Cross-party MEPs have sent an open letter to the Mexican and EU officials demanding an investigation into the killing of Jyri Jaakkola and more protection for human rights defenders in Mexico.[:]
OPEN LETTER FROM THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ON SAN JUAN COPALO AND THE ASSASSINATION OF BETY CARIÑO
AND JYRI JAAKKOLA
Since April 27th last, 2010, we have been closely following the situation of the Triqui indigenous people of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, and the conditions under which their community is currently living. On this day, a humanitarian and human rights caravan on its way to deliver food to this community suffered a fatal attack. During this attack, Alberta Cariño of Mexico and Jyri Jaakkola of Finland both lost their lives.
Following these events, many MEPs – as well as many ordinary European citizens – have been closely following events, which involve the lives of hundreds of indigenous Triquis in the southern state of Oaxaca, as they have unfolded. Moreover, we have followed all the facts of the caravan attack of April 27th as they have emerged.
Knowing the Mexican government’s commitment to upholding and respecting human rights, often visible at an international level, and also knowing the importance of the case of San Juan Copala internationally, we wish to reiterate our attention to some aspects in particular and to urge the Mexican government at various levels to address the following considerations that seem to us of greatest importance.
We reiterate that we will pay attention to:
1. The living conditions in which the indigenous Triqui people live in the settled community of San Juan Copala, who, as has been reported, have spent more than seven months under virtual siege, with no running water, electricity or food on a daily basis.
2. The Judicial investigation headed by the Attorney General’s Office to clarify the events of April 27th, 2010, and offer technical assistance in criminal investigations if necessary.
3. The course of the humanitarian caravan to be convened on June 8th with food intended to enter the community of San Juan Copala and which runs the risk of being attacked by the armed group responsible for the attack on April 27th near the community de La Sabana.
On the basis on the events above, we urge the Mexican government to:
1. Ensure the security of all members of the June 8th caravan and to ensure that they can fulfil their humanitarian and human rights mandate.
2. Guarantee the personal safety of all survivors of the caravan of April 27th, as well as those people and organizations that were involved in convening and organising the caravan.
3. Act diligently to immediately remove the virtual state of siege imposed on San Juan Copala.
4. Do everything in their power to accelerate the criminal investigation of these events and punish appropriately and as soon as possible the murderers and masterminds.
The International nature of this case requires us to maintain attention on these outstanding issues as well as any related actions that jeopardize human rights advocates, activists and journalists connected to this conflict and to monitor the fulfilment of justice and the punishment of those responsible.
Members of the European Parliament
Oriol JUNQUERAS VIES
Raul ROMEVA I RUEDA
Members of the German Bundestag
Members of the French Parliament