The Honorable Antonio O. Garza, Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
Department of State
United States of America
Via Facsimile: 011.5255.52 07 0091
Dear Ambassador Garza,
The organizations listed below formally protest the killing of independent journalist Bradley Roland Will in Oaxaca, Mexico on October 27th 2006 and request that the Government of the United States of America use all appropriate means to insure that his death is investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
All American citizens must be protected by the full power of our government wherever they travel in the world. This is especially the case when that citizen is a journalist attempting to report the truth in a dangerous situation. When the members of the press are subjected to physical attack, it is our values of freedom and of democracy which suffer. These are values to which the governments of Mexico and the U.S. both ascribe. Legal reaction to this murder must be swift and direct.
Bradley Roland Will was a legitimate journalist whose work was cablecast on Public Access television stations throughout the United States, as well as in Central and South America, and was distributed online. Hoodlums and political operatives who wish to operate under cover of darkness often feel safe in silencing independent reporters through acts of violence and intimidation. Violence against reporters on the edge is harbinger to destruction of press freedom in the middle. Our government and mainstream press should feel the same outrage over this killing as over the death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
If anything, reporters who give of their own resources and work under such dangerous circumstances are even more deserving of our respect and protection because of the great personal sacrifice they endure in the quest for the information we need to exist as a free people.
The undersigned implore the United States government to:
1. Give full governmental protection throughout the world, in word and deed, to community-based journalists from the United States.
2. Ask the Mexican Government to make a formal, federal inquiry into the killing of journalist Bradley Roland Will in Oaxaca on October 27, 2006.
3. Ask that the Mexican Government bring his killer(s) to justice.
4. Ask that the Mexican Government state clearly that it will not tolerate the targeting of journalists covering conflicts, no matter what their affiliations or nationalities.
If the tragic killing of Bradley Roland Will results in the strengthening of protections for independent journalists, then his death will not have been in vain. More importantly, we will have stood together as a nation against an attack on our free press and the many freedoms which are built upon it.
Please keep us informed of your actions in this matter. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Anthony Riddle Executive Director, Alliance for Community Media. Washington, DC.
Robert McChesney President, Free Press. Northampton, MA.
Prometheus Radio Project. Philadelphia, PA.
New York City Independent Media Center. New York, NY.
Guerrilla News Network. New York, NY.
Center for International Media Action. New York, NY.
Michael Eisenmenger Manhattan Neighborhood Network. New York.
Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Los Angeles, CA.