In Memory Bety Cariño and Tyri Antero Jaakkola
Defenders of Indigenous Rights killed while trying to bring supplies to Indigenous communities in Mexico
By Elvina Paulson
We live in times when our collective souls are drawn to recognise our Ancestors in each other. They speak to us through such gallant and sometimes sad reflections of life for Indigenous people that is much of the time.
How blessed are we yet, how painful is it for a Mother to lose a daughter who fights for the rights to exist to walk upon Mother Earth as a daughter. Friends who hear these words I ask that you make peace with your Indigenous neighbours stand and right the wrongs of the past with them. Share their journey of survival and aid them in helping others to understand that Mother Earth has many daughters like Betty Carino.
Bety is such a vibrant soul of a woman who was taken too young in life by paramilitaries. Her life tender young and youthful life is now with her Ancestors to feed her people cut-off from food and left to starve by Mexico government. It comes with such a spellbinding message to all.
Now the food of the soul is here staring at us with a gentle smile and the eyes of much forgiveness and compassion. I feel extremely sad at this moment writing. I seek nothing more than to let everyone know about Bety for this was her amazing youthful journey. Her life was cut short but we cannot allow Bety to be forgotten or else many others will also be forgotten. Bety's action and work should not be forgotten no matter if we know her or not for this very reason we share common bonds together in being part of the Earthened Societies upon Mother Earth. To everyone who knows of someone who is vigilant, brave and has the love of Mother Earth in their hearts the fight is much bigger than family squabbles and arguments. This is very sad news to hear about precious people as Bety. May Bety's wings be of the kind given to complete her job and may her words resinate into the heart of the world over through Mother Earth. We have a chance to showcase not just in Australia but in your very place where you live country or continent to change our ways. Justt know there are many Bety's who smile upon other less fortunate souls keeping their light warm and alive on Mother Earth. May there be blessings and tributes for Bety with deep respect I say this. Read the story below and tell me if you can walk away thinking nothing of what we have always known and endured through Ancestry to the land where our past and present have been lived for the future children as our inheritors upon Mother Earth of which daughters have had a position to take up as the life givers known through a sacredness of Mother which needs no assurity that this love is there for all who suffer.
The thing is - as a Mother - Bety could have been my daughter she could have been every Mother’s and Father’s daughter as she walked upon Mother Earth - my cultural protocol tells me that Bety is a daughter to all of us. It is precious to me to accepte this way of thinking through my Spirituality of the land in Australia. As daughters we are all gifted to walk in harmony with Mother Earth. I am truly saddened to hear a daughter of Mother has been taken this way though I am elated that Our Ancestors are there for Bety as a Soul of a Woman. Through Mother Earth I humbly ask for this message to be heard by all fellow souls upon Mother Earth who walk in the light of our fellow mankind who keep the ways of our Mother sacred.
Bety Carino (Front Line event, Dublin Feb 2010)
UN NEWS CENTRE
Human rights defenders in Mexico paying with their lives, warn UN experts
12 May 2010
Human rights defenders in Mexico are under increasing threat, a group of independent United Nations experts cautioned today, speaking out against the recent killings of two defenders in the country’s southeast.
Rights defender Beatriz Alberta Cariño Trujillo and international observer Tyri Antero Jaakkola, who were on a monitoring mission in Oaxaca, were killed on 27 April when ambushed by paramilitaries.
Several others, including journalists, were killed in the attack, and four members of the mission were rescued by the police after being stranded in the forest following the incident.
Beatriz Alberta "Bety" Cariño Trujillo was the director of CACTUS (Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos) a community organization in Oaxaca Mexico. On April 27, 2010, she was killed when paramilitaries ambushed a caravan on its way to the indigenous autonomous community of San Juan Copala.
The caravan, including local and international human rights observers, was delivering food to the community which has been under a blockade from paramilitaries allied with the state government.
In the attack died also Jyri Jaakkola, Finnish human-rights activist, and more than ten people were wounded.
Cariño was Mixtec and an advocate for food sovereignty, community water management, soil conservation and the right to autonomy for indigenous peoples in Mexico. As part of her work with CACTUS, she worked to organize women's collectives in northern Oaxaca.
She was one of the leaders of CACTUS forced to temporarily flee Oaxaca in December 2006 after government repression in response to the 2006 Oaxaca protests.
Bety Cariño worked with the Centro de Apoyo Comunitario Trabajando Unidos CACTUS (Centre for Community Support Working Together). In February, she spoke at an event organized by Front Line, an organization dedicated to the protection of human rights defenders.
Speech by Bety Cariño to the Front Line Dublin Platform, February 2010
OUR FEET STEADY AND FIRM ON THE GROUND - OUR HEADS HELD HIGH;
DIGNIFIED, WITH FOCUSED SPIRIT AND BURNING HEART
BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
With my voice, I speak for my brothers and sisters of my mixteco people, from rebellious Oaxaca in this great country called Mexico. And in these lines I cannot speak of myself without speaking of the others, because I can only exist if they exist. Therefore, we exist as us.
Brothers and sisters, these women I am; a daughter, a sister, a mother, a comrade, a teacher, an indigenous woman, a Mixteca, an Oaxaqueña, a Mexican, they represent us women who go forward leading our peoples against the looting of our mother Earth, for the benefit of large transnational corporations and financial capital.
Today, with our voices, with our struggles, with our hands, the legitimate wishes for social justice of the Mexican Revolution are being kept alive; our struggle is the same one the Morelos, the Magón, the great Zapata and, in today’s Mexico, the EZLN led, a struggle that has cost the lives of thousands of Mexicans, all of them poor people from the bottom of society who have fought these fights.
The place they have been given in history continues to be one of exclusion and they have been forgotten.
Today we, the young, the indigenous peoples and the women are at the head of this catastrophe.
Our fields now are the scenes of ruin and disaster, victims of indiscriminate commercial opening, genetically modified crops, the ambitions of the multinationals; this has consequently caused the forced migration of millions of our brothers and sisters who, in the words of my grandfather, “have to leave in order to remain”.
In Mexico the right to autonomy, the right to exist for the indigenous peoples is still being denied, and today we want to live another history: we are rebelling and we are saying enough is enough, today and here we want to say the they are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them, because despite their threats, despite their slander, despite their harassment, we continue to walk towards a sun which we think shines strongly; we think the time of the peoples is coming closer, the time of unrepressed women, the time of the people at the bottom.
These days, discontent is present throughout the length and breadth of our national territory. Because of this the presence and participation of us, the women we defend,cannot be put off any more in the daily business of human rights; we want to construct a world with Justice and dignity; without any kind of discrimination; today we are pushing forward a profound and extensive process of organisation, mobilisation, analysis, discussion and consensus which is helping us to build up a world in which many worlds can fit. We are the result of many fights, we carry in our blood the inheritance of our grandmothers, our roots make demands of us and our daughters.