We know who killed Brad Will.
November 21st, 2006 – Priya writes: Using the available visual evidence, eyewitness testimony, initial coroners reports, and our own deductive reasoning, we know which forces committed the crime of murder against Brad Will.
The FBI is now involved in ‘Investigating’ Brad Will’s Murder. The FBI may or may not be genuinely interested in finding Brad’s murderer. What they are surely interested in, is establishing links between “insurgent” and “radical” groups in other countries to groups or individuals in this one. That would fit neatly into their “anti-terrorism” mandate of late. It is clear that the Mexican government and by extension, U.S authorities, consider APPO to be a terrorist threat, and treat APPO accordingly with extreme force and brutality to exterminate key organizers and crush any challenge to gov’t control and rule. Historically, the FBI has always been interested in Americans sympathetic to foreign dissenting groups and monitoring any suspected links. No matter, if the “suspect” group is a non-violent popular movement against a brutal regime. Governments are interested in control – not justice.
As regards Bradley’s execution, not only did the Mexican gov’t use it as an excuse to send in more troops to commit more terrorist acts against the people, in the name of “restoring law and order” but they did so apparently on the “behest” of the U.S government.
It’s clear that we cannot count on governments for truth, nor the corporate media, (which is why we formed indymedia in the first place) though we do have individual journalists who have come forward with strong and clear testimony regarding the facts around who shot Brad, and how he was shot. This testimony clearly contradicts the official story being put out my the Mexican government that Brad was shot by APPO members or anyone other then the government own gunmen.
From viewing Brad’s final tape, (which anyone can see online) it is clear the Brad fell after the one bullet which hit him in the center of his upper body (corroborating the initial autopsy/coroner statement and initial eyewitness accounts). Whether or not there were other bullets that grazed and wounded Brad earlier from the many bullets coming from the direction of the PRI gunmen, one thing is clear and that is, the bullet that felled Brad, while he was filming, came from the direction of the PRI gunmen and Brad’s wound matches the type of weapon/rifle carried by the PRI gunmen seen earlier in the tape, and later in photos of this incident. Furthermore, Bradley is actually filming while facing his assassin, so theoretically we should be able to see the sniper, but we cannot because the sniper has good cover, as snipers often do, so you cannot know the location of a sniper until after they have shot you or someone near you. What we can determine is the direction of the gunfire and the direction that the fatal bullet that killed Bradley came from. It most certainly came from the direction that the PRI gunmen last were seen at.
The point is, in the tape, there is no protester or APPO member, or kid, or civilian or anyone around Bradley that appears to be hostile to him, or is firing anything at him or at anyone else for that matter. This is the case before and after Brad took the fatal bullet. In fact, before the bullet hits, everyone around Brad seems to be fairly calm, because none of them, including Brad were aware of the hidden sniper until Brad was hit. NO ONE WAS EXPECTING TO BE SHOT AT THAT MOMENT! The people around Brad were physically close to him, which means the sniper took care to choose his target – Brad, the foreign cameraman. This fits into the earlier pattern of PRI troops terrorizing and intimidating foreign journalists. Killing Brad would also serve, from the gov’t point of view, to discourage other foreign journalists from coming to Oaxaca.
Btw, when I said that there was no one around Brad firing anything in the direction of the gunmen, I should qualify that statement. The protesters around Brad, be the APPO or just random kids, seemed to be mostly masked youths, a few middle aged men scattered among them, and a handful of media people. If anyone did have a gun, you cannot seem them using any sort of fire arms. The only “weapons” that are visible are make shift items like rocks, bottles, or home made items like slingshots and at most one of those jerry rigged rocket launchers, which don’t really launch rockets, but some other kind of low grade Molotov type item, which we have seen used before on occasions by student resisters and other un-armed protesters in Mexico. This type of thing seems to cause property destruction and fires, deter vehicles and police aggression, not designed to inflict mortal wounds.
