Friends of Murdered US Journalist Get Congress to Demand Investigation and End to Impunity
March 2nd, 2007 – Friends of Brad Will write: The Friends of Brad Will attended the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Oversight Hearing Overview of U.S. Policy Toward Latin America on March 1st to press for the appropriate investigation of the murder of US journalist Brad Will in Oaxaca, Mexico in October of 2006. The Friends of Brad Will is a national network working with the Will family for justice and accountability in his murder, and for an end to the impunity of human rights violations in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Advocates with FoBW met with all of the members of the influential Sub-Committee that guides American policy in Central and Latin America, and spoke directly to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State, Thomas A. Shannon, Jr..
The Sub Committee was a wide ranging question and answer session with a great deal of focus on US policy and financial leverage to end the impunity of human rights abuses throughout the region.
Congress Member Gregory Meeks, (Dem, Brooklyn) indicated the presence of Friends of Brad Will from New York City in the capacity crowd and used his limited time to ask the Assistant Secretary directly about the status of the investigation into the murder of Brad Will. Mr. Shannon indicated that he had just spoken with representatives from FoBW and unfortunately did not have current information, but committed to getting back to the Congress Member and the Sub Committee as well as FoBW.
This was an important watershed in the ongoing effort to hold accountable the responsible parties for the murder of US journalist and activist Brad Will, and to draw further attention to the ongoing situation in Oaxaca, Mexico that Mr. Will was reporting on.
Friends of Brad Will advocate, Robert Jereski stated, “We are encouraged by our reception on Capital Hill and the great interest in the Brad Will case, following the recent visit by the Will family here. It is imperative that we build on this momentum and continue to contact our Representatives in Washington DC, Congress members and Senators alike, from both sides of the aisle.”
Another Friends of Brad Will advocate from New York City, Harry Bubbins noted, “Justice is sometimes not swift. Now we have a unique opening to shine the spotlight from Washington DC to Oaxaca, Mexico, which is what Brad was interested in.” Bubbins encouraged the national network to stay focused on Brad’s case and to reach out to their Washington DC elected officials.
Friends of Brad Will also met with human rights activists from a variety of organizations all involved in pressing for justice in the Oaxaca, Mexico region.
Photos at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/87705136@N00/
Contact: Robert Jereski mutualaid at earthlink dot net
Background Weblink: rsf.org
As Reporters without Borders has noted, two officials who had been arrested in relation to the murder were released, despite witness accounts and other evidence that they fired in Will’s direction.
“The findings of the autopsies carried out on Will were rigged by the authorities in order to blame his murder on activists… whose protests Will was covering,” Reporters Without Borders said.”