Today, seven years have passed since in April 2010 a humanitarian and human rights caravan that was carrying food and medicine to the inhabitants of the indigenous triqui community of San Juan Copola was attacked by paramilitary forces. The triqui region of Oaxaca has long since been immersed in violence and disruption due to political tensions between governing administrations. The shootings killed the participating mexican activist Bety Cariño (37) and Jyri Jaakkola (33), finish human rights observer, and wounded several more observers. Although 13 perpetrators are fully identified, only 5 are in jail.
Despite the fact that Mexican authorities have already identified those responsible for the murder of the activists they have not yet done enough to bring them to justice, which shows the lack of political will to resolve the case.
“Seven years is a long time to clear up a homicide”, and “this makes distrust in the will of the authorities grow. After so many years the resolution of the case is a very distant idea”, pointed out Satu Hassi, a parliamentarian from Finland during their last visit to Oaxaca in February of this year. It was the tenth visit to Mexico of her and German politician and Member of the European Parliament, Ska Keller seeking clarification in this case. Both legislators stressed that in all their visits, they have heard over many years promises from various public officials both in Oaxaca and at the federal level but remain unfulfilled. “The new governor of Oaxaca [Alejandro Murat, who received them in a private meeting] assured us that he will solve the murder and do justice, but what we want is to see how that commitment translates into concrete actions. The commitment is very important, but we do not know how they will show it with deeds“, said Ska Keller in an interview with the Mexican newspaperLa Jornada.
They recalled that of the alleged 14 perpetrators of the murder, one is already dead, eight are free despite arrest warrant and five are in prison without sentence. Two of the key witnesses were threatened; a close person of the accused is also the interpreter of the victims in the court; and the case is based in Huajuapan in the same Triqui region, so it is unsafe for witnesses.
In a press conference, the parliamentarians clarified that “we come here not only to solve the crime of a citizen of Finland but to help break the circle of impunity. In these visits we learned a lot about the serious human rights violations committed in Mexico and it is incredible and it is very sad because we believe that breaking impunity is the key to development and should be in the interest of this whole country. Our message to the federal and Oaxaca authorities is the same demand: that the case be brought to justice,” said Hassi before meeting with officials of the local Attorney’s Office.
Altough the case has been taken up till to the office of the Prime Minister of Finland and the European Parliament, so far there is no reaction from the Mexican government of Peña Nieto.
Today, members of the Indigenous and Peasant Front of Mexico (Frente Indígena y Campesino de México, Ficam) marched in the city of Oaxaca to demand justice for the case of Bety and Jyri. The leader of the Agrarian Indigenous Zapatista Movement (Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista, MAIZ) in the Mixteca, Misael Velásquez Tadeo, detailed that both – Mexico and Finland – will be developing mobilizations, because not only Mexico lost a human rights defender, but also the country mentioned above, Jyri Antero Jaakkola. With the demands of justice for both hope that the present government can fulfill what has been pending for seven years. The leader of this organization said it is a shame that the authorities give up and leave cases forgotten.
In these days also family and friends of Bety Cariño commemorate the murdered annually with an occasion in Chila de las Flores and ask for clarification.
After 7 years of impunity, several protests, a hunger strike, Urgent Actions in various countries and a annual visits of MPS from Europe and family members of Jyri Jaakkola, there is only one goal for the people: Justice for Bety and Jyri.
Urgent action from Germany