In other words, no one around Brad had anything remotely resembling the military issue AR-15 rifles in possession of the PRI. The main thing to remember is that Brad’s fatal wound is consistent with the type of weapon used by the Mexican Para-military death squads and his execution fits their well established pattern of terror and murder of activists and journalists.
Brad was singled out, and shot, while others around him were standing around in a fairly calm manner, and fairly close to Brad. At the time he was shot, no projectiles of any kind are coming from the people. There was actually a moment of relative calm. Because we cannot see the gunmen until Brad is actually shot, we know that the weapon used in Brad’s murder is one that is equipped with a scope and is capable of long range targeting and accuracy and delivery such as an AR-15 rifle.
There has also been verification from military personnel who examined the photographs of Brad online, and said that there is no doubt that the shooter was a professional marksmen. Someone who is both familiar with an AR-15 and also experienced at targeting, for the shot that killed Brad is a classic kill shot, in the middle of the chest area. Someone took their time to get into position and aim dead center for the definitive kill shot. This was no random drive by or run by impulsive pistol shot at close range as the Mexican government claims – not even if you are smoking crack or hallucinating. The footage does not lie, and neither do the eyewitnesses and the corroborating testimony of the first coroner.
The problem now is controlling the story of Brad’s execution, and not allowing them to re-write history, and use Brad’s murder and an excuse for further repression, and fighting for the truth to be told, and Brad himself was when he was shot.
That is the task before us with regard to accountability and the investigation of the pre-meditated murder of Brad Will.
The resistance is Mexico is truly revolutionary. These people are more angry than scared despite the kidnappings, torture, executions, raids, and other brutal oppression they regularly encounter as the U.S government and media as usual turn a blind eye to people’s struggles. Why is that a surprise when President Bush is buddies with Vincente Fox?
The people who were around Brad when he was shot, are not only innocent with regard to Brad’s death (we have established beyond a doubt, who the guilty parties are at this point) but those that were closes to Brad when he was shot, took great care to attend to him, risking their own safety and lives. They did not abandon him as one might think in such a high tension situation when everyone thinks to hit the deck or run for cover or clear the area… no, instead, they carried him, and did their best to get him to the Red Cross medical facility. It is also interesting that the Red Cross did not send an ambulance to help Brad, and has a policy of not treating APPO sympathizers.
In any case, as we now know, as strange fate’s horror would have it, the vehicle that Brad was put in ran out of gas, and delays mounted as he bled to death in the arms of the brave compeneros whom he went down to Oaxaca to document because Brad knew that they were brave, courageous and dignified people’s whose uprising deserved support.
The whole time Brad was filming his final tape (which I now call his “last will and testament”) I noticed that the sky above him was god awful beautiful. The kind of sky right before a storm that is both shadows and sun, and black and the most beautiful azure blue that inspires poetry… so beautiful it was distracting. Those skies opened up shortly after Brad was shot, and the rain came down hard as if to wash his blood and tears from him.
After Brad screams from being shot, the camera goes crazy. We see the pavement, a bit of Brad’s legs, and then from a ledge, we see some blood splatter… Brad’s… and that is it. That is so fucking it.
The camera made it back to New York but Brad did not.
Even if every single PRI gunmen was arrested, it would not bring Brad back, but it might deter the Mexican government from shooting more unarmed civilians and journalists.
Brad was not the type of “journalist” that works for a big paying organization. He was not a mouthpiece for a corporate media which distorts reality to suit the State. He was not that type of “journalist.” He was the type who risks personal well being to get the truth out. Brad paid for that truth with his life. But we have to carry on where he left off. He’d want us to.
There is one more thing I must mention about Brad’s final tape. In the seconds before he is shot, a masked youth crosses Brad’s path. It is the only human who has looked into Brad’s camera directly for quite a while, and it will be the last. Oddly, this youth, for some reason unlike the others, suddenly offers a riveted gaze that fixes directly on Brad and lingers for no explainable or discernible reason – a puzzling but respectful look, almost like awe… and then the youth snaps out of his own momentary reverie and continues to move out of view. But that is the last human face that Brad filmed – a beautiful youthful revolutionary – not unlike Bradley Will.