The International Federation of Journalists today called for a full investigation into the killing of Bradly Will, a freelance journalist based in New York who was one of three people killed when gunmen opened fire on protesters during a demonstration in Oaxaca City Mexico.
“There are credible reports that out-of-uniform police were responsible for this incident,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “This latest killing needs to be fully investigated, particularly in view of the video evidence that this was an entirely avoidable tragedy.”
White said that Latin American union leaders meeting in Caracas today were demanding that a region-wide campaign is launched to curb the escalating violence against journalists. The killing of Will is the 32nd media death recorded by the IFJ this year.
Will had been on assignment in Mexico for IndyMedia. It was reported that plainclothes paramilitary police opened fire on a crowd of protesters. Will was shot in the abdomen and died at a Red Cross Hospital; two others died and Will's photographer Oswaldo Ramirez was among the injured.
Oaxaca has been filled with protesters for the past five months after the governor Ulises Ruiz tried to face down a protest by teachers. After the incident on Friday Mexican President Vincente Fox ordered in federal riot police. Critics accuse Ruiz of corruption and repressive tactics against dissenters, whose roadblocks have driven tourism from the city and hurt business.
“On the face of it this is a scandalous and reckless abuse of power in which innocent civilians and media staff have been killed or injured,” said White. “The Mexican authorities must find who was responsible.”
For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2200
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 100 countries worldwide