Ambassador Garza's op-ed on Brad Will- From Brad's Mother!

from brad’s mom.

Hi All- This was just forwarded to us from the US Embassy in Mexico City. As you may know, the Milenio is a popular newspaper and has a large circulation in Mexico City.

Looks like some of our combined government efforts are beginning to pay off. We still have a long way to go I am afraid, but this is very encouraging.
Thanks for your continued efforts,

Kathy

Mr. and Mrs. Will — Ambassadors Garza placed an op-ed about Brad in one of the Mexico City newspapers last Friday on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, which is today. We wanted to make sure you’d seen this.

Six months have passed since U.S. journalist Brad Will was shot to death in Oaxaca on October 27, 2006. Recently, Mr. Will’s family visited Oaxaca looking for information on their son’s murder, but left empty-handed. Neither Mexican federal nor Oaxaca state investigations into Will’s death have the least bit of progress to report, and there does not appear to be a concerted effort to resolve the case. This lack of progress is worrisome. For not only was a young man senselessly cut down, but a concerned voice trying to tell an important story has been effectively silenced.

Concern about this crime is not limited to Mr. Will’s family and the American people. This incident has also been condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association, both of which have demanded a full investigation. And Brad Will is not alone.

President Calderon recently spoke on the unacceptability of violence against journalists in a democracy. Referring to the recent murder of another journalist in Acapulco, President Calderon said that “the murder of journalists leaves a profound and painful emptiness in society as a whole.” One cannot argue with this statement.

U.S. Secretary of State Rice has said that “there is no more important pillar of democracy than a free and active press.” Such a press provides important information citizens need to hold their government accountable. My country is no exception. Secretary Rice cited the toughness of the American press toward the U.S. government: “It was the American press that exposed… Abu Ghraib.”

As we approach World Press Freedom Day on May 3, this year dedicated to the theme of journalist safety, all of us, media as well as citizens of democracies, need to speak out against the impunity of violence against journalists, and insist that the case of Brad Will, and those of other slain journalists, be given the due process they deserve in a democracy.

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