April 28th 2010

Peace Brigades International (PBI) strongly condemns the violence waged against a Civilian Humanitarian Mission on its way to San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, on 27th April, 2010. According to information received from the Bartolomé Carrasco Briseño Human Rights Centre (BARCADH), the mission was ambushed by an armed group at a roadside junction known as La Sabana.

It’s been confirmed that Beatriz Alberta Cariño, president of CACTUS (Community Support Centre), and Jyri Antero Jaakkola, a Finnish citizen, were both killed in the attack. The whereabouts of journalist Erika Ramirez, and Contralinea photographer David Cilia, as well as others, is still not known. At this moment, the names of the human rights defenders caught up in the attack, or how many they were, has not been determined. The Mission included members of VOCAL, CACTUS, the Indigenous Radio and Communication Network of South East Mexico, Teachers from SNTE, and community leaders from the Popular Peoples Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO). It also included the accompaniment of international human rights observers from Finland, Italy, Belgium, and Germany.

PBI, as an international accompaniment organization with a permanent presence in Oaxaca since 2008, wish to express our solidarity with the victims families, and to insist that the Mexican and Oaxaca State Government, and other relevant authorities:

  • Guarantee the protection of the human rights defenders involved in the attack

  • Guarantee the rescue and immediate attention to those injured who still find themselves in the place of the ambush

  • Objectively and impartially investigate this act of violence and aggression against human rights defenders, identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice.

  • Guarantee the stability and security of the civilian population in the area affected

  • Guarantee that Civilian Observation Missions can carry out their work without fear of attack against their lives.

<media 6225>Download the pdf version of the Press release</media>