Amnesty International Urgent Action: Key eyewitnesses into the killings of two human rights defenders have been harassed in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. This is an apparent attempt to stop them from giving testimony in court. Their lives could be at risk. On 22 January relatives of a man who has been arrested in connection with the killing of human rights defenders Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola intimidated two Indigenous women who witnessed the events. Both witnesses are soon due to give oral testimonies in court. The relatives confronted the two women (whose names are withheld for security reasons) in the town of El Carrizal, Oaxaca State, southern Mexico, where the women live, and told them to retract their previous written testimonies. Both witnesses have since left El Carrizal. On 3 and 4 February the same people turned up at their home and told their relative that “something bad can happen” (algo malo puede pasar) if the women do not retract their testimonies. State authorities have provided insufficient security measures for the women to date.
For more information on the case of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola 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, Public letter by civil society demands justice 4 Bety Cariño & Jyri Jaakkola