Wednesday, 8 May 2013

In Death Do We Part? Finnish Activist Murdered In Mexico

It should have been different. Mexican, Betty Cariño and Finnish national Jyri Jaakkola were on their way to San Juan Copala, Mexico, with a humanitarian convoy. The ‘Triqui’ indigenous people, had declared their commune autonomous in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, the Triqui were enduring paramilitary assaults. Cariño and Jaakkola’s convoy was supporting the Triqui when it was itself attacked. Cariño, and Jaakkola died in a hail of paramilitary bullets.

The Mexican PRI government did nothing to arrest the offenders. Several months after the attack, an opposition alliance won federal state elections and took control of the government. The current Governor, Gabino Cue, now aims to solve the case.

A European Parliament Green Group delegation visited Mexico this month, led by Green MEPs Ska Keller and Satu Hassi, the Greens having maintained a strong interest in the murders. When the two human rights activists were killed in 2010, the case drew international attention, but to date, there has been no prosecution. The case is symptomatic, say Keller and Hassi, of the wider situation in Mexico; an increasing rate of violence, especially against women, journalists and political activists is accompanied by an alarmingly high impunity.

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