfare of the Triqui Region (UBISORT), as a positive development, given that he presumably participated in the death of the Finnish citizen and Bety Cariño, they indicated that this arrest has to do with other crimes committed by the leader.

In May of this year, on days 18 and 20, a delegation of the Subcommittee for Human Rights from the European Parliament visited Mexico.  In a recent report they observed that the “militarization” of the war against drugs launched by the government of Felipe Calderón itself represents “a problem in terms of human-rights violations.”

The document also indicates that despite the fact that high officials within the Calderón government with whom they interviewed “have expressed a storng commitment to bring national law into conformity with international conventions,” the representatives of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) have complained that the same authorities “very rarely” take seriously the rights-violations documented by them.

The Eurodeputies expressed their concerns regarding the “excessive power of the military.”  Mexican senators, according to the report, “have told us that they do not have any interest in allowing the military to break the law, but that in fact the Army enjoys a much greater public trust than any other public organization, including the Church and obviously the Congress.”

In other news, the visitor of the CNDH confided to the Eurodelegation that “the lack of ongoing investigations into the murder in Oaxaca of Jyri Jaakkola, whom he knew personally, is emblematic of the climate of impunity” that prevails in the country.

“The European Parliament respects the concern Mexico has for its international standing, but the spirit of solidarity with the NGOs and the victims obliges us to continue demanding that Mexico observe its obligations under international human-rights law,” says the report.

For more information (in Spanish):

Contradicciones de México en derechos humanos: Parlamento Europeo, Proceso, 23 September 2011

Paramilitares de Oaxaca, en la impunidad: eurodiputadas, Contralínea, 29 September 2011

Lamentan representantes de Parlamento Europeo que aún no haya detenidos por muerte de Jaakola y Cariño, Oaxaca Entrelíneas.com, 3 September 2011

Eurodiputadas visitan Oaxaca para conocer avance sobre caso Copala, Ciudadanía Express, 1 September 2011

Eurodiputadas en Oaxaca, para pedir resultados de casos Cariño y Jaakkola, E-Oaxaca, 3 September 2011

Contradicciones de México en derechos humanos: Parlamento Europeo, Chacatorex, 28 September 2011

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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: Creation of the Citizens’ Space for Justice and Truth

September 22, 2011

Representatives of civil organizations @ Enfoqueoaxaca.com

A group of civil and social organizations, collectives, and citizens created on 15 August the citizens’ Space for Justice and truth in Oaxaca as an autonomous effort on the part of civil society.  As they declared in a press-conference, the idea is to have a large space that is plural and diverse, independent of political parties and public power that would be open to dialogue with these, and that would resort to all forms of citizens’ mobilizations, including direct action, to impel its political agenda.

At the event participated Gustavo Esteva (Unitierra), Sara Méndez (CODIGO-DH), and Isaac Torres (Limeddh), among others, together with the director of Services for an Alternative Education (EDUCA), Marcos Leyva Madrid, who explained that the commission seeks truth and justice for the peoples of Oaxaca, given that the present government, despite its campaign promises and commitment to the mission of the Inter-American Commission on Human rights and the European Union, has not attended to this demand of diverse social sectors in light of the events of 2006, during the repression carried out by the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.

He stressed that if it the grand importance of the creation of the Prosecutorial Office of Investigation on Crimes of Social Importance, the state administration should observe its word and send an initiative to the Congress or release a decree for the immediate creation of the Truth Commission. This Commission should guarantee “the active participation of the survivors of repression, victims and relatives, from civil organizations and society in general; as well as an independent investigation that would promote justice, reconciliation, recuperation of historical memory and the reconstruction of the social fabric; the analysis of social, political, and cultural conditions that have propelled authoritarianism, violence, and impunity in Oaxaca, particularly after 1996,” he emphasized.

One of the primary activities of the Space will be had on 11 September in the capital of the state, when it receives the Caravan to the South, from the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, which will meet with representative groups of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, particularly those communities in resistance to defend their territory.  These meetings will attempt to show that, in the case of Oaxaca, the violence caused by criminals is much less grave than the violence of the three levels of government.

For more information (in Spanish):


Surge en Oaxaca “espacio ciudadano” por la verdad y la justicia, Proceso.com.mx, 30 August 2011

ONG de Oaxaca crean grupo para promover comisión de la verdad, La Jornada, 30 August 2011

Exigen organizaciones a Cué cumplir con creación de Comisión de la Verdad, Enfoque Oaxaca, 29 August 2011

Retornan a PGJE 15 expedientes del año 2006, Noticiasnet.mx, 30 August 2011

Crean Espacio Ciudadano por la Justicia y Verdad en Oaxaca, Oaxaca Libre, 30 August 2011

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: following the caravan “Bety Cariño y Jyri Jaakkola” to San Juan Copalá (21 June 2010)

