Representatives of the European Parliament Franziska Keller and Heidi Hautala, as well as the ex–MP Satu Hassi met with the current Governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cue, to request information on progress of the investigations concerning the murders of mexican activist Beatriz Alberta Cariño and the finnish human rights observer Jyri Jaakkola, that occured on the 27th of April 2010 in the indigenous community of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca.
The activists were murdered during an ambush accredited to members of the Unity for Social Wellbeing of the Triqui Region (Ubisort), while participating in a humanitarian caravan that was carrying food and medicine to the inhabitants of the indigenous triqui community of San Juan Copola, at the time besieged by paramilitary forces. The triqui region of Oaxaca has long since been immersed in violence and disruption due to political tensions between governing administrations, including Ubisort.
During the press conference on Monday the MP’s stressed the fact that this had been their seventh visit to Mexico since the assassinations of the human rights activists, stating that a major obstacle has been and continues to be the continued protection of the suspected assassins.
Satu Hassi and Ska Keller mentioned their concern not only regarding this particular case, but also, due to more recent observations of aggressions towards activists, the consequential risks taken by human rights advocates and civil society organisations in Mexico. “The fact that people related to the case have had to leave the country for security reasons, represents a profound failure of the Mexican state.”
While the MP’s agreed that being able to meet the Governor was an improvement, after being denied to do so during the administration of previous governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz of the PRI party, they concluded the progress as much too slow, maintaining that in their countries of origin, a case with these specific characteristics would never take so much time to resolve.
“Impunity surrounds the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola’s murders. Almost five years have past and still, those responsible for the killings that have been clearly identified, continue to walk free […] if we continue to proceed at this pace, by which I mean following through a mere two orders of aprehension once every two years, 35 years would have to go by in order for those responsible for the crime to be imprisoned”, commented lawyer Karla Michel Salas, who attended the press conference.
The MP’s concluded unanimously that the case of Bety and Jyri is long overdue and resolving the investigation is necessary if the people of Mexico and Oaxaca are to warrant the end of impunity.
For more information on the case see: 4 years and 7 months on, presumed murderer of human-rights defenders is apprehended, Parents of Jyri Jaakola visit Mexico for fifth time to demand justice, Mexico promises justice for unsolved murders, Human rights defender Mr Omar Esparza Zárarte on hunger strike over impunity for the assassination of Bety Cariño