Letter to Obama from family of Juan Manuel Martinez

Oaxaca, Oax, Mexico
July 31, 2009


Dear President Obama,

Maria Libia Martinez Moreno and the Martinez Tejada family wish, by means of this letter, to communicate to you our concern regarding the homicide case of Bradley Roland Will. We send this in the hope that our plea for help will reach you, by way of the U.S. Embassy.

On October 27, 2006 the journalist, Bradley Roland Will, a U.S. citizen from Evanston, Illinois, was filming for the news agency Indymedia, a march by the Oaxaca social movement, as it proceeded toward the municipality of Santa Lucia del Camino, just outside the city of Oaxaca. During the demonstration violence broke out between some demonstrators and groups made up of public servants and sympathizers of the PRI party. Bradley was injured by a firearm and subsequently died.

The first reports of the murder of Bradley indicated that the crime had been committed by Abel Zarate, a town councilor of the municipality of Santa Lucia del Camino, as well as by Oswaldo Manuel Aguilar Coello, a municipal police officer, both of whom had strong links with the PRI party, the party in power in the state of Oaxaca.

Because the investigation of the case had become notorious for its bias, the Attorney General of the Republic took over the investigation. In September 2008 the National Commission of Human Rights made a recommendation that the investigation be disqualified.

At the end of September 2008 JUAN MANUEL MARTINEZ MORENO was intercepted two blocks from his home by two persons who were never identified, who brusquely and violently accosted him, taking from him his identification cards and interrogating him with a series of questions about himself. He cooperated with them calmly and gave them the personal information they demanded. He related this to his family, and for several days we accompanied him, being worried that he might be kidnapped. But to our surprise two weeks later, on October 16, 2008 he was detained and imprisoned as the person responsible for the homicide of Bradley Roland Will.

Juan Manuel is not responsible for the crime he is accused of. From the very time of his arbitrary detention, Juan Manuel’s human rights have been violated. According to investigators, those who first accosted Juan Manuel near his home were state intelligence and investigation agents, or so the PGR claims. It is clear that this was a show put together by the responsible authorities. In the following legal processes, all the personal information which Juan Manuel gave to his attackers on that day, such as his address, what he was doing at the time of his detention, the hours at which he leaves for and returns from work, which the men had asked him, were presented by the Federal Intelligence Agency as their own work, fruit of an exhaustive investigation through which they were able to detain Juan Manuel. What work are they referring to, if the actual assassins remain free, and we do not know who is covering up for them or why? But it is unjust that they have imprisoned an innocent person. In the judicial process which followed there are many grave irregularities which make the case both unjust and illegal.

The recognition which Juan Manuel enjoys among his neighbors was made evident a short time ago when he was invited to work at the Education Commission, in the area of Sports, for the municipality of Santa Lucia.

Even the family of Brad Will themselves have also declared that Juan Manuel Martinez Moreno is not the one responsible for the death of their son.

We are concerned that the arbitrary arrest and the 4 arrest warrants of Juan Manuel, are only a justification and a condition to press for the funds to be released from the United States for the Plan Merida.


1. To scrutinize the course of the investigations that have been carried out in the legal documentation of the case.

2. To take into account the recommendations of the National Commission for Human Rights and the international Human Rights organizations on this matter.

3. To attend to the demands for justice and the assessments of the family of the journalist Bradley Roland Will.

4. To consider the human rights violations committed against the Mexican citizen Juan Manuel Martinez Moreno.

5. To make this a common cause which begs justice from both countries.

6. To consider our petition for an interview with THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON AUGUST 10 in Mexico City: the purpose being to give you a better understanding of the situation that we are living – the MARTINEZ MORENO FAMILY.

And so we hope that you will consider these concerns that we have presented, and we thank you for your attention to this matter.