Oaxaca: Fast for justice, 5 years after the murder of José Jiménez Colmenares

August 19, 2011

Conferencia de prensa frente al Palacio de Gobierno de Oaxaca @ SIPAZ

Conferencia de prensa frente al Palacio de Gobierno de Oaxaca @ SIPAZ

On 10 August in Oaxaca de Juárez in front of the Palace of Governance, 21 individuals from different social organizations carried out a fast of 8 hours to demand justice in the case of the murder of José Jiménez Colmenares, now that the fifth anniversary of his death has has passed.  Similarly, they demand an investigation into all of the cases of murder and torture within the context of the social conflict of 2006-7 in Oaxaca.  The call to fast was made by COFADAPPO (Committee of Relatives and Friends of the Disappeared, Murdered, and Political Prisoners of Oaxaca) and the State Front of Victims.

The widow of Jiménez Colmenares, Florina Jiménez Lucas, recalled at a press-conference that “his death was immediate, like his courage, and the crime of the state has been documented and classified as the primary operation coordinated by the white guards of the government of Ulises Ruiz against the social movement.”  She added that “we continue to experience the same practices of delay and lack of access to justice practiced by the former government.  In light of this, we maintain our demand for justice and truth.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa: A 5 años, justicia para José Jiménez Colmenares (10 August 2011)

Noticias Oaxaca: Jiménez Colmenares, 5 años de impunidad (10 August2011)

Quadratin: Con ayuno, exigen justicia para Jiménez Colmenares (10 August 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Testimony of widows of the socio-political conflict in Oaxaca (8 August 2007)

Oaxaca: Lizbeth Caña Cadeza renounces public charges; trial is demanded against her for events of 2006/7

July 24, 2011

Lizbeth Caña Cadeza

On 8 July, Rosa Lizbeth Caña Cadeza presented her resignation for the charge of superior auditor of the state of Oaxaca.  According to journalistic sources, the resignation has to do with personal reasons.  Human-rights defenders from civil organizations in the state have demanded that the Public Ministry investigate Caña Cadeza now that she has lost the constitutional protection given her by the public charge regarding her role as head of the State Attorney General’s Office in the administration of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (2004-2010).  Alba Cruz Ramos, member of the Committee for Wholesome Defense of Human Rights Gobixha (CODIGO-DH) and human-rights lawyer for 29 activists associated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) who were illegally detained and tortured in 2006, indicates that initial investigations show Caña Cadeza to be responsible for torture in the case of César Mateos Benítez who had denounced her for being present during his torture.  For his part, Isaac Torres Carmona, member of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights (Limeddh), claims that there is sufficient information and evidence to prosecute Caña Cadeza, who was associated with arbitrary detentions, torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial executions during the social conflict of 2006.

For more information (in Spanish):

Oaxaca: Preliminary audits reveal anomalies of more than a billion pesos in the final year of the government of Ulises Ruiz

April 24, 2011

Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (@Oaxaca día a día)

From the 17 audits now being undertaken, the Secretary of Control and Governmental Transparency has found financial irregularities of 1.735 billion pesos during the final year of the state government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.  The secretary Perla Woolrich Fernández has said that the audits of the former administration revealed “works that were not constructed that appear to have been requested, including runways for pilots who charge without working and for vehicles that are nowhere to be found.”  In declarations to the media, she affirmed that this presumed funneling of resources was noted by different agencies that were involved that had 15 days to respond to the observations made by the commission.

The present governor, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, denied that his administration protects those responsible for the irregularities and assured that “We want to be cautious and prudent, as I have been since the beginning.  We will act if there is evidence that implies an irregular handling of administrative money–we will act.  We must be very serious.”

For more information (in Spanish):

Detectan anomalías por mil millones de pesos en el último año de gobierno de Ulises Ruiz (La Jornada, 19 April 2011)

Ven desvío de 1,735 mdp en gobierno de Ulises Ruiz (El Universal, 20 April 2011)

Oaxaca: irregularidades en gobierno de Ulises Ruiz superan los 1,000 mdp (CNN México, 19 April 2011)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Amnesty International addressed a letter to the new governor, Cué Monteagudo (13 December 2010)

Oaxaca: Amnesty International addressed an open letter to the new governor, Cue Monteagudo.

December 14, 2010

Gabino Cué Monteagudo (@Mexican Senate)

On December 10, Amnesty International sent an open letter to the new governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cue Monteagudo, which provides a summary of the main challenges concerning the human rights situation in the state and calls onhim to develop a plan of action in the matter. In observance of International Human Rights Day, the organization highlighted four of the pending matters in the state: the abuse of undocumented migrants, the attacks against human rights defenders, the situation in the Triqui region and the impunity in the cases of human rights violations in the context of the 2006 crisis. Amnesty International stated: “The new government faces an unprecedented opportunity to build a culture of respect for human rights and to make them real in the daily performance of the state and municipal authorities.”

