Brad Will shot at close range, says investigation

The one-year anniversary of the death of Brad Will will be marked today in New York, Oaxaca and no doubt other places around the world.Brad Will was shot by an assailant (s) just 50 centimeters away, and not from a distance of 30 meters as originally thought, according to the latest findings of the investigation of the Attorney General on the case in Mexico.

Results from the investigation into the death of the American IndyMedia journalist, shot dead in Oaxaca just over a year ago, suggest that he could have been killed by fellow protesters or members of the People’s Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), as well as government agents or infiltrators, according to newspaper reports in Mexico last week.

The finding that he was shot at such close range contrasts with past reports on the murder of the media worker, which placed his assassins at more than 30 meters from him, and also goes against evidence and reports that suggest that Will was in fact murdered by Government sympathisers or agents.

“Despite having evidence of who or who might be the murderers of the American shot dead on 27 October 2006 in the village of Santa Lucia del Camino, Oaxaca, the federal agency still has not established clearly whether the killers belong to the People’s Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO), or a group that could be linked to the state government, or whether they were infiltrators”,” reads the report in Thursday’s Milenio.

The newspaper report also noted that the Special Prosecutors Office for Crimes Against Journalists is very close to ‘solving the crime’.

These findings will dismay groups lobbying for justice in the case of Brad Will, such as The Friends of Brad Will and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Although two suspects were arrested late last year following the shooting of the journalist, they were soon released without charge. A number of NGO’s, including Reporters Without Borders, expressed concern at the release of Abel Santiago Zárate, the official in charge of public security in Santa Lucia del Camino (in Oaxaca state), and his bodyguard, Orlando Manuel Aguilar Coello, both of whom were arrested on suspicion of firing the shots that killed Will.

Please go to the journalism category for more stories on this issue.

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4 Responses

  1. The murderers of Brad Will can be seen on YouTube, so it
    seems that the attorney general’s (PGR) office is participating in the
    cover-up of murder and torture and other human rights violations,
    since he rejected the respected National Human Rights Commission
    (CNDH) recommendations. We will continue to work to expose the
    criminal conduct in Oaxaca, Atenco, Chiapas and elsewhere and demand
    that the U.S. Congress stop providing military equipment that is used
    against civilians. , We are confident that the guilty people in the
    photos and video footage will be brought to justice one way or the
    other.

  2. As a close friend of Brad Will and someone who has looked through Will’s full-resolution raw footage, I am very upset by the attorney general’s office report. The evidence is overwhelmingly against the close range theory. The original autopsy results were that both shots were fired from a long distance by the same gun.

    Repeatedly the Mexican government has worked to cover-up human rights violations in Mexico and in this case has given Oaxaca’s police officers and sympathizers of the PRI the impunity to commit murder against the people of Oaxaca and journalists covering their story. In the lead up to this release, Friends and Family of Brad Will worried that this report would ignore eye witness reports from journalists and onlookers, video evidence, and other forensic evidence that proves that Will was in fact shot by PRI thugs. We are not ‘dismayed’ as this report states, but in fact more determined to seek justice over the many deaths that have occurred because of corrupt politicians and outlaw paramilitaries.

    The Friends of Brad Will are currently pushing for justice for Brad and all those killed in Mexico and fighting US legislation, such as Plan Mexico, that would give more military equipment to a country with a deplorable human rights record.

  3. Great story!

    The participation of the Federal Government of Mexico in the cover-up by Lizbet Cana and the Oaxacan State authorities was expected. How could murderers caught on film and witnessed committing this crime be allowed to continue to be free? Meanwhile activists and people mourning those murdered are arrested, surveilled, harrassed and threatened.

    I believe that the U.S. Congress is going to oppose Plan Mexico because more lethal aid to unaccountable, brutal and corrupt security forces will not reform them. One doesn’t need to be trained to acknowledge photographic evidence and witness testimony.

    The problem isn’t reform; it’s the lack of will among the government authorities in Mexico to end impunity. Giving $1.4 billion to such forces is morally wrong.

    We’ll be in D.C. in a week for the hearing on Plan Mexico (Nov. 13-15).

    We’re calling our congress people to demand that

    a) sec. of state rice testify on plan mexico;

    b) peal away from Iraq Appropriations;

    c) answers re. brad and others murdered in oaxaca, atenco, and other places;

    d) STOP PLAN MEXICO!

    great piece! thanks.

  4. Thanks for the great English language coverage. Even as I live in Oaxaca I find it incredibly difficult to get reliable reporting on and analysis of events here (in any language). Mexico Reporter is now on my list of sites to check daily.

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