My translation of a letter from Omar Esparza, the husband of Bety Cariño, assassinated by paramilitaries in an ambush on the way to the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, two years ago today. For more background on San Juan Copala and the continued impunity that reigns in Mexico, see my post from the same time year.
The Murder of Bety and Jyri: We Demand Justice
April 27, 2012, Two Years Since the Murder of Bety and Jyri
By Omar Esparza
Translated by Scott Campbell
To Felipe Calderón Hinojosa,
President of Mexico
To Gabino Cué Monteagudo
Governor of Oaxaca
To public opinion
Two years could be called easy for those who have not lost a loved one in a violent way; for those who decide the changes that the masses will face, arguing that they do so for the well-being of the country; for those who claim to represent Mexico and who impose, with arrogance, social control strategies in order to generate fear and, with them, militarize the country and strengthen their policies in order to criminalize society until reaching the point of establishing a terrorist state that persecutes, assassinates, jails and disappears those of us who are not in agreement with them.
This war is a smokescreen that hides what is really happening: the displacement from our territories, the looting of our natural resources, the loss of our sovereignty, the dismantling of all resistance, the rupturing of the social fabric and the dismantling of all the forms of organization that the original peoples have maintained for millennia. All of this seeks to turn our free will into obedience, which has created a deep wound in our country, in our peoples, and has left thousands of orphaned children, widowed women, mothers without children or husbands, women disappeared and violated, all victims of a violence which doesn’t stop and continually repeats itself in this country.
As well, two years later, I cannot speak of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola without naming and demanding justice for the assassinations of many social leaders, women and men who defended our rights. Children, women and men who today live displaced from their communities for defending autonomy and the self-determination of the peoples; because they proposed a different way of doing politics, that which is born and built from below. All of these women and men at one moment made the decision to not keep quiet and to confront the tyranny which still reigns in our country, something that is not easy, as they are undermined by the orders of those who should be imparting justice, the political class, the political parties, and organized crime. In the end, they are all the same.
Two years since our compañera Bety was stolen from us, the government that Felipe Calderón represents has again and again failed to keep its word. Where are the commitments made by the attorney general, who filled her mouth with claims that those implicated in the murder have been detained? Because those who were there know their names: Rufino Juárez was not detained nor has he been tried for the murder of Bety Cariño and Jyri Jaakkola. They wanted to trick us!
Because today, yet again, two years later, we continue seeing how murderers and tyrants like Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and all those who decided to attack the caravan on the way to San Juan Copala on April 27, 2010 are rewarded and defended.
Given the absence and incompetence of the Attorney General it had to be us, the family members, who investigated and sought out the truth. On the other hand, in recent days, representatives of the federal government tried by all possible means to avoid legal actions against Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. Thus, I ask, where are the commitments you uphold, Mr. President, Mr. Governor, after two years of lies to the Finnish government, to the relatives of Jyri, to the European Parliament members and to a society that demands JUSTICE, as with all the family members of the 60,000 dead during your term? I only wish to say to them that we, like you, know the TRUTH! We know that you don’t want this crime to be solved.
At the same time, for us it is not enough to arrest those who killed Bety: we demand the dismantling of the networks of control and impunity, that all those implicated as responsible be punished, among them those who held posts in the three levels of the previous government of Oaxaca, many of them linked to UBISORT paramilitaries.
And again, we invite you to the mobilization we will hold on April 27 in Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca, at the peak of El Chacuaco, at nine in the morning. Relatives of Bety and the Zapatista Indigenous Agrarian Movement hope you will join us, to remember and to say that Bety lives in the memory of those who seek a different world, in the history of a people who continue struggling for their dignity, and in our hearts.
For the demilitarization and deparamilitarization of Oaxaca and the country!
Justice for all of the 60,000 dead in the war against organized crime!
Jail those materially and intellectually responsible for the execution of Bety and Jyri!
Justice for Bety Cariño!
Justice for Jyri Jaakkola!
Justice for our families!
End impunity now!
(Zapatista Indigenous Agrarian Movement)