Jyri Jaakkola in Memoriam

Jyri Antero Jaakkola, born on 11 February, 1977 in Joensuu, died on 27 April, 2010 in San Juan Copala.

Finnish human rights activist Jyri Jaakkola was murdered on April 27, 2010 in Mexico. A paramilitary group shot him to death near San Juan Copala in the state of Oaxaca.

Jyri Jaakkola worked for global justice; supporting local producers in developing countries and indigenous people, in a non-profit organization Uusi Tuuli that maintain the fair trade sailing vessel Estelle. Jyri was a volunteer for World Shops; and participated to Aamutähti World Shop's Bangladesh project and to Network of European World Shops (NEWS). He was engaged to enforce climate justice; therefore he was also a member of the Finnish grassroots environmental organization Hyökyaalto.

Jyri's engagement and his views for the development of global solidarity exchange between South and North had a decisive significance to the realization of fair trade sail vessel Estelle's sailing projects; including the voyage to transport cargo to and from Angola. Jyri was known for his positive attitude – he was dedicated and tireless. He became acquainted with the local life in developing countries by meeting victims of war in Angola, poor rural people in Bangladesh and indigenous people in Mexico.

During his journeys Jyri faced the insecure life that majority of people in the South are repressed to live. Jyri did not accept the force that industrialized countries have used for 500 years on the Earth, same time destroying other cultural traditions. For Jyri freedom meant liberation from the current power structure.

Anarchistic and anti-authoritarian thinking was an important part of Jyri's life and he discussed these themes in his articles. Jyri realized also his ideology in the everyday social life by participating to different activities such as communes and organic food circle.

Jyri was very strongly aware of the greatest need for change on the Earth is here – in western industrialized countries. Our consumption and economical power to govern the world are all based on the under priced raw materials and cheap labour from the South, as well as on the destruction of environment in the developing countries. This overexploitation prevents global equality, true democracy and decent living in developing countries.

Jyri could not disregard the insecurity in which majority of people in this world have to live because of the control that benefits our privileges. For him a real solidarity towards other people was experiencing and sharing their life situations.

Jyri aimed to increase our knowledge of how to encounter the insecure reality for majority of people on the Earth, and learn from the people in developing countries how our decisions affect their lives. He was looking for understanding and cooperation especially with communities that have preserved over centuries their sustainable and traditional lifestyle, and fight for their right to continue living in accordance with their inherited traditions.

Hence, in Mexico Jyri wished to share with the indigenous people the joy and sorrow of ordinary life and their struggle for human rights. He hoped that he could learn something from the Mexican autonomy movements and communities, which would be helpful in Finland. During the spring 2010 Jyri was functioning in different assignments for Uusi Tuuli and Mexican NGO's in Oaxaca. His tasks included supporting the rights for food security and better living conditions in the autonomous Indian communities. He also took part in campaigns promoting global climate justice and visited different parts of Oaxaca in order to learn more about the land use rights among the communities.































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