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Finland urges swift investigation into citizen's death in Mexico

15:43, April 29, 2010      

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Finnish Ambassador to Mexico Ulla Viasto on Wednesday urged Mexican authorities to swiftly investigate the death of a Finnish non-government organization (NGO) worker in southern Mexico.

"We lament over the incident and have called on the Mexican government to investigate the case and ensure the responsible are punished in accordance with the law," Viasto told Xinhua by telephone. "We received confirmation from the Oaxaca state government just five minutes ago."

A convoy of aid workers including Finnish citizen Tyri Antero Jaakkola was attacked Tuesday by some 30 armed and hooded men while traveling to San Juan Copala, an indigenous village in the state of Oaxaca, local media reported.

Jaakkola and Mexican NGO worker Beatriz Alberta Carino were shot dead.

An eyewitness told radio that the caravan had been carrying medicine to the village, and several members of the group are still unaccounted for.

Viasto said that the organization Jaakkola worked for, Uusi Tuuli, was one of the NGOs that receive financial backing from the Finnish government.

"He was in Oaxaca participating in a cooperation project backed by the Finnish government," Viasto said. "We have sent three embassy staff to the area to identify the victim and find out how the embassy can help further."

The state prosecutor told media that two bodies had been recovered at the scene and carried to a municipal morgue in the local town Juxtlahuaca for preliminary investigations.

Media reported that citizens from Belgium and Italy had been in the same caravan, but did not say if any were hurt or missing.

Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in Mexico, has a history of violent protests. San Juan Copala has reportedly been surrounded by armed opponents who advocate greater autonomy from state and federal authorities.

Source: Xinhua
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