NY Times: Mexico Says U.S. Journalist Was Killed by a Protester

Would it have been too much for the Times to mention the fact that protestors/witnesses had identified then-current members of the Mexican government shooting at the protestors and that there was photographic evidence of this!?

After you read this piece, check out the excellent blog on Narcosphere of journalist Kristin Bricker for the real scoop.

The state and federal officials responsible for investigating the murder of Brad Will were strongly denounced by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) which declared that the federal and state attorneys general have violated ‘human rights, legality, judicial security and access to justice.’

Soberanes of the CNDH has also given the AGs a very short time frame to find and punish those who botched the investigation immediately after the murder and thereafter.

Well, at least they wrote about it. Really key for us to reach out to our Representatives to demand they speak out against this cover-up of Brad Will’s murder and the intimidation of witnesses.



Mexico Says U.S. Journalist Was Killed by a Protester
Published: October 17, 2008

MEXICO CITY — Bradley Will, a journalist from New York City, was shot and killed at close range by an antigovernment protester during civil unrest in the state of Oaxaca two years ago, the Mexican authorities said Friday, a conclusion that was challenged by Mr. Will’s family and human rights groups.

The protester, Juan Manuel Martínez, was arrested in Oaxaca on Thursday and accused of homicide. Another man, who was accused of protecting him as he fled, was also arrested, said Víctor Emilio Corzo Cabañas, a deputy federal attorney general.

Officials said the two men were members of a coalition of left-wing organizations, the Oaxaca People’s Popular Assembly, that was seeking to topple the governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz.

The death of Mr. Will had drawn widespread attention because of the Mexican government’s failure to solve a string of slayings of journalists, as well as its lack of response to the killing of 17 protesters during the months of unrest in Oaxaca.

Mr. Will, who was 36, had gone to Oaxaca to cover the protests, which began with a strike by teachers in May 2006. The strike escalated into a larger movement after Mr. Ruiz tried to crack down on the teachers in June.

The left-wing coalition demanded that Mr. Ruiz step down. They shut down the city of Oaxaca, the state capital, and some protesters burned buses and buildings.

Mr. Will had been in Oaxaca for four weeks shooting video of the protests for the New York chapter of the Independent Media Center, a left-leaning media collective, when he was shot on Oct. 27, 2006. His death, and the killing of three other people that day, prompted the president at the time, Vicente Fox, to send in the federal police to clear the streets.

Although Mr. Will was one of 18 people killed during the protests, the federal government has dropped the investigations into every case except his. Protesters contend that many of the killings were carried out by government-backed paramilitary thugs.

Officials have argued that Mr. Will was killed by nearby protesters during a street battle between the demonstrators and groups loyal to Mr. Ruiz.

Human rights groups, including the National Human Rights Commission in Mexico, have called on the attorney general’s office to broaden its inquiry to include the possibility that Mr. Will was shot from a distance.

Kathy Will, Mr. Will’s mother, blamed right-wing paramilitary groups for her son’s death and accused the government of trying to point the blame elsewhere. “It’s been two years of the same thing,” Ms. Will said in a telephone interview. “They are absolutely determined to pin it on somebody nearby.”

The left-wing coalition in Oaxaca said in a statement that the two men under arrest were innocent and that they had been mistreated.

Antonio Betancourt contributed reporting.

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