MAC: Mines and Communities

Two Human Rights Activists Slain in Mexico

Published by MAC on 2010-05-07
Source: Media Coop, EFE

Two activists have been killed in Oaxaca, Mexico, where the struggle over mining has become increasingly violent. See:

Beatriz Cariño Trujillo was coordinator of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA) and a member of the Center for Community Support Working Together (CACTUS). Tyri Antero Jaakkolawas was a Finnish human rights observer working in Mexico.



Paramilitary attack kills two in Oaxaca, Mexico

Dawn Paley

Media Coop

28 April 2010

Two people were killed and at least another five are missing after a paramilitary group ambushed a human rights caravan yesterday in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Beatriz Cariño Trujillo, a coordinator of the Mexican Network of People Affected by Mining (REMA) and a member of the Center for Community Support Working Together (CACTUS), and Tyri Antero Jaakkola, a Finnish human rights observer, were killed yesterday when a paramilitary group Union of Social Wellbeing of the Triqui Region (UBISORT) ambushed the caravan, which was traveling towards the municipality of San Juan Copala.

The whereabouts of as many as 22 other caravan participants, including local organizers and journalists are unknown. Five people, Érika Ramírez, David Cilia, David Venegas, Noé Bautista Jiménez and Daniel Arellano Chávez are confirmed missing. As many as 15 people may have been wounded in the attack.

The area where the ambush happened is known to be controlled by UBISORT, "a parmilitary organization that has strong links with the state government," said Daniel Arellano, who was wounded in the attack.

REMA issued a press release indicating that responsibility for the attack falls on all levels of government, including notorious Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

The caravan was organized by Oaxacan Voices Building Autonomy and Liberty (VOCAL) and the Popular Assembly of Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). According to a press release by the TDT-Network, "The human rights organizations were trying to enter San Juan Copala to support the local community, which has been without electricity, water, access to medication and basic services as a result of a blockade by an armed group."

Two Human Rights Activists Slain in Mexico


30 April 2010

OAXACA, Mexico - Two people were killed when unknown assailants opened fire on a caravan of human rights activists heading to an Indian community in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, the state's attorney general said Wednesday.

Maria de la Luz Candelaria Chinas told reporters that it was Wednesday morning before police reached the scene of Tuesday's attack "to pick up the bodies of two people."

She said the victims were identified by their colleagues as Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo and Finnish national Jyri Antero Jaakkola.

Another activist, Monica Citlali Santiago Ortiz, was wounded and is recovering at a hospital in Santiago Juxtlahuaca, the Oaxaca attorney general said.

The caravan, comprising some 40 people traveling in four vehicles, was ambushed while on a mission to deliver food to residents besieged in San Juan Copala, located some 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Oaxaca city, the state capital.

At least 10 people have been murdered since January in San Juan Copala, where rival groups have been battling for control of the municipal government.

Miguel Badillo, editor of muckraking newsweekly Contralinea, told a radio station that seven of the 40 people from the caravan remain missing, including two reporters from his publication.

"We saw how they fired at us from the mountain, from the upper part, at a distance of about 500 meters (yards)," caravan member Gabriela Jimenez Rodriguez said.

The head of the Oaxaca branch of the SNTE teachers union, Azael Santiago Chepi, said members of his union were in the caravan "to contribute to the pacification of the community, because 400 kids haven't had classes for four months, due to the climate of violence."

Amnesty International issued a statement Wednesday urging Mexican authorities to investigate the attack on the caravan.

"Oaxaca authorities have for many years been unwilling to investigate grave human rights violations in that state. The attorney general must now take immediate steps to protect those affected by the attack and carry out a full and impartial investigation," AI's deputy Americas director, Guadalupe Marengo, said.

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