Three years later, no justice in Brad Will murder
Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the killing of Brad Will, an American Indymedia journalist, in Oaxaca. The investigation by Mexican authorities has gone way out of its way to focus on individuals who almost certainly did not kill him (see my previous: "In Brad Will case, Mexican government moves ahead with its farce" 7/14/09, and "Grim but expected development in Brad Will case" 10/21/08).
Here is the email update from Amnesty International from earlier this evening:
Three years ago today, American video journalist Brad Will was shot and killed in Oaxaca City, in southern Mexico.
However, the latest forensic examination, conducted by experts from Physicians for Human Rights and the National Human Rights Commission, sheds light on the increasingly high probability that the man being held responsible for Brad Will's death could not have committed the crime.
Demand that Mexican authorities find out who really killed Brad Will.
Experts concluded that Will was not shot at close range. Yet Juan Manuel Martínez, who was said to have been standing right next to Brad Will when the shooting occurred, has been in custody since October 2008.
At the time of the shooting, Will was in Mexico to film the widespread protests and political violence that had gripped the region. At least twelve other people were killed and scores more were abused and illegally detained that day. Yet Mexican authorities refuse to investigate any possible connection between Brad Will's death and the pattern of larger human rights violations committed in Oaxaca.
Amnesty International believes that the Mexican government is using Martínez as a scapegoat so it will appear that progress is being made in Brad Will's case. Such actions at best violate international fair trial standards, and at worst, allow Brad Will's real killer to remain at large.
Help bring those responsible for the murder of Brad Will to justice!
In another recent development, Mexico's National Supreme Court of Justice concluded that serious human rights violations had indeed been committed in the region during 2006 and 2007. Despite this ruling, the Mexican government continues to drag its heels on setting up a new, impartial investigation that reviews the evidence brought forth by independent forensic experts that could clear Martínez's name.
The tragedy and injustice of Brad Will's death and Juan Manuel Martínez's unfounded prosecution are part of the failure to investigate and hold to account those responsible for the larger human rights abuses committed in Oaxaca during 2006 and 2007.
On the anniversary of Brad Will's murder especially, we are reminded that the factors surrounding his death simply do not add up. If justice is going to be served for the crimes committed in Oaxaca, then Mexican authorities must find out who really killed Brad Will.