The family of Bradley Roland Will, the independent US photojournalist shot and killed last October 27th in Oaxaca, will visit Mexico from March 19th to March 23rd, 2007. The purpose of the Will family’s visit is to push for a legitimate investigation into Brad’s murder and to insist that the responsible parties be held accountable.
Family members, consisting of Brad’s parents and his brother and sister, will visit Mexico City and Oaxaca City. They will meet with human rights and other non-governmental organizations, Mexican officials, the United States Embassy, eyewitnesses, and the media. Press conferences will be held in each city.
Brad Will was shot and killed in Santa Lucia del Camino on October 27, 2006. Brad had been covering the then 4-month long conflict between the state government and a coalition of organizations and unions pulled together in the Oaxaca People’s Popular Assembly (APPO) to protest Governor Ulises Ruiz’s use of excessive force against the Section 22 of the National Union of Education Workers on June 14, 2006.
Beginning in August, armed para-police units linked to both local and state police forces began opening fire on protesters. By October 27, para-police units had killed at least 10 protesters. During this time federal and state prosecutors did not open investigations into these crimes. On October 27, members of the Santa Lucia del Camino police and local government officials were photographed shooting at APPO protesters where Brad was shot. The national press published these photographs. However, state and federal prosecutors have declined to investigate possible government involvement in Brad’s murder, instead pursuing a speculative theory that members of APPO murdered Brad.
Family members are traveling to Mexico to demand a new rigorous and impartial investigation of Brad’s murder. “The cycle of impunity related to crimes against journalists and human rights violations in Mexico must end,” said Craig Will, Brad’s older brother. “It is our hope that this upcoming visit will increase the spotlight on the inadequacies of the Mexican judicial system and
encourage responsible leadership on the part of the state and federal governments to pursue real justice.”
Media interested in attending either press event should contact the Will family’s coadyuvante, Miguel Angel de los Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org or 52-967-678-8440.
The Mexico City press conference will be held a media non-profit, CENCOS, at 10am on Friday, March 23:
Medellin 33, col. Roma
CP 06700, México, D.F., México
Tel: 55 33 64 75 / 76 Fax: 52 08 20 62 email@example.com
The Oaxaca City press conference will be held at a graphic arts non-profit, IAGO, on Thursday, March 22 at 2pm:
INSTITUTO DE ARTES GRÁFICAS DE OAXACA
Macedonio Alcalá 507, Centro, Oaxaca C. P. 68000
Tel. (9) 516 20 45 fax (9) 516 69 80