On December 1st, in a ceremony in the local congress at which over 3000 people were invited, Gabino Cue took up his new position while street protests were held not only to repudiate the government of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz but also to ask for a response to the demands of the people from the new governor. While members of the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle-Independent (MULTI), displaced from San Juan Copala, remained in their sit-in, the Movement for Triqui Unification and Struggle (MULT) marched to ask for clarification in the case of the death of its leader Heriberto Pazos, killed in October. Section 22 of the SNTE demanded that former Governor Ulises Ruiz be brought to justice and iwarned Cue it will not accept representatives of the leader of the SNTE (National Union of Education Workers), Elba Esther Gordillo in the cabinet. Other groups associated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) also marched that day.

The new governor has assured that he will conduct an investigation of the outgoing administration, although not in a spirit of revenge or “witch hunting”. He has publicly stated that he won’t stand for impunity and that finances, political murders and high-impact human rights violations will be investigated.

For more information (in Spanish):

– México: Amnistía Internacional llama al nuevo gobernador de Oaxaca a priorizar la agenda de derechos humanos – Pronunciamiento completo (AI, 10 de diciembre de 2010)

– AI exige poner fin a impunidad en Oaxaca (El Universal, 10 de diciembre de 2010)

Amnistía Internacional dirige carta abierta al Gobernador Cué Monteagudo (Oaxaca Libre, 10 de diciembre de 2010)

– Exigen justicia al nuevo gobierno (El Universal, 2 de diciembre de 2010)

– Revisaré cuentas y asesinatos: Cué (El Universal, 2 de diciembre de 2010)

– El equipo de Gabino Cué asume control del gobierno de Oaxaca (La Jornada, 1 de diciembre)

Repudio hasta el último día (La Jornada, 1 de diciembre)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Events in observance of the commemoration of the repression in 2006 (December 14, 2010)

– Oaxaca: Coalition “United for Peace and Progress” defeats PRI in state elections (July 12, 2010)

Oaxaca: Events in observance of the commemoration of the repression in 2006

December 14, 2010

November 25 marked the fourth anniversary of the repression that members of the teacher and popular movement of Oaxaca suffered at the hands of federal agents and local police, leaving 100 detainees. In this context, and since previous days, there were a series of activities to commemorate those violent events.

Between the 18 and 20 of November, the section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) and organizations affiliated with the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) held a Democratic State Convention to begin a process of dialogue among peoples, communities, organizations and other political actors to build “from below” a new social, political and organizational pact. The general secretary of section 22, Azael Santiago Chepi, reported that objectives were defined so as to punish the governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and other officials involved in the repression of 2006 and so as to develop a new state constitution.

On November 22, the Human Rights Committee “25 de Noviembre” organized an event called “Oaxaca: evaluation of the human rights situation, 2006-2010”, where SIPAZ made a presentation and aimed at ” reflecting collectively on the situation of human rights in Oaxaca, especially during the period of 2006-2010, and with it, to highlight the issues of urgent attention for civil society and governments. “

On another hand, on November 24 , EDUCA presented the report “Social Movements and Democratic Change in Oaxaca 2010.” This study identified four main historical stages of these struggles: the germ of a social movement, the teachers’ movement, the indigenous movement and the emergence of civil society, and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca. It analyzed its origins, demands, claims and its main achievements. The report also provided an analysis of current conflicts, the identity of these social movements and their complex political alliances.

On November 25 , thousands of supporters of the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) took to the streets of Oaxaca City. During a meeting in the historic center, Azael Chepi Santiago said that participation in the protest is an example of the relevance of this process up to date for state and federal governments. Members of Section 22 of SNTE said they would continue demanding justice for the teachers’ conflict of 2006 and recognized that there are great expectations for the new administration of Gabino Cue. At the end of this event, Chepi said in an interview that there will be another protest on December 1st from the monument of Juárez to the Zocalo, so as to repudiate Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz leaving government and to ask Gabino Cue for a response to popular demands.

For more information (in Spanish):

Realizan convención la APPO y la sección 22 (La Jornada, 19 de noviembre)

Audios de Balance de Derechos Humanos (evento convocado por el Comité 25 de Noviembre realizado en la ciudad de Oaxaca el 22 de noviembre)

Informe “los movimientos sociales y el cambio democrático en oaxaca 2010″ (página Web de EDUCA)

EDUCA presenta informe público “los movimientos sociales y el cambio democrático Oaxaca 2010” (El Piñero de la Cuenca, 24 de noviembre de 2010)

Maestros del SNTE exigen cárcel para Ulises Ruiz (El Universal, 25 de noviembre)

Conmemora la APPO represión en Oaxaca (La Jornada, 26 de noviembre)

For more Information from SIPAZ (in English):

Oaxaca: Supreme Court decision in Oaxaca case (October 23, 